I'm crossing my fingers for H to start couseling this week. The harder I push the more pig headed he becomes...so I'm trying to let his actions do the talking this time around.
I've been in IC for the last 3 months...and you are right...it's a miracle worker. I stopped going because I thought H would feel better if the finances weren't so tight and our progress had been so great!
Whoops. Not sure if it's depression or pride keeping me from calling the IC to schedule some more appointments ...but I'm reminding myself of Mr. Sheltered more everyday...lol.
My parents in law came and went, and my H and I got through it. Wow, I never saw it before, but my H's dad is just as withdrawn, grouchy, and un-emotional as my H was before recovery. When the rest of us were swimming or doing something fun, he would stay in the hotel room. And my H's mom reminds me so much of me before I came out of denial...making excuses for his behaviour, saying "oh well, I just gave up on doing things with him because he does his own thing," and feeling very lonely all of the time and not really knowing why.
Both my H and I recognized the similarities, and we felt sad about it. We are also slowly putting the pieces together from our family histories.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
I love him, but I love myself, my sanity, and my happiness more.
I feel terrible for witholding sex from him
If he's in SA recovery this is all wrong. He should be working at being sober, which does include a period of time in which he does not have sex with his partner HOWEVER this should be something the two of you have agreed to together and he should be the one who initiated the period of celebacy. The bonus would be that it would also allow for the waiting period for STD testing.
During his initial period of celebacy he needs to commit himself to his recovery and sobriety (which should include absolutely no sex of ANY kind including masturbation) He will go through withdrawal and he may need additional counseling and group meetings to get through that period. It's not a fun period. Then ideally when he is past the physical withdrawal and you two have gotten counseling together, you would work at having true intimacy (which could include sex or not, it's up to the couple.)
What it sounds like you two are doing is sexual anorexia and it is not at all healthy for either one of you.
You've said you won't have sex with him. He claims to be in recovery and yet his solution for this is to withdraw and be cold to you while he is still compulsively masturbating. I'm sorry be he is NOT in recovery. He is acting out every single day and you are enabling him.
About 4 days ago he was begging me to have sex with him even if it was with condoms but I don't trust condoms, let alone him using them. After dday1 we tried that and he took them off a couple of times without me knowing it. I know him very well, he hates condoms. He swore he wouldn't do that though. I didn't believe him. Needless to say he's sleeping on the couch.
He hasn't checked out OW, he hasn't looked at porn, or gotten into those "dating sites". I would think that if there's nothing to turn him on, he wouldn't masturbate.
If I am enabling him, there's nothing I can do about that because he won't listen if I demand him to stop that and I've already had enough fights with him without having to bring that up. I really wish he would move out for the remainder of this month but it's logistically impossible.
I would really recommend the book 7yrsbetrayed mentioned:
Love, Infidelity, and Sexual Addiction: A Codependent's Perspective
by Christine A. Adams
It was a real eye opener for me. I have lived with a SA for 32 years and I had no idea how much I enabled my H's addiction. I wish someone had told me this stuff when I was your age, but back then, this subject was not openly discussed.
You cannot change your husband. The only person you can change is YOU. This book will help you understand what you can do in that respect.
Other than that I've been PMing with some newer folks who wanted SA info and advice.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 1:24 AM, August 18th (Saturday)]
As for me, my H and I have been talking a lot today about his infidelities. It's amazing how quickly I can begin to feel as though he has never cared about me or loved me. I asked my H to be honest about how he felt when he began with the OW, and he said that before PA, there was a feeling of excitement (he later amended this as "drunkenness"). He said that he had a very unhealthy need to have as many people as possible like him and want him and that he believed people would only really like him for his sexuality. He said that when others wanted him, he got high off it, and enjoyed being around them because he didn't feel good about himself and therefore, needed them to tell him he was desirable. H also said that feeling excited due to sexual high was more intense than healthy, loving sexuality with me. He said that this was all very unhealthy. The thing is, I have a very hard time understanding the difference between feeling excited and liking attention in a drunk way and having those feelings in a genuine way, like when you have a crush on someone. I don't really get it. I still fear that he really liked those OW, I still have MAJOR feelings of inadequacy. Does this ever end? I mean, really, how many times do I need to be told it's not my fault...how many times do I have to believe it, then disbelieve it before I just get to put it to rest. It hurts.
He is saying tonight that he doesn't think he will feel the drunkenness should the situation with a woman who is interested in him arise again because he has his eyes more open now. He said he will still be triggered, though. Does anyone know what the difference is? Is that sound thinking? I am afraid that he is not prepared for such an encounter and will relapse if he feels high from that triggering situation and wasn't ready for it.
He said that the whole 5 years we've been together, he has 1/2 loved me and 1/2 wondered if he should be with someone else less loving because he believed he was a bad person. Honestly, why would anyone stay with someone for 5 years, move to a different city with them, propose to them, and tell them they love them everyday when they are cheating the whole time and thinking 1/2 the time that the relationship isn't right for them? I don't get this. I would never stay with a person I had that many doubts about...well, except for now, lol.
I honestly feel like he never loved me and I just feel so lied to and hurt, thinking about all those wasted years. I feel like a fool for loving him while he was betraying me, and I still can't understand how he made the transition from treating me like crap and being unsure if he wants to be with me, to making a committment to me and loving me and getting recovery.
HUGE RANT! Sorry all. Just really hurting tonight and really confused. 9 months in and I'm still struggling with this garbage. Yuck!
Does anyone have a better understanding of these things?
All of the excuses I hear about low self esteem and all the personal issues of having to validate themselves with someone else just doesn't make sense to me. If I had low self esteem I would be too scared to be with someone else in case they said something derogatory about me. That would make me want to stay safely in the marriage.
My WH is just a hound who thought he could get away with it and if I hadn't found out he would have continued. I'm having a hard time too, reconciling the fact that he could do this and still love me. It doesn't make any sense to me. Never will.
I really like your sig line, too.
And, it was a lot better for me after I had him leave.
My sanity, etc., is coming back.
Okay, I am dealing with a mountain of issues and I don't know where to start. Anyone up for guiding me on where to begin trying to clean up this mess?
First, let me start off my saying both H and I are in IC. It is helping me immensely and I am becoming healthier all the time. Of course, the downside of this is I am now clearly seeing just how messed up my H is. He is seeing a regular therapist and I think she's a good C and all, but she does NOT specialize in SA. I am no longer okay with this. But H is very private and it was like pulling teeth to get him to see any IC in the first place, so I know he will resist seeing anyone else.
MC is not happening right now, despite me aasking for it more than once. H and his IC both say he's "not ready", meaning he is too fragile. Which basically tells me that he can not handle hearing what I have to say right now, so I have no forum for expressing anything about our marriage. How convenient for him.
H is also an alcoholic and I believe a compulsive spender.
He is still looking at porn ever day online and I also saw that he recently googled several old ow, and it also appears he is on fling.com. None of this surprises me anymore. I have come to expect this behavior from him.
So. I already know that I need to lay out certain boundaries, but I don't know where to even start! I know I want all of the following:
*SA specialized C for him
*no more porn
*no more drinking
*reign in the spending
Asking all of these things from him at once will drive him away from me, no doubt about it.
Everyone has told me I have to be really careful abut how I approach him if there is any chance he will agree to treatment, but what exactly does that mean?
I am fearful of even starting this conversation because I feel like all of my thoughts about him will just come spilling out and that would be the end of us.
Do I start by insisting on MC and go from there? Insist that it be with someone who specializes in SA? Get him into SA IC first?
Thoughts? Advice? Any input is welcome.
All of that to say, I suggest starting out by deciding what you can live with and what is unmanagable for you (ie. what you cannot live with) in your M. You can even make a chart of it, written down, and use it to stick to your guns if you need to. Then, take some time and think about what you could realistically do to keep yourself healthy in your M if he violates any of these boundaries. Make a plan of action for yourself which doesn't involve trying to force him to get healthy...I have tried that, I believe many of us have, and, in my experience, that just doesn't work. Remember, they are your boundaries, so keep the focus on you.
No one can make their H get recovery (true recovery). Your H will only recover when he is ready...I tried to get my H to see the light for years, but it wasn't until he decided to change that change started to really happen.
So, after you decide what you need from your H to feel safe in the M, and after you decide how you will enforce your boundaries, then have a conversation with your H if you feel safe to do that.
Because my plan of action is directly linked to him getting healthy. Or not.
How do I make that about myself and not him?
What I can handle:
emotional slips (eg. when he gets angry or blaming me and it is inappropriate) provided he is remorseful after and willing to make amends and continue to grow
some slips in sobriety (masturbation, porn) provided he is honest with me within 24 hours and gets back into recovery with full committment
What I can not handle:
bottom-line behaviours (all slips in sobriety are bottom line for him, but these are the ones that will cause me to leave) which, for me, are dating sites, infidelity both EA and PA, break of NC, and secret-keeping past 24 hours.
I will leave forever if he is unfaithful again because I know that staying in the M past another breach would be too unmanagable for me...I just could never trust him again and I would never feel safe. It's sink or swim this time around, for me.
If the breach is less severe for me than infidelity (for example, he told me after 1 month that he masturbated instead of 24 hours) I could choose to take a week away or separate for a period of my choosing to search my heart and give myself time to decide how I want to handle things.
Whether or not we can be together in a healthy relationship depends on both of us making healthy choices. I cannot make my H's choices for him, unfortunately. Therefore, I cannot make him get healthy. That is not a boundary, that is the illusion that I control him, which I do not. No human being can control another, though heaven knows, I've tried
What is about me are the choices I will make...like how I choose to keep myself safe and sane, and honouring myself by not living with an active SA. In my opinion, active SA is abusive (though many addicts don't intend to hurt the people they love) and I no longer want to tolerate abuse in my M. Those are the boundaries that I have set for myself.
Is that helpful?
Last week, my H and I were having an argument and he asked for a 1/2 hour break so he could calm down before continuing. After the 1/2 hour, he did not re-initiate talking with me...he just kept playing his video game. Boy, did I stew. I felt so angry I just wanted to force him to look at me and talk to me. Often in the same situation, I would have yelled at him and demanded he speak with me. Other times, I would implore him to talk with me or I would talk to the back of his head which only hurt me. I used to do all of those things (and sometimes still do them because I am still a work in progress) to control him...to make him care about me, to make him talk to me, to make him be a good H to me. This was me thinking I was enforcing a boundary, but it was all an illusion...it didn't change him at all.
So, what did I actually do?
I said to him "If you don't talk to me within 15 minutes from now, I am going to go for a walk." And that's exactly what I did. No guilt tripping, no yelling, no drama. I clearly stated what I would do if he continued the behaviour, and I did it. I got some exercise, treated myself to a coffee, and reminded myself that I had done a good job focusing on me.
He made his choice, and I didn't try to change that. I decided, instead to do what I needed to do for myself in response.