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Actionsoverwords posted 1/16/2014 08:19 AM

I've disclosed many new things to my BW and I am seeing her hurt and it kills me. I begin to detach and focus on my own feelings and start resenting her. I ask myself, "I told you the actual violations of our marriage. Everything else is just details."

I know this behavior and thought process is hateful and unfair to my wife and I apologize after it occurs, but I am not having any success stopping my behavior. I have read the healing library article guide for WS supporting their BS and I have not done a great job of processing it.

Does anyone have any advice? How did you deal with facing the consequences of your deception and supporting your betrayed spouse?

Kelany posted 1/16/2014 08:39 AM

Yikes. Yeah, there is no room for resentment on your part here.

First, you say you've disclosed many new things. Why haven't you disclosed EVERYTHING to her yet? This is so damaging to her. It brings her back to day 1 every single time you do this. You're protecting yourself here, not her. This is trickle truth and you can not even begin true reconciliation until you come clean about EVERYTHING. You owe her the truth of everything.

Second, many of us BS *NEED* the details. Read "Joseph's Letter"

This explains why.

*I* needed details because I wanted any and all secrets that my husband had with his AP's to be exposed. I wanted to take that intimacy he had with them away.

Also, what my imagination pictured was far worse than the reality. Hearing the details was PAINFUL, but it was also healing. Knowing it wasn't some magical fairytale romance with passion was helpful to me.

I also asked him questions repeatedly because it helped me gauge if he was lying or not. If answers changed, if details changed.

My advice? Quit leaking the details and give it all to her. You're torturing her. You're killing her slowly.


How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair

Not "Just Friends"

These are excellent books.

You don't mention if your in MC or IC. I would look into IC and start working on yourself big time. You need to be helping HER heal, not protecting yourself. You blew up her world, the last thing you should be is resenting her and detaching from her.

introspect posted 1/16/2014 11:34 AM

Have you explained the thought process you go through to your BW, focusing on the fact that you know it's not a helpful or appropriate reaction? My fWH went though a similar process. His general emotional MO used to be to shut down when confronted with emotions that made him uncomfortable or when he felt attacked. He would get quiet and become resentful and we would not communicate. It helped our communication and helped him support me when he (1) explained his thought process and the fact that he was trying to change it to me in a calm moment when I was not triggering and (2) made an effort to stay in the moment when's was triggering. It was difficult but we found that if he actually said the words -- "I want to be here for you but I am starting to feel resentful. I don't want to shutdown. I love you and i am sorry i hurt you." -- it helped him snap out of that mindset and also helped me talk about what i was feeling more calmly. Might not work for all, but that's what helped us.

[This message edited by introspect at 11:34 AM, January 16th (Thursday)]

Actionsoverwords posted 1/16/2014 11:37 AM

Thank you for your response, and book suggestions, SamanthaBaker.

I have been protecting myself and continue to protect myself instead of my wife. I have been trickle-truthing for years. I wrote a timeline and disclosed it, but it wasn't until the day after that we were going through questions she had for me, that I remembered another acting out episode. It sounds crazy, but I have acted out in more and more sick ways and I guess it speak to how sick I am that some of those things don't even register unless it is brought up by another topic.

I am an SA on my third or fourth IC. We were in MC years ago, but as with everything, I lied to everyone involved and my BW is not currently interested in MC until/unless I own my shit and make progress.

Kelany posted 1/16/2014 11:49 AM

Ah, that helps. My husband is also SA. Is your IC a CSAT? If not, are you in a 12 step SA group? If not, get in one.

Have you read anything by Patrick Carnes? I recommend "Out of the Shadows" excellent for SA.

My husband kick started his recovery by going to a three day intensive SA recovery program by Every Man's Battle. It's fantastic. He also went to SA meetings 3 times per week.

Are you still acting out? Even with porn? If so, disclose it to your wife and shut it down. Transparency is key. Getting support from an outside source for your addiction is necessary.

Actionsoverwords posted 1/16/2014 12:05 PM

I am currently in the process of locating an CSAT who is in network. I've read out of the shadows and don't call it love by Patrick Carnes, been in an "S" recovery group, but I continued to act out.

Some context:

Been in false recovery for close to six years, trickled truths, lies continue. Not currently using porn and have not engaged in bottom line behaviors which include sex outside of marriage, prostitutes, affairs, or sexual contact with anyone for the last 6 years. Compulsive masturbation and sexualizing every women never stopped. I am white knuckling the last part right now.

I am always remorseful after I begin resenting and brig angry with my wife, but am not catching myself in time to stop the behavior. I feel extremely entitled and I feel like I am not able to change.

Actionsoverwords posted 1/16/2014 12:10 PM


What you described about your fWH fits me to a "T". Thanks for the advice. Communication was something that I never worked on and I have to do a much better job at it.

Kelany posted 1/16/2014 12:28 PM

First, I want to commend you for being so open, this is great.

So, you know quite a bit about SA, which is fantastic, and you admit to white knuckling it. So you know what you NEED to do, it's just a matter of how to do it?

First, do you WANT to? Like deep down, do you truly want to stop your behavior? If the answer is yes, then that's a great thing.

My husband was VERY emotionally detached. He's got a lot of FOO issues. MC was a disaster at first due to his lies, his emotional avoidance, and his inability to communicate. He would get very resentful, he would shut down, or he would self depreciate. Sometimes it was manipulation of me, other times, not.

We worked hard at communication with our MC.

We both had to learn to not let things escalate beyond a certain point. If one of us was overwhelmed, we needed to say so, and the other needed to accept that. Shelve the discussion after we took a breather and respect it.

I learned to not be accusatory with my questioning. I learned to really control my tone of voice, breathe through the painful stuff. I would write my questions down, so that I could keep control. I would write his answers down so I could remember them and ask for clarification if I needed to.

We would limit the Q&A sessions, shorter at first, then longer when we were able to emotionally handle it better.

If I started to see him shut down, I tried (not always successful, lol) to stop for the time being.

I asked him to understand that I needed the details and why and ultimately it was to help me heal.

There were times that were absolutely brutal. I won't lie and say that there weren't times that we didn't lose it. That he didn't spend a night out on the couch, and well I set some of his clothes on fire in the driveway the morning after DDay2. So I'm by no means perfect. But we just kept pushing through.

My husband still has a difficult time "feeling" his emotions because he shut them off for so long and compartmentalized. It's hard for him to feel the depth of his actions, he said that to me the other day in fact. But he realizes the good it brings too.

One thing about the compulsive masturbation and sexualizing women. It's a cycle. You know masturbation leads to fantasizing, which leads to the need for your drug, which leads to masturbations, which leads to...and so on. Have you thought about stopping? My husband used to masturbate 3-4 times a day, home, work, in his car, whatever. He no longer does this because it causes the compulsive needs. Mutual masturbation? Sure. Solo? No. This was something he decided to do and I fully support it.

As for visualizing other women? He has to shut it down immediately. If he see's someone that he might begin to visualize, he turns away, and starts to think of something safe. Our kids, a special memory, etc. A friend of ours starts reciting scripture verses. Hell you can recite the dictionary, it doesn't matter, it just gives you a distraction until the moment passes.

Also what helped him was going on an anti-depressant due to a post DDay diagnosed personality disorder (mood disorder/cyclothymia, narcissistic personality disorder and OCD). He's on Effexor and wellbutrin. It has really helped with his insatiable urges a lot. He really is happier not thinking about sex literally every minute of every day.

Actionsoverwords posted 1/16/2014 13:04 PM

I have use the tools that you described to combat the looking and fantasizing and for a time they work. I start to believe I can "control" myself and down I go into the rabbit hole. I am on anti-depressants, opiate blockers, nightmare/dream inhibitors and despite those things, I am not on the road to honesty and R.

I love my wife. I love her and am dying inside knowing that I am doing this to her. I am ashamed that I love myself more than her, but I WANT to change. I feel hopeless at times and at other times, full of hope.

Kelany posted 1/16/2014 14:35 PM

Are you CURRENTLY in a SA group? I not why?

Do you have a sponsor? If not, why?

Are you working the steps in the white book? If not, why?

Do you have an accountability partner? If not, why?

Just trying to get you to dig.

When you lie, do you do it instinctively, do you do it with an actual purpose, is it impulsive? Have you figured out why you lie? Not just to your wife, but your therapist, your group, etc.

Have you allowed yourself to be vulnerable? What are your fears? Do you trust your wife to still love you if you let your walls down?

Actionsoverwords posted 1/16/2014 23:03 PM

Are you CURRENTLY in a SA group? I not why?
Do you have a sponsor? If not, why?

I am not in any "S" recovery groups currently. I had a sponsor, but he began to 13-step and I had no guts to call him out it and instead, broke off contact. I am involved in another non-denominational recovery group, but just started participating there yesterday.

Are you working the steps in the white book? If not, why?

No step work currently for the aforementioned reason. When I was working the steps, I was on step 3.

Do you have an accountability partner? If not, why?

No one holds me accountable. No close friends to speak of. Not religious and no other outlets.

Just trying to get you to dig.

When you lie, do you do it instinctively, do you do it with an actual purpose, is it impulsive? Have you figured out why you lie? Not just to your wife, but your therapist, your group, etc.

The lies come out before the thought or thoughts are processed in my head. I lie out of convenience, to boost my image, to benefit from something, for sheer lack of control, etc.

Have you allowed yourself to be vulnerable? What are your fears? Do you trust your wife to still love you if you let your walls down?

I have never allowed myself to be vulnerable. I fear being abandoned, alone, and unloved. I don't believe or trust that my wife will still love me.

I disclosed everything tonight and told her that I would talk about everything with her as long and as much as she would like. I read How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair earlier today and am trying to detach from my own feelings, to focus on her.

It is tough and I don't know if we are going to make it. It has been years and years of my selfish addiction and I just pray that it is not too late.

Actionsoverwords posted 1/20/2014 19:15 PM

Just checking in here and hoping everyone is doing well.

Yesterday, during a conversation with my BW, I repeated the same childish behavior that I always exhibit when I am feeling overwhelmed, picked on, self pitying, and self involved. I gave her the silent treatment and behaved like an asshole. I acted on impulse on a number of occasions.

1) After she brought up an SA retreat (that she had looked into and spoon fed to me) and asked why I had not looked into it, I pouted, then went to another room and registered for the retreat and then began looking for plane tickets to the retreat. Only after she asked me what I was doing did I tell her. On top of that, I then tell her the weekend that I go on this retreat would be a good weekend for her to take our DS and go see her family. Needless to say, I did not confer with her at all before charging ahead.

2) Used my DS as an emotional/security blanket and made a parenting decision without consulting with my BS, directly violating our agreement to do so.

3) Without consulting my wife, I made a decision on what kind of keylogger to install on our new laptop (to setup boundaries for me because of my reckless and dangerous behavior and to keep me accountable) and installed said keylogger. It ends up being malware and I spent another hour trying to remove the malware. Of course, this is a computer that we both share and I didn't consult her or ask how she felt about it.

This isn't the first or fiftieth time that I've behaved selfishly and without regard to our family. This is something that I continually do and every time I am called out on it, I am dumbfounded as to why I did it. It seems like I don't even recognize when I am doing it and it feels like I operated on auto-pilot.

How do I change this behavior? If I am not able to recognize when I am being selfish and interrupt the action, is there anything else I can do?

My wife read an online assessment of NPD and I checked off more than a majority of the boxes that would indicate the presence of NPD. Can anyone here offer any advice or share their experience?

JustWow posted 1/20/2014 20:04 PM

You may really want to try to step up the search for a CSAT and an SA group that works.

SA is primarily an INTIMACY disorder, that manifests itself when the addict medicates emotional pain with the sexual high. Until you get some better, healthy coping skills, AND stop all of the addictive acting out, you may be trying to help your BS, but you just don't have the tools to do this.

Our CSAT (yes, many practices of CSATS have ICs that specialize in treating the addict, the spouse and even MC's) had a beginning seminar that was like a 3 month intensive workshop each Saturday that really did a good job of stopping the bad behaviors and cycles, stopping the addictive behavior, and beginning to get healthy.

We did what you're doing, or trying to do. It causes more hurts. It takes 2 healthy people to build a healthy relationship, so your urgent priority should be steps to emotional health - sobriety and recovery.

Good luck.

SurprisinglyOkay posted 1/20/2014 21:05 PM

If you replace your SA with drug addiction, you describe me to "T". My addiction encompassed using people, shopping, sex, etc. Not just drugs. Anything to make me feel "better"

The ONLY way out of it for me was to attend meetings, Use my sponsor, reach out to other recovering addicts for help (which can be really hard), And do my step work.

Step work has been the key for me. It has helped me and so many others begin to live authentic lives. To be an adult.
It helped me to remove myself from self pity, manipulation, guilt, dishonesty, etc.

I have so far yet to go, but damn I've come a long way.

Recovery has saved my life. But you have to want it. Really, truly, want it.

Lionne posted 1/20/2014 22:02 PM

Wow, actions, you are getting excellent advice from first hand experts.

I'm going to reiterate what the others said, based on my own experiences with my husband. He DID NOT truly begin to change some of those same behaviors until he started seeing his CSAT, using his sponsor and 12 step fellowship program MINDFULLY, and PURPOSEFULLY. He, too, isn't religious. That shouldn't stop you. It was a few years AFTER sobriety before we actually saw changes that we can call recovery.

Network CSAT? Out of pocket is cheaper than divorce. Don't let insurance issues show you down from getting the help you need. Your BS needs a CSAT, too.

Kudos on asking the hard questions, and really digging deep. SA is a hard issues to beat. But you can do it...

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