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When you’re dealing with addiction, it’s easy to feel all alone. To feel helpless. To feel like a victim.

But you know what?

It’s even harder, lonelier, and heartbreaking for those close to you.

Wives of addicts keep asking me how Jasmine felt when I battled through my porn addiction. And today, I’m letting Jasmine describe how she felt.

Whether you’re an addict yourself or your spouse is, this episode reveals how addiction ruins the lives of everyone around you.

But there’s hope. If Jasmine and I were able to conquer our failing relationship, I know you can too.

Listen to the episode now and take the first step towards healing your relationship.

Show highlights include:

  • Why struggling with a porn addiction is even harder on your wife (and how to repair your relationship) (1:28)
  • How looking at AA meetings like a school classroom helps you quit it (without relapsing to your addictive habits) (3:08)
  • The weird way to transform the collateral damage your spouse feels from your addictions into collateral healing (5:25)
  • Why your suffering “seeps” into everyone around you (and why this is reason to celebrate) (6:00)
  • How having a pornography addiction makes your wife not even want to hold your hand (10:36)
  • Are you turning your wife into a single mother because of your addictions? Here’s how it makes her feel… (11:58)
  • How addiction demolishes the trust in relationships long after you apologize (19:25)
  • The “Flashback Anger” phenomenon all wives of addicts feel at random (and how to overcome this) (19:44)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: And welcome back to the Alive and free podcast. Today and over the next few weeks, we're gonna be doing something a little bit different here. And that is we're gonna invite Jasmine back on the scene. Now for you guys who listen, this is gonna be exceptionally helpful to get a glimpse into the mind of the woman who is the wife of the guy that you've been listening to. For the women here, it's a chance to get a look at the inside the mind of someone who had to deal with all of the shenanigans that I went through from pornography, addiction and compulsive porn viewing to angry outburst at the kids to drug use to you name it, and to see how she handled things, what went on, what went on behind the scenes, how she managed to hold everything together, why she did it and all of that sort of thing. And so, buckle up for a, for a good ride and be prepared to have your eyes opened to a different perspective on things. [01:26.4]

The reason for this is because I got an email and I had some requests from women who for better or worse had been looking for some help. And what happened is and I'll read you some of what's going on here. She sent me an email and she said, she said to me, ‘when her husband find told her that he was dealing with a pornography addiction in this case, even though she thought she knew it was a straight knife to the heart.’ And in her words, ‘my entire life that I thought I had built had crumbled. And I felt so alone. He did tell a few more people and they would always call in at, to check in often, but they would always ask how he was doing. And it hurt every time I heard that. I did not have a choice in this. And I felt that that did not matter to anyone else because I'm a strong person. I was listening to your podcast and that helped me so much, but I really would've loved to hear from Jasmine on how she got through it and how to handle the emotion that was stabbing her heart.’ [02:19.5]

Now, that type of thing, she goes on later to say that she remembered searching for fear email podcast. And she says, I would find a few and get mad because they talked about living with this ongoing and it would be forever. And he would always go back to porn or drugs or whatever the situation was. And you'll never be enough. Then my anxiety monkey would jump on my back and start choking me and I would always think, man, they need to listen to Bob. And I would go back to your podcast and they would help. And so here we are in this podcast, giving a chance to hear from the other side of the story. And most of the information is not gonna be different. The message is not gonna be really much different, but the voice will be different. And I remember early on the 12 step programs that I attended, one of the best things about them was that despite many of the, the processes and stuff that they are involved in, I didn't find exceptionally helpful. [03:07.3]

And for long term recovery, no science and no research has really found it exceptionally helpful except in the, the nominal number of cases, anywhere from 8 to 15% of the people that are like that. But that means there's a vast majority of people anywhere from 85 to 92% of the people that go, that it doesn't work for. And if we were to put that in high school terms, just considering, Hey, okay, let's say we have a teacher who's been teaching for 30 years and consistently every year, 92% of the class fails. that's like, you know, in a class of 30 people, , we're talking like 27 or 28 of the students fail every year. Would it be the teacher's fault or would it be the student's fault really? Maybe here and there you'd get a class where that happens. But year in and year out for decades and decades to have that happen, auto automatically, we're gonna be looking at the curriculum, the teacher. And so, it wasn't necessarily in, there were a couple things in the 12 step programs that I think were exceptionally beautiful, like steps around becoming willing. And that's the step you're on. I'm not willing yet. Cool. So, then the step I'm on is becoming willing. The idea that I can't do the next action because I'm not yet in a place where that action doesn't scare me. So, and the step I'm on is to get over the fear. That is a beautiful thing, cause sometimes that's what happens. [04:24.7]

There's a lot of people that come to us and they're like, well, I'm afraid I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna be able to stick with it. Cool. Then let's deal with that fear first, right? And so that's a, that was a beautiful piece. Obviously being able to not feel like I was alone in the struggle initially was very, very helpful and then stopped being that way once I realized nobody in the room was really getting better. But one of the most profound things was that I was in a couple's 12 step meetings. So Jasmine was at home and I would go week in and week out to this meeting. And I would listen to what other wives were saying. And it was in hearing what was going on in their life that I able to recognize, oh my goodness, I am doing this too. Or Jasmine's been dealing with this. And that opened my eyes, not in a shame way, not in a guilt yourself and make yourself feel miserable way, but in a oh wow. The situation is bigger than I thought it was. [05:17.3]

And so, over the next couple of of weeks, we're gonna be pulling back the, the lid on that so that it can help you figure this out. Now, if you're dealing with anxiety, if you're dealing with depression, I was dealing with those things. If you're dealing with pornography or sexual addiction or compulsive use of those things, then I was dealing with those things. I was dealing with, you know, angry outbursts and wasting time online. And I got into psychedelic drugs for a period of time. All of these things were things she didn't sign up for. And there was a collateral damage, but there was also collateral healing on the other side of it. And so, yeah, maybe the struggle that we may be talking about, isn't directly linked to you, if you're dealing with anxiety or depression or PTSD or something like that. And this isn't aimed at making you feel bad that somebody else might also be suffering, what you are suffering because when you're suffering others around, you also suffer in some way, shape or form. Not that you're causing it, but everybody's dealing with the situation at hand, which means that there's tons of hope because as they heal, as you heal others around, you also get a chance to heal. [06:20.7]

So, this is a chance to see what happens when you finally take the reins in your own life. And you finally get a chance to let go of the struggle and the pain that's been there and to see just how much collateral beauty and collateral healing can happen. When you finally are able to, to clear things up for yourself and walk free of those struggles. So, we're gonna start by, I'm gonna cut out and I'm going to just give you the audio of the initial video we did for Jasmine some five years ago. Now this for context was about five years after I had been kind of cleared, cleared up my own stuff, figured out how to resolve things on my own. And she took about that long in various ways. And we'll get into that in some of the other interviews to kind of feel free of it, but it was about five years after that. So, this is a snapshot of where she was about five years after I had cleaned things out. And there was hope and you know, the possibility of a new life and whatnot. And just recently she said, we need to do another one five years after that, which would be now, which will end the series on, so that you get a sense of just how much change continues to happen and just how much freedom continues to grow inside of that process. And so, buckle up, we'll give you the audio this time. And then on the next podcast, we'll start with the interviews and we'll go from there. [07:37.7]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [08:06.4]

Jasmine: So, we were on a vacation in Hawaii, my grandma lives there. So, we were visiting her and we were just playing at the beach you know, beach day. And I think I, a wave must have come up from behind me or something, but all of a sudden, I was just underwater. And I remember just being tossed and turned in the waves and I can like still see the, the golden sand speckles and the foam and you know, the blue water just turning over me and like the struggle of like trying to breathe and the fear of not being able to, and like the ache of my lungs with the lack of oxygen.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: And thinking.

Speaker 3: This is it.

Jasmine: I'm gonna die. You know, I'm eight, I'm eight years old.

Speaker 3: Wow.

Jasmine: And I just, I remember that. And then all of a sudden, I was on shore, like washed up. So, like, I'm like on my hands and knees somehow on the shore. And I just crawl up the beach, like sandy hair everywhere, just soaking wet. And my grandma was up on the beach a little bit. Everybody else is playing all around, you know, and I crawl up and I look at my grandma and she just looks at me and smiles and then goes back to looking at everybody else. And I just sat down. I wrapped myself in a towel and I remember sitting there thinking I almost died and nobody noticed. [09:32.4]

Speaker 3: Is everybody there?

Jasmine: That is how I feel for the wives of.

Speaker 3: Porn addicts. Like you're in this thing, you feel like you're gonna die and nobody even notices. Nobody knows.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: But I know.

Speaker 3: I know how it feels.

Jasmine: It made me feel like I had a pointless role as a wife. Like I should have just been a hired servant because then at least I get paid. I wanna have this relationship with my husband, but he's busy looking at porn and masturbating in the bathroom. So, like, why am I even here? Do I go and have sex with my husband? And just feel used like an object, you know, like a piece of trash.

Speaker 3: Hmm-hmm

Jasmine: When he can go do it by himself, but I don't want him to do it by himself.

Speaker 3: You were trying to control everything that you could control.

Jasmine: Right. Because I couldn't control him.

Speaker: You couldn’t control.

Jasmine: And his addiction, like I had no control over that. So, it was like, okay, what can I control? My house, my kids. So, I would answer for him before he got to it as a way to protect my children from having a dad who's always putting them down. [10:33.4]

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm

Jasmine: With his tone.

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm

Jasmine: You know, like I couldn't like hold his hand just because I wanted to hold his hand. It was like, oh, she's holding my hand because she wants sex, so let's go have sex.

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm ,

Jasmine: You know, and that's not what I wanted. A lot of times when it was a pornography issue, I would be, I didn't want him to even touch me. He's been looking at all these other women.

Speaker3: Hmm-hmm

Jasmine: You know, and that makes me feel like trash.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: Like what are you looking at those women doing? And I, I'm never gonna compare to that.

Speaker 3: Come near to that.

Jasmine: I'm never gonna do that. I don't want to do that.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: And so like, even just to have him, like touch me at times, like I couldn't handle it. We moved to Seattle. So, he got accepted to grad school at UDub in Seattle, and we moved there. We didn't have any family around. So, we were really on our own. We were in this horrible little apartment that was like dank and dingy. And our landlords were awful. There was this change that came over where he just got darker, you know, the light went out of his eyes and he was like, he was, he just seemed to hate being home with me and the kids. He spent a lot of time at this, the studio, which he’s a master so, you expect him to be gone all the time. And one day he came home when he, they had a computer lab in the studio where he was at. And it was a small lab, not very many students, so it wasn't really used. And he came home and just said, I need to keep the door to the computer lab open cause it's just too tempting. And then from like a comment like that, I was just like, okay, so I can tell he's been looking at pornography again, but he left it at that. And so, I was like, well, maybe just not that much. There were times when he was as true as he could be, but he did leave some things out. And I found out about it. [12:20.2]

Speaker 3: To protect you.

Jasmine: No, because he was scared.

Speaker 3: Okay.

Jasmine: It was to protect himself.

Speaker 3: Okay.

Jasmine: That comment about the, the leaving the computer lab door open.

Speaker 3: Hmm-hmm

Jasmine: I, you know, it wasn't until we moved here years later, where I found out that he was spending hours at a time in that computer lab, looking at pornography and acting out in the computer lab in a public space.

Speaker 3: Wow.

Jasmine: Well, one night you know, we were, we're kind of struggling I'm by myself, single mom, two young kids, and he's dealing with the stresses of grad school and one, and I was really tired, but he was working on the computer and I just had this feeling like I should stay awake, you know, like something's gonna happen on the computer, but I was really tired and I just went to bed. 20 minutes after I fell asleep, he came in and woke me up and was like, Hey, I just got into this stuff on the computer and really sorry. And I, I just had to let you know, and I was just like, what, you know. Just like brain fog

Speaker 3: Right, coming out of your sleep.

Jasmine: Coming outta my sleep. And, and so he's, he told me, you know, like all this pornography stuff at that point, I just kind of broke down.

Like I wasn't the support of wife anymore. I was mad. I was so mad that through all this time, like he'd still been going back and back and back, I just sat there in bed crying and he just sat there watching me, you know, like, well, what do we do? So finally, he's like, well, what do you wanna do? Just like, I'm gonna punch him in the face. [13:49.7]

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: And, and you know, like I'm not violent like that, you know. And he was just like, okay, do it. And right then something clicked in my brain and I stopped crying. And I was like, I'm not gonna punch you in the face because you want me to.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: And if I punch you in the face, you're gonna think that you have like paid your dues.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: Like there's the consequence now and be done. And that's not what I want. So, I didn't do anything. I just went back to bed.

Speaker 3: Wow. [14:19.1]

Jasmine: One night we were having one of those big conversations where I was just like, look, did you do this? You know and, and he had said that he wandered into some chat rooms, many times. And the only thing that kept him from not like interacting online was because you had to pay. So, they'd get his information.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: They'd get, it wasn't even the money.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: It was that they would get his name.

Speaker 3: Right.

Jasmine: And email.

Speaker 3: And phone number.

Jasmine: And like all this stuff. And so, people would like be able to link him and that's what his worry was. And that really broke me at that point. When he proposed to me, my dad took him on a 45-minute walk and was like, divorce is not an option. You know, you work through your stuff. And so, I think he always had that in the back of his mind, like, oh, she'll never divorce me because.

Speaker 3: Hmm…hmm

Jasmine: That's what her dad said. I know that my dad would not want me to stay in a relationship that hurt me.

Speaker 3: Yes.

Jasmine: Either physically.

Speaker 3: Yeah. [15:17.5]

Jasmine: Or emotionally mentally, whatever. I know my dad would not put up with that. I mentioned, I was like, look, I I've thought about divorce before. And if, if you ever have like a, a sexual interaction, encounter with another woman, I, I think I'll be gone.

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm .

Jasmine: And that really hurt him.

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm.

Jasmine: Because it was the first time that he realized that I would just pack up and leave.

Speaker 3: Right.

Jasmine: I think a couple of days after that conversation we had, I was lying next to my husband in bed, just having a really hard time dealing with all of the, the addiction and the things that he told me a couple days earlier. And I, I was lying there and for a split second, a split second, I felt what my husband feels.

Speaker 3: Hmm-hmm

Jasmine: What Bob feels.

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm

Jasmine: I felt the self-loathing

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm

Jasmine: I felt the hate, the guilt what it's like to be addicted, you know, like I really felt like heavenly father gave me this vision of what it is like to be God and how Christ sees Bob in a fraction of a second. [16:33.8]

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: And it was only for fraction of a second because I don't think I would've been.

Speaker 3: But still.

Jasmine: Able to handle anymore.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: Me being who I am, feeling, who he was at the time, it was heartbreaking for me.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: Like my heart had been breaking anyway because what he was doing to me over and over again.

Speaker 3: But then all of a sudden, once you felt what he's felt towards himself, it almost opens up these.

Jasmine It, it did my heart.

Speaker 3: Decades of compassion.

Jasmine: Yeah. My heart broke for him at that point.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: And, you know, I just, I just laid there and sobbed. And, you know, that was really the point in our marriage where, where I decided it to stay and to work through it, because I actually felt him like who he was down at his core. I, I really love my husband. And we, we had this, you know, how, like you talk with your husband, you're like, what's your greatest fear? You know, my greatest fear is drowning. [17:31.2]

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: You know, I, I almost drown when I was eight and like, it's just drowning. But in, in the middle of all this addiction, I had this realization that my actual biggest fear would have been that I would have to leave him and and take, take the kids with me and that, that he would want me to come back and I wouldn't be able to do it. So, you know, I, I loved him through the whole process. I hated what was doing, and I hated what he was doing to me and our family, but I loved who he was. And he was, he was trying to be a good man. Nobody ever tries to, well, I mean, some people try, he, wasn't trying to like stay in, in porn and and do this, but like, it's an addiction. Like it just takes over and a, you can't get out without help. And so like, while we were trying to figure this out I just, I just really loved my husband and I, I hated everything else, what he was doing, what he was looking at. But that, that that little snippet of a vision, you know, it wasn't even a second. I wouldn't have been able to handle a full second of what he felt like really helped me to, to understand him and see him, how Christ sees him and love him, how Christ loves him. [18:59.4]

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: And that was a big and a big turning point.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: If you have building blocks and you're building this huge tower, that's as tall as you are, it takes one second to knock it down.

Speaker 3: And a while to build back.

Jasmine: But it takes a whole lot longer to build it back up.

Speaker 3: That's a great analogy.

Jasmine: And so, you know, like there was a point where he was just like, are you ever going to be able to trust me again? And I told him, I trust you with my life. I really do. I trust you with my life. I do not trust you with a computer. Forgiveness and trust are two different things.

Speaker 3: True.

Jasmine: So, I was able to forgive him again and again again, but like forgive him a lot faster than I was able to trust him, building back the trust and, and getting back a relation back on track. Sometimes I would just have random, like flashback anger. One day, one hour, like nothing triggers it. I just like get super angry. [20:05.4]

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: At him because of what he did.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: Men are wondering, why don't you trust me? It's because you've shown me in the past that I can’t trust you.

Speaker 3: That you just shattered at some.

Jasmine: And then I trusted you and then you, yeah, you knocked back down.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: It took a long time. It was baby steps, baby steps building up. And it took having a lot of conversations, a lot of safe space, you know, to even trust him where intimacy, wasn't this weird thing for me where I wasn't like, oh, is he thinking about somebody else? Or why is he wanting this?

Speaker 3: Right.

Jasmine: You know, it was just where it could just be like, we love each other.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: And we're here.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: Up until that point, everything Bob had tried to do was still like in the name of anonymity.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: Like, he didn't want anybody to know, but me.

Speaker: Yeah.

Jasmine: I was the only one that knew. So, when I asked him to go to these meetings.

Speaker 3: Hmm-hmm

Jasmine: I was so scared, he was gonna say no.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: But he said, yes. And then like I spent the next week just praying that he would have the courage to drive there and then to get out of the car.

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: And not just sit in the parking, not for that whole hour.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: And like get in and he did, and he, you know, I was just on pins and needles for the whole time he was gone. [21:15.1]

Speaker 3: Hmm.

Jasmine: And he came back and he just said it was the best experience to be able to finally, umm.

Speaker 3: Take that first step.

Jasmine: Yeah, to take that first step. So, the addiction recovery program is we feel like it is a great starting space.

Speaker 3: Start, right.

Jasmine: It's a great place to start. They've got some really good things.

Speaker 3: But you have to go deeper.

Jasmine: You have figured out some other stuff to be able to continue and to move on and to put your husband back into a place of power instead of being a victim all the time.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: You know, from the addiction, like he's, he's figured out something through all of this training that he spent years and years doing. And at the time I was just like, oh, it's another thing that he's gonna go spend money on.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: Everything he tried, he's found bits and pieces to help.

Speaker 3: He put together his own.

Jasmine: Really get, get the men back on their feet instead of like overcoming it and then maybe back sliding, you know, six months a year later. [22:08.8]

Jasmine: That was the old Bob. He's not even the same person anymore.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: He has changed so, so much.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: Even the way he looks, the way he carries himself.

Speaker 3: Hmm-Hmm

Jasmine: So, like when we were in Seattle, he was getting his masters in Fine Arts and painting and drawing. And he did some self-portraits at like two o'clock in the morning, probably right after he had been on porn and he would go in the bathroom and he did some sketches and I hate those pictures.

Speaker 3: Wow.

Jasmine: I cannot look at those pictures.

Speaker 3: Wow.

Jasmine: Because I see it.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: In his sketches, I can see the addiction. I can see the darkness.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: I can see the hate and the anger. Umm…and he is completely different now. That's like, it's a different person.

Speaker 3:

Jasmine: His, he stands up straighter, you know, he's not like always slumped or carrying us huge weight.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Jasmine: His, you know, chin up.

Speaker 3 That's awesome. [23:04.8]

Jasmine: It's, it's amazing. Bob has been years through, through our marriage and through the addiction, trying to find different ways to help himself. But like the result of that was he gathered all these different ways of, hmm healing from the addiction. Not like managing but healing. It's been awesome, you know, it's like he takes care of the, the kids more. He he, he just brought me this flower. We have pretty open communication, which was something that was really hard for me to learn intimacy with my husband is a safe place now. I don't feel pressured. I don't feel used. It's, it really has become a place where we can come together and just be together and love each other and, and even learn new things, you know, but it, it is a safe place. Bob has become the leader of our family. I don't, don't feel like I have to drag him along with everybody else and pick up the pieces and hold everything together. [24:09.8]

Bob is the leader of the family. And I love that. It's really important to me to do this because I've been there. I know what it's like to be the wife of a porn addict. But now I know what it's like to be the, of someone who's not addicted to porn. And that is just amazing. If you, if you have any questions you know, get ahold of us. We, we'd be love to love to answer them for you and see if we can help. See if we can help get you and your family, pass the addiction so that it's no longer even there. [24:48.1]

Bob: And that wraps up Jasmine's snapshot of that was the initial video that we had made of her talking about her side of the story. Next week, we'll go with some live interviews, so stay tuned. [24:59.1]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [25:17.8]

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