What I mean is that going forward I know that I have safeguards in place for ME. Period. I don't obsess about it. I don't check up on him daily, weekly or even monthly at this point. But I know that I CAN. I just need to know that I can if my gut tells me I need to. If I find anything, I'm gone. Period. That is my safety net. He will not gaslight me again. Ever. This is what I need to do for myself. If it doesn't work for others they don't need to do it. What works for some doesn't work for others.
He has been truly sexually sober for almost a year. (He hasn't fucked anyone in over two years.) I'm very proud of him and how hard he works at his recovery. I still don't trust him 100% and I never will. Frankly, that's just simple self preservation. He is an ADDICT. He will always be an ADDICT. Odds are he's going to act out. If he does and he comes to me and tells me and it hasn't progressed to physically cheating, we'll work it out. If he acts out and doesn't tell me, I'm gone, no matter what the infraction, even just looking at porn or masturbating. The problem there will not be that he acted out, the problem will be that he kept it secret and/or lied. I will not tolerate any more secrets or lies. If he fucks anyone else, I'm gone, of course, that's a gimme. So, I have my safeguards in place for when I need them. I haven't for several months.
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
7yrs, the bottom lines for your relationship sound very similar to mine. My H and I actually wrote out a contract :) I accept that he will have slips as an addict, but he must tell me within 24 hours and we will try to look at what happened objectively. Absolutely no EA or PA with another woman or I will leave. We are shooting for complete transparency in our M. I really appreciate your post about maintaining the ability to check up but not doing it obsessively...about not giving him that kind of power over you again. This felt right to me. Currently, I check up about once a month, and I find I am checking less and less as time goes by. Yet, I really have difficulty believing a higher power is going to tell me if my H is lying, and I would feel much better at least knowing that I could check up if I want to. I will keep in mind the caution to not get obsessive about it. Thankyou.
tlsmi, thankyou for your perspective. I can SOOO relate to the benefits of S-Anon, but also the way it has become a bit obsessive in my own life. I am told my group isn't the healthiest either, so I will be attending another one (further away) about once a month. I am also applying for jobs, slowly, but it is all part of recovery for me. Your post really helped me, and thanks for telling me I'll be okay...I wonder sometimes, and it's nice to hear it from someone who's been there.
Shenpal, I am really interested in hearing how you did the 180 with yourself. I have always wanted to try it, but since my H wanted to R immediately and backed it up with his actions, I didn't try it. I was under the impression that it was meant for BS whose partners were in the fog and weren't putting effort into R. Your idea of doing it with yourself really intrigues me.
I love him, but I love myself, my sanity, and my happiness more.
The response about 'knowing'...that is so true. I took my blinders off over two years ago. Well, I was forced to take them off.
It was a heart breaking moment and later a little bit of gratitude. I know, being grateful for this sh*t?
Why? Because now I know.
F*ck you for the realization... but thank you for it anyway.
There is power in that.
WH went to IC for the first time last Friday. There were a few issues to work on but he and the IC are starting with his internet porn addiction.
What should I expect? He is supposed to look into meetings, but what can I do? I don't want to be all co-dependent, BTDT.
I'm happy he's getting help and we have had the most incredible weekend connecting with one another for the first time in a long time.
I want that trend to continue.
"Beauty is between one's ears anyway, isn't it?"
I strongly suggest you find a counselor with expertise in helping spouses/partners of sex addicts. A group can also be extremely helpful.
I know that in the 12 step tradition, one of the steps is making amends to people you have hurt. Does this mean WH will need to, at some point, contact the Other Women to make amends to those he hurt (some were ONS, just friends type thing, others were LTA's)?
That is a concern for me (though I know it is way down the road).
Ummm...is it okay if I PM you with more personal type questions that I don't want to spill all over this thread?
Does this mean WH will need to, at some point, contact the Other Women to make amends
It is my personal opinion that this is absolutely unacceptable. NC means NC. Period. My FWH is attending a group but not a 12 step program. He may at some point in the future. I will make it clear to him that contacting anyone with whom he cheated on me is a deal breaker. I will leave. It's one thing to make amends to me and others he hurt in his acting out but he did not hurt the women who were willingly and knowingly having an affair with a married man, they hurt themselves.
PM me anytime.
He says he can't go without sex and is having a hard time working at reconciling because things aren't happening fast enough, but of course, I don't want to touch him at present. I'm still so angry and my self-esteem is at rock bottom. help...
D-Day 1: Nov 2004
D-Day 2: Feb 10, 2007
D-Day3: Oct. 29, 2007
how stupid AM i?
Kids: 2 girls 9 and 12
Married 18 yrs.
Same problem different forms...
Which proves that it is not us...their addictions are a deep seeded emotional problem they have to work out to be healthy adults.
Hopefully you can find things outside of your marriage to build your esteem back up. I made a list of things I have always wanted to do and done a few of them...it has helped.
[This message edited by sheltered at 8:14 PM, July 24th (Tuesday)]
My FWH is part of SAA and I just asked him about the "making amends with the OW". He said definitely not. It is actually one of the steps that you only make amends IF it will not hurt or cause harm to anyone, like your wife. Therefore, you don't make amends to the OW.
Our IC/MC also said that she sees people addicted to one thing switch to another addiction after treatment. She has especially seen alcoholics switch to gambling addicts. Apparently, an addictive personality can be addicted to anything. I think my H was also addicted to exercise and when this didn't meet his needs, he added the EA/PA's he got from the OW.
Personally, I feel that the more I understand about SA, the more I can do to help myself survive all of this.
Just wanted to set the record straight about the steps. Here is a quote about step 9 from my H's SA book, on pg. 123:
"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."
I had the same fear as you, DownNotOut, that my H would be making amends to the OW, but he set that straight for me. He told me that he knew it would injure himself, me, and our relationship too much to make amends to the OW and that he would absolutely not break NC for that reason. I am so thankful he felt that way and I am very glad the step to make amends has an "except" clause :)
[This message edited by jessjane at 9:26 PM, July 24th (Tuesday)]
[This message edited by jessjane at 9:37 PM, July 24th (Tuesday)]
jessjane: Thanks for the direct quote from the book. Breaking NC to work a Step is totally unacceptable to me. Glad to see that I am not the only one!
Sadly, I've been reading about "addiction switching" here.
I'm hoping he can learn healthy coping mechanisms and not end up addicted to anything else.
I'm the child of addicts. I'm addicted to food. I use "retail therapy" to calm me. So I too have issues that I am working on.
I feel like history is repeating itself.
My point? Apologizing to these 'victims' of your spouses sex addiction more often that not elicits no positive feedback. Men/women who sleep with married/committed men/women have their own issues. Otherwise they would be not be doing what they do. Let them work out their own demons. Contacting them again can be very detrimental, IMHO.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 8:59 PM, July 25th (Wednesday)]
I really agree. I decided (with my H's support) to email the OW to make sure they had received no contact letters. I ended up getting a lot more information than I needed and feeling even more traumatized by the whole thing. One OW said "I could tell you all kinds of things your H has said, but I think you need to work that out on your own. Personally, I don't think a man like that will ever change" (she was lied to as well). Boy, was I just like a fish getting tempted to bite when she said that. Like, what kinds of things did he say? etc. Thinking maybe the information would help me protect myself or something, but ultimately deciding that it would just be very harmful to me and to our R. Of course he said things to her that would be upsetting to me...I don't need to know exactly what to know that it happened. He lied to her, he was in "addict mode" and I have no interest in traumatizing myself further with those kinds of details. So, I established NC with the OW as well, but had a few really hard days because of that contact.
After H went through some dissapointments last summer and after I unintentionally withdrew myself emotionally when I found out about my last pregnancy which was unplanned.
2. How does your SA act out & how much verifying do you do?
It was online porn and websites such as AFF. He cheated on me with women from those sites in 2 separate occassions.
3. Has the SA had relapses / slips?
He admitted to backsliding 3 weeks ago and hasn't since.
4. Do you have kids?
Yes, a girl, 17 months and 2 boys, 2 weeks old.
5. Brief description of what brought you to SI?
I seriously considered divorce on dday1 but my H begged me to try to make things work and since we've been together for 4 years, it's hard for me to just walk out on this. I googled those words "surviving infidelity" and this site was on the top of the list.
6. What would you say are the biggest barriers to reconciliation / recovery?
When WS constantly reminds me of the events that contributed to cheating, especially my part in all this.
7. Would you say you had a good relationship prior to the cheating & what made it that way?
Yes, we had a lot in common. I was the one who built him up when he was going through difficult times. He made me feel loved and attractive. He loved me because I made him feel loved and needed and that he was worth something but sadly, during my last pregnancy I took him for granted.
8. Current status?
Married with no divorce ever filed. We have really been just in a sort of limbo / new damage hell for now. He's trying to help salvage our marriage, however, after a counseling session with our pastor, he's lost hope and is having doubts.
When WS constantly reminds me of the events that contributed to cheating, especially my part in all this.
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!!! Hon, if he is a sex addict then there is NOTHING you could have done differently. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!! HE is broken! DO NOT LET HIM BLAME SHIFT ONTO YOU!
Sounds to me like you need a different counselor. Your WH needs to find a counselor who is certified to treat sexual addiction. You need a marriage counselor who knows how to treat couples dealing with sexual addiction. You need to find a support group for yourself too.
THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!!
You said "He loved me because I made him feel loved and needed and that he was worth something but sadly, during my last pregnancy I took him for granted."
I just wanted to say that you are lovable for who you are, not what you do for your H. You are beautiful and unique and you deserve to be loved for that. YOU are worth something too! You are worthy of being loved for who you are alone.
There are many reasons to take a spouse for granted. In my own case, my H's addiction had become so all encompassing that I began to feel abandoned. He no longer wanted to do anything with me, and I ended up by myself all the time. After about a year of that, I gave up on asking him to go to the movies or out for a walk with me. I even enjoyed when he was not at home because I felt harassed for sex when he was home. I now know the reason I felt so lonely and became so apathetic about my H...he had effectively stopped living and was acting out all of the time. I really believe that no marriage problem happens in a bubble. Even if your reasons are different from mine, there is likely a context and an explanation for why you took your spouse for granted.
Still, it is ok to take responsibility for taking your H for granted, but IMHO not good for either of you if you take responsibility for his decision to betray you or act out. That's all his. He needs to take responsibility for his part, too!
I struggle with this myself...thinking I could have been a better W somehow (sexier, smarter etc.) but I know that's just my insecurity talking. My H acted out because he has an addiction. It has nothing to do with me.
So sorry you are going through this. (((Hugs))) Hang in.