Jan 9, 2014

Full Discloser: To disclose or not to disclose?

Full disclosure. What is it? Honestly it seems that every single website ive seen and every single therapist I read about or talked to has their own opinion on what entails within Full Disclosure (from now on i May abbreviate as FD). How much does the addict tell the spouse? How much exact detail? What about the gory details? Does the spouse even NEED to know all these things? Maybe...maybe not. But shouldnt that ONLY be left up to the spouse to decide? Doesnt it depend on the addict? I find it incredibly odd that anyone (addict, friends, counselor, bishop) would ever just go ahead and decide for the spouse. I read an amazing article on rowboatandmarbles.org (Link here Myths ) by Shay on dispelling myths about how sex addiction impacts the spouse, I almost about jumped for joy and did a dance, myth #1 read :

"1.    You should protect your wife/yourself from the more damaging details and effects of the addiction.

“I’m not sure that she needs to know all of the serious details, it would just hurt her.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t tell her everything.”
“You don’t really want to know all of the details.  It would be too painful.”
Often times the wife is treated with kid gloves and given the impression that she is weak and fragile.  As if too much information may be irreparably damaging to her.  Maybe a wife shouldn’t know every detail, but that is her place to decide that.  Not her clergy, not her family or friends and it is certainly not her husband’s decision.  No one knows her strength and capability better than she does.  Listen to the advice you are given, feel it out in your heart and make the choice that is best for you.  When deciding how much information you need, one therapist recommended asking yourself, “How would knowing this information help me heal?” And if you choose to leave out details or receive less information, which many women do, that does not make you weak or fragile, it makes you self aware.  Self awareness is strength. "
Im not sure I could ever explain it better than that. KNOWING OR NOT KNOWING IS OUR CHOICE, and thats not up to anyone else to decide. I honestly think leaving that crucial decision up to ANYONE else (not even a Bishop, Sponser, or Counselor) can actually be very harmful for the spouse and addict husband, even dangerous! 
And WHY is honesty and Full Disclosure so important to me? For me and my kids SAFETY. Because of my husbands constant lying and refusal/inability to be completely honest in the past I couldnt ever be sure if we were safe. I needed to know. Details of a disclosure or relapse aren't what leave me traumatized, its lying that leaves me traumatized. Sure, its painful. But having the bandaid pulled off quickly and letting it sting for a little bit is so much easier to tolerate, then for the bandaid to be pulled off so slowly that i feel every agonizing hair being pulled out hair by hair.

Without complete FD, my husband had no fighting chance. He may be sober for now, but he will never ever EVER get into recovery if hes not continually honest. Its not about the mistakes. I understand mistakes, I am a recovering alcoholic, drug addict, sex addict and food addict, among others. I KNOW MISTAKES VERY WELL. Im OK with my husband making mistakes and struggling, in fact it brings me the most happiness when he lets me help him get thru the hard times WITH him. But I will not tolerate lies. 
I want us to be happy. I want my kids to have a loving father. I want us to be an eternal family. I want us to get through this together so we can become closer and stronger then EVER.
But honesty and disclosure are always required in order to achieve this.