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marriage vs affair vs SA

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RightTrack posted 7/29/2013 04:28 AM

This is a concept/problem I have been kicking around. My WH has been doing everything possible to strengthen our marriage and become a better father BUT it's not necessarily what I need to heal from the affair or from his SA.

He has yet to finish even one book I'd like him to read. He has stopped (after 1 yr) going to IC, he says he's gotten everything out of it he can. He never volunteers anything about the 2 yr affair. He says he "can't remember" much of it and he "does't want to remember" it.

As far as the SA goes, he was calling her 10x a day for two years hoping for phone sex each time but having to "put up with listening to her" most of the time. He says he only ever saw her for sexy week-ends so she'd keep up the phone sex.

This all seems so strange and foreign to me. I am very happy with all the work he now is doing in our marriage. "All the things he should have been doing before," per him.

I don't know what I need to feel secure about the other things, all I know is that I DON'T think he's doing enough. He is very happy now with me and with the kids. It seems like he only gets motivated to change when I threaten divorce.

I don't want to get divorced, I don't want to keep threatening it either.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Similar thoughts and/or solutions?

AFrayedKnot posted 7/29/2013 06:59 AM

I can totally relate. We (I) hit that point about 9 months after Dday.
We had been working very hard on fixing our relationship. Better partners better parents. My fWS had working on her addiction issues as well. I felt like she was getting better and our family was getting better but I wasn't getting better. It was a big turning point in our R.

We sat down and made a chart of areas that needed work. We broke it down into 3 columns: Heal from the past, maintain the present, build a future. We wrote everything we could think of that we needed to do for each of those catagories, from paying the cable bill to reading "not just friends" to planning date nights.

Then we took those and divided them up into: What I need to do for me, What she needed to do for her, and What we needed to do for us.

We had a Battle Plan!!! Right there in black and white!!!

Every Sunday we would evaluate how the past week went, what got done and what didn't. We would plan the following week depending on what needed attention. Most of the time we would catch it before it got to the point where I threatened to leave.

[This message edited by Chicho at 7:01 AM, July 29th (Monday)]

Knowing posted 7/29/2013 07:19 AM

You list 3, maybe 4 things he could do to help make you feel more secure and heal from his A:

1. Read or just finish a book about infidelity... I say read as many as you can.

2. Go back to IC. And I agree with this. Addicts are never cured, they can find recovery, but recovery is a lifelong process. He hasn't even been in IC for as long as he was in the A? That's really not taking responsibility for his actions.

3. Bring up the A once in a while, his thoughts, discoveries, feelings, etc...

4. Answer your questions, help you make sense of his A and stop answering with "I don't know" and "I don't remember".

If you start with those things you might find some relief, feel like you've made some progress and feel more secure.

LA44 posted 7/29/2013 07:35 AM

I really like the responses from Chicho and Knowing. Do you have things that you feel YOU need to do RightTrack? I know I need to work on my anger management which flares up 1-2x month and is usually around my period. I also want both of us to read a great marriage book. We have both read 3 books on infidelity.

Funny but last night we sat down and I initiated a convo about future ie: a family trip and a trip for us. He's a financial advisor so we know all about planning for something big and we need to start saving now.

We also talked about learning something together - ie: dance lessons or cooking classes. We are going to try for dance. Maybe cooking is a winter thing.

But I like the chart idea and the checking in every week. I know my in-laws do this every month and then they do a year in review on New Year's Day. They have been married for 20+ years now (it was FIL's second marriage which started as an A).

JustWow posted 7/29/2013 07:46 AM

Really, if he is not continuing his recovery process, he is NOT doing eveything he can to strengthen your M or become a better father.

As someone already mentioned, addicts are never cured, and recovery is lifelong.

Does he have a CSAT?
Is he in a 12 step group?
Does he have a sponsor?
Has he worked the 12 steps?
Is he even sober?

Heck, step 9 is making amends, so I'm going to guess that he'd need to do a healthy portion of that with you, so you'd likely know it if he ever got to step 9.

We've been on the long road of R with SA for about 5 years. I did IC with a CSAT who specializes in working with spouses, H sees his CSAT once or twice a month, we see a CSAT MC once or twice a month.

It is a long road. I'm pretty sure the 2-5 year statistic you hear about R does NOT include addicts in the computation.

It takes 2 healthy people to have a healthy M, and an addict has a lot of work to do to just get to the starting line.

Living with an addict can cause trauma and/or codependent behaviors in the spouse. You need to find stability on your on for yourself.

Then, the M can be addressed.

My H started after dday with a garden variety IC who had no clue how to identify or treat SA. Then he had another quite similar one. Two and a half years wasted - oh but those guys were covered by our insurance - so that seemed like the "smart"" path to take. Not so much.

So dday was in Spring of 2006, but H didn't even begin recovery till summer of 2008. And it will be a lifelong journey.

Bobbi_sue posted 7/29/2013 07:59 AM

I don't want to get divorced, I don't want to keep threatening it either.

Some won't like my answer and it is something I say a lot: You can't change anybody but yourself. It really sounds like you want him to change into what you feel would be the ideal mate, or at least the ideal Wayward spouse.

I'm not sure based on what you said that he is an SA, but that is beside the point. He definitely betrayed you.

My H has a bad memory and never gave me many details of the A. He also did not read any books and didn't go to IC. At all. He would have done MC if I insisted, but I did not insist and he didn't.

He did say he would do "whatever I asked" and I believe he meant that but I never really asked him to do things out of character, like reading books and joining forums.

Instead, I left him to his own devices, and much to my surprise, the fact he became a better husband and "does the things he should have been doing before" actually means a lot to me. That, combined with the fact that my H's remorse is blatantly obvious, even now, seven years later, is all I need to assure me that I made the right decision (for me) to stay with him.

I'm saying that is up to you to decide. Either you accept him as he is now, or you make a decision to not just threaten divorce, but actually do it. I'm not saying you should accept him as he is if you don't want to. But only he can change himself. This need not be taken so literal as to think that you can't continue to talk to him about what you would like from him, but the bottom line is that you have to choose whether to accept who he is and stay married anyway, or get a D. And I'm saying either choice is just as respectable in my view.

RightTrack posted 7/29/2013 19:22 PM

Thank you for the suggestions and support. We'll talk about it tonight. He's not using the SA term, his counselor isn't a SA counselor and I don't know what CSAT is. I think visiting a specialized counselor even just once to get an opinion would be a good idea. He is, as far as I can tell, 100% off porn and hasn't had any cyber or phone sex since a month before dday. Is this SA sobriety?

JustWow posted 7/29/2013 20:36 PM

A CSAT is a certified sex addiction therapist. You can find a directory by geographic area at:

Sobriety means no acting out on his addicttion at all, that really is work for he and his CSAT. Usually sober means no sex at all except with your spouse or significant other that you have an emotionally intimate relationship with. Ususally means no other sex, including with just himself.

But again, that is for he and his CSAT to work out - I'm no expert on anyone beside me

Check out the thread in I Can Relate for Partners and Spouses of SA's - it is a great supportive bunch at various stages in the process.

Do not neglect your own work. All BS's have experienced trauma, but maybe BS's of SA's even more so.


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