Listen to 7years and jessjane and now me. Remind yourself daily of the support for partners of Sex Addicts 12 step program:
I did not cause it.
I cannot cure it.
It is NOT my fault.
I was married almost 31 years before my husband crossed the line. Like your husband, he started with AFF and that progressed to PalTalk. He had two one night stands and then a four month affair. When he initially hinted at my contribution to this, I felt the same sort of guilt. But you know what? I could not bring myself to have sex with him anymore. He could not perform with me no matter how much he tried. Each time, it wore away at my self-esteem. I thought it was me. So to protect myself, I stopped having sex with him, using every excuse in the book. He used that to justify taking his porn addiction to the next level. He had to double dose on Cialis and Viagra to 'get up' for all his encounters. When you are a compulsive masturbator, it's very difficult to match the stimulation you get from 'self-pleasurement'.
Anyway, as the other ladies said, do NOT let him blame you for any of this. It's his problem, his sickness....
Has your husband starting counseling for his addiction? If so his counselor should be setting him straight about blame shifting, if the counselor is not or is unaware that your husband is mentally abusing you, you need to let the counselor know. If the counselor is aware of this and not telling your husband to knock it off, your husband needs a different counselor.
[This message edited by momofthree2007 at 4:56 PM, August 1st (Wednesday)]
can't get any release except through masturbation.
Well, there's part of the problem right there. SAA allows masturbation and quite frankly that's like telling an alcoholic that it's ok to drink. He's still acting out. He's still getting "high" but it's not enough so he's frustrated because he wants MORE than just masturbation. It's a slippery slope. It also allows him to continue to avoid true intimacy with you as long as he can act out alone.
My FWH says that many, many men chose SAA for this very reason, they know they can get away with not really getting sober.
You really need to ask yourself if it's ok with you to know that your husband, under the guise of getting counseling is still acting out. It's up to you to decide what your boundaries are.
I don't think my FWH would be as far into recovery and he certainly wouldn't be fully sexually sober if he wasn't in a program based on Carnes.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 2:42 AM, August 2nd (Thursday)]
My H says that his SA group does not allow any sexual behaviour outside of the marital (common-law etc.) relationship. As a SA, he says he must avoid all slippery behaviours...that is, behaviours that can lead him down the garden path to porn and infidelity. My H has been very clear that masturbation is a slippery behaviour for him. Were he to do it, even without porn, he would consider himself not sober. The idea is that he gets a little sex drunk off the masturbation, for example, and then is more likely to get drunk off of more intense sexual highs, like his bottom line behaviours.
Another thing I have read, I believe it is in all the Carnes literature, is that SA also affects the body...there is a physical addiction to the pleasure chemicals released by the brain when the SA acts out. For this reason, Carnes, and also the SA group my H attends, recommends the addict have a period of sexual abstinence, even from his W or partner. My H and I did this for 2 months in the beginning, and he has been sober now for nearly 7 months. He used to complain and harass me for sex all the time too (prior to D-day), but that is not respectful and IMHO still falls under the category of acting out. A healthy H will respect a W's decision to have/not to have sex..."sex is an option" is what we say in my S-Anon group. Also, sex is not so the H can have a release...that is what many addicts have used it for. Sex, again IMHO, is a wonderful way to have physical intimacy and bonding when emotional intimacy is already present.
About suicidal thoughts: I have experienced that too, in my R with my H, especially during the first 5 months. Hang in there...it will get better. If you feel you are in danger, please tell a doctor or go to the hospital to get support. You are worth it! You are.
[This message edited by jessjane at 2:13 PM, August 2nd (Thursday)]
I love him, but I love myself, my sanity, and my happiness more.
7yrs, I have no problem with masturbation.
Sadly, you are enabling your husband in his addiction. I hope you get some help for your co-addiction. A co-addict enables the addict and that is precisely what you are doing.
I wish you luck.
I learned he had a problem with porn in college. In retrospect, I guess we had a D day then, though I didnít realize it. He went to A (singular) counseling session (so he says), and reported to me that the counselor told him it was normal. I was naive, engaged, and I guess, stupid, because he convinced me that it was indeed normal (although not advisable), and managed to convince me keep it a secret for him. We got married, he promised he had quit. Iíve always been suspicious, but heís always been a good actor, apparently. When I questioned, he always had a good answer and he covered up his tracks well. I believed him.
Spring í06 we were in marriage counseling as a requirement for his ordination in the church. I was naive enough to think that our marriage was strong. Though his past secret was still bothering me, he convinced me not to bring it up to the MC. Like a lost puppy dog, I followed his lead Ė it wasnít brought up. He got a stamp of approval from the counselor and got one step further to ordination.
This week, I learn that the porn addiction that he promised me (several times over the years) was over, really wasnít - itís been ongoing throughout our marriage (five years). To top it all off, now I learn that there has been at least one EA over the internet with nude pictures, loads of porn, lots of internet and phone sex IN ADDITION to numerous (He put his estimate somewhere in the 30-50 range, but that number keeps getting larger every time I ask.) ONS with women answering his hundreds of sex ads on Craigslist that he's been posting since the first year of our marriage. All of this was going on WHILE WE WERE IN MC and while he was working at a church AS A PASTOR.
First of all, I feel like a gullible idiot Ė how did I not ever find out? How did he hide this from me for so long? How did he convince me to keep his (what I thought was a one-time thing) porn addiction a secret? How did it escalate this much?
Secondly, am I an idiot for leaving and not giving him a chance to R? Iím not filing any divorce papers right now and donít forsee it in the next few months, but I feel the pit in my stomach that says it will eventually happen. If so, I didnít choose divorce; divorce chose me.
I am shocked to see so many of you who have stuck it out with your WS and some have even come out of this with a stronger marriage. I love the man that I thought he was Ė Iím just not sure who he is anymore. I donít want to give up too soon, but I donít know if Iíll be able to trust him again.
Is separating right now (within a week of D day) too soon?
Getting the hell away from him.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
As for leaving him...everyone's situation is different. My decision to stay was based on my circumstances. Your circumstances may be different. I'd be happy to "talk" with you though if you need to. I'm so sorry for your pain.
Unlike drugs and alcohol, sexual desire is natural.
Yes it is...IN NORMAL PEOPLE. Your husband is NOT normal. His brain is broken. His behavior is not normal. He is an addict. He is compulsive. As long as he's compulsively masturbating he is feeding his addiction. The fact that he is unwilling or unable to stop masturbating is a huge red flag. If he is masturbating every day and/or multiple times a day, he is compulsively masturbating.
"Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one's work environment.
No single behavior pattern defines sexual addiction. These behaviors, when they have taken control of addicts' lives and become unmanageable, include: compulsive masturbation, compulsive heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, child molesting, incest, rape, and violence. Even the healthiest forms of human sexual expression can turn into self-defeating behaviors.
Sexual addiction can be understood by comparing it to other types of addictions. Individuals addicted to alcohol or other drugs, for example, develop a relationship with their "chemical(s) of choice" -- a relationship that takes precedence over any and all other aspects of their lives. Addicts find they need drugs merely to feel normal
In sexual addiction, a parallel situation exists. Sex -- like food or drugs in other addictions -- provides the "high" and addicts become dependent on this sexual high to feel normal. They substitute unhealthy relationships for healthy ones. They opt for temporary pleasure (MASTURBATION) rather than the deeper qualities of "normal" intimate relationships.
Sexual addiction follows the same progressive nature of other addictions. Sexual addicts struggle to control their behaviors, and experience despair over their constant failure to do so. Their loss of self-esteem grows, fueling the need to escape even further into their addictive behaviors. A sense of powerlessness pervades the lives of addicts.
While an actual diagnosis for sexual addiction should be carried out by a mental health professional, the following behavior patterns can indicate the presence of sexual addiction. Individuals who see any of these patterns in their own life, or in the life of someone they care about, should seek professional help.
1. Acting out., a pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior Examples may include:
* Compulsive masturbation
* Indulging in pornography
* Having chronic affairs
* Dangerous sexual practices
* Anonymous sex
* Compulsive sexual episodes
All the information between the ~~~~~~'s is from http://www.sexhelp.com/sa_q_and_a.cfm
Educate yourself. I'm not saying you need to tell him to stop masturbating, I'm just telling you that as long as he is compulsively masturbating he is NOT in recovery. And as long as you have the attitude you do about it, you're enabling his addiction. I do wish you luck in this journey. I won't address this with you again, I've given you all the advice I can. I do hope this post is helpful to you and others.
I don't sign in much anymore - life story is in my profile. After 2 1/2 years of dealing with SA, NPD, etc, I am finally done. I filed for divorce last week and am now looking forward to a fresh start without him dragging me down into his pit of filth, perversion and abuse.
Be strong and take care of yourselves! You can't control the SA but you can control what you think, learn, plan and do.
I'm looking forward to feeling happy again.
(edited typos! )
[This message edited by discombobulated at 4:59 PM, August 3rd (Friday)]
I think that I am very lucky that my FWH is not NPD, if he were I would not be able to stay. He has his moments, believe me, but he is truly working his program and really doing well. I can't imagine dealing with both SA and NPD and I know it happens all too frequently.
I wish you all the best in your new life!
ETA: dis, I went to look up the book you recommended but couldn't find it. I did find "The Betayal Bond" is that the one you meant?
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 4:58 PM, August 3rd (Friday)]
Most people just can't grasp what SA is all about and it's devastating effects.
But here there is acceptance and a wide variety of experience to learn from.
Thanks, everyone!!!! I;m gonna be fine - and my boys are too!