I think you do need to define your own boundaries. Decide what you can live with, and what you can't. If you're not in a recovery program for spouses of SA, get into one. It will teach you to focus on your needs, and will teach you how to detach from his problems.
As hard as it is to understand, his SA has NOTHING to do with you--NOTHING. His sobriety,or lack of it, is his business. You only come into the picture if his acting out affects you. Then, having decided on your own boundaries, you can act on them.
Figure out what your bottom line is, be clear about it, and then follow thru if you have to.
Co-addcitions are very common with addicts. If there's any possiblity of his going into treatment for the alcohol and the SA, let me know--I can possibly make some reccommendations.
*His sobriety,or lack of it, is his business. You only come into the picture if his acting out affects you. Then, having decided on your own boundaries, you can act on them.
Something about how you worded it really resonated with me. I need to detach from his problems. They are not my problems unless they effect me. Spot on! Very helpful.
How is everyone?
I love him, but I love myself, my sanity, and my happiness more.
It's just overwhelming sometimes. I think this is truly an epidemic that is being overlooked for the most part.
However, on a happy note, Aug 29 marks ONE YEAR SOBER for my FWH!! I am so proud of the amazing progress he has made and his commitment to his recovery and sobriety. So, CONGRATULATIONS M, I love you! He will get his one year chip at his group on Thursday night. I've contacted my folks to babysit on Friday night and all day Saturday so we can go out and celebrate. I haven't told him yet, I want to surprise him. I'm trying to think of an appropriate, small, inexpensive (we're broke) gift to give him but can't think of anything. So, anyway, I'm very proud of him and am beginning to see how fortunate I am that he is so serious about his recovery. I don't know of many SAs who make it a full year sober the first time out. In fact, I don't know of many SAs who stick with recovery, or let's face it, who ever start at all.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 9:57 AM, August 29th (Wednesday)]
I wanted to give him a gift that he could have with him that would remind him of his hard work and sobriety. I was having a hard time thinking of anything. His chip that he gets at group is large and if anyone saw it they would either assume he's a recovering alcoholic or ask about it so he doesn't carry that with him he keeps it on his nightstand.
Anyway, I figured it out today. I'm making him a key chain out of leather strips that will be braided or woven (still working on the final design) and will have one metal bead intertwined in it. I'm going to make it big enough that each year he can add a bead, up to five years. He'll be able to always have it with him when he's out and about to give him a boost when he has a trigger or just to know how much I love him and how proud I am of him. When he hits five years I want to get him a big gift...probably a ring.
I tried to make one today and it didn't turn out quite like I wanted it. It's too large and all I could think of to do was braid it and I just didn't like it. My choice of supplies was very limited at Michaels. I gave it to him anyway and explained my thinking. He was very moved and got all teary. He loves it! I told him that I just really wasn't happy with how it turned out and I very much wanted his help in designing it and having it be exactly what he wants so we're going to a real leather working place to buy better materials so we can do it up right on Saturday.
I am so happy to hear that you and your H can celebrate his 1 year sobriety date! What a thoughtful gift...it was moving to me just to read about it.
Congrats to you and your H for making it successfully through 1 year of this crap, and making it through together!
I am trying to 180 more often, but sinking back into depression. He never loved me. NEVER! Seems like I haven't loved myself very well either, for staying with him even when he was treating me badly. I know I need to start loving me now, and focusing on me, but I have so little confidence that I am making the right decisions for myself now that I see how much in denial I was before, and how many horrible decisions I made back then.
Now he says he loves me and is actually being loving, and has been sober for nearly 9 months, and I don't believe any of it most of the time. I mean, how could he really love me now, after 5 years of cheating, lying, and sometimes thinking some OW was "the one."
H is going back to school full-time in a week...all those women, everytime I think about it, I just feel like throwing up, giving up, something.
I am looking for work, but can't work in my field because of the emotional trauma...so, I've been applying at Tim Horton's (coffee and donut shop) to be a coffee slinger. I have a Master's degree and I'm now looking at working at a min. wage job that I won't enjoy because we need the money. Normally at this time of year, I would be excited to go back to school but I maxed out my student loans and have lost that option. I am half-way through a certificate in something close to my profession, but not as emotionally involved, and I no longer have the money to finish it. I feel like I have nothing to look forward to, and nothing to live for anymore.
I want to work somewhere fulfilling, you know? Somewhere that is part-time and where I feel like I am making some kind of difference in the world, but that won't be too emotionally draining.
I found this job I would really love (volunteer co-ordinator for a choral festival, p/t, year round) but it requires a car, and mine broke down shortly after I decided to return home and try R with my H. We can't afford to fix it.
Yes, I am "poor me-ing" right now. I am supposed to trust my HP to take care of me, but I feel like if I even have an HP, he/she has abandoned me.
Lately I've been feeling really numb, and I've been losing my hair. In clumps. I've heard that this can be stress-related, does anyone know if that's true?
How did everyone else find fulfillment in their lives after D-day? I just feel like I'm drowning. Too many issues on my plate.
[This message edited by jessjane at 9:54 AM, August 31st (Friday)]
It's driving me nuts too the way the media is playing this. Media types tend to laugh at people who come out and claim to be a sex addict. They don't want to deal with it.
BTW, a big congratulations for you and your husband. It must feel great.
Yes, the stress of betrayal is very real and affects our bodies. I developed perioral dermatitis last year for the first time in my life. I had a nasty rash around my mouth and nose. I had to go on antibiotics for a couple of months just to get rid of it. And you know what taking antibiotics does to women. You may as well sit in a can of Canesten cream all day. It was at about the same stage time-wise that you are at now that I developed this.
I am so sorry you are struggling right now. I remember those times well. I still have them but less and less. It's so easy to self-inflict during those times. I went so far as to cut myself on my body because I hated myself and my body. I work mental health as part of my job and here I was the biggest 'nutcase' of them all. But through the IC, I have learned to love myself more and concentrate on me and leave my FWH/sex addict to deal with his issues. I expect to slip on occasion, but I am rejoicing in the long periods of time I can now go without dumping on myself.
Boy, do I ever know what anti-biotics do to my body...I like your "sit in a can of Canesten all day" idea...I think I might try that It's good to laugh now and then. Thanks, again.
Having had a lot of partners could be a red flag but not necessarily. Better indicators are whether or not he is obsessive/compulsive with porn and/or masturbation in addition to having many partners.
Be aware too that most addicts hide it really well. I had no clue for 6.5yrs that my FWH was compulsively masturbating and looking at porn and dating profiles, not to mention actually cheating on me and I'm not stupid. He was a master at hiding it.
Educate yourself about SA and then if you can share more info here I'm sure others will have some insight as well.
The many women, no real intimacy, and shame are all indicators, IMHO, that he MIGHT be an SA. When my H disclosed these same indicators, I asked him to take an SA test that I found on the internet. Here it is:
I know there are other good ones too. My H was in such a fog when he took it, that he said "I don't think I'm a SA, I think I'm a compulsive liar." Not true. When I couldn't get to the truth of his A's because he was in such a fog, I left to go to my mothers. He had a couple of days to really think about the test, I guess. Then, he called me back, and said that he believed he was an SA. He's been getting help (and so have I) ever since.
My thoughts are with you on this journey. May the truth be revealed to you in good time.
no real intimacy
This one is huge.
Time and time again this is our common denominator.
Intimacy, real intimacy, is foreign to them. (general 'them', as in an active SA)
You see ladies, this really isn't about us.
We could sex them out of their minds, look fabulous, cook, clean, pull in gigantic salaries...you name it.
The intimacy is NOT there with anyone they are with.
Because there is no peace in their heart.
That is, until recovery.
I have recently begun to believe my wife is a Love / Sex Addict. Actually, I'm dead certain. (Amazing stories – if they weren’t about me….) I'm also certain I am co dependent and a lot of other things.
I want to understand more - but I think I may ruffle a few feathers here. So, up front, I apologize for any such ruffling. I'm just hurt and looking to wrap my mind around a few things.
Some of y'all's (yes, I'm from Texas) stories seem so familiar. Others don't.
I have a fear of either boring or shocking y'all with my life - so I'll let it out as seems necessary - or answer questions. Not looking to hide anything just expand my understanding so I can heal - and/or help my spouse heal (yes, I know co-dependent).
Let me start with that. I think I may be able to offer a different perspective - there don’t appear to be many men in this thread. I’m hoping I can gain some perspective from the women here.
Let me offer this insight and get feedback. Like it or not, men are wired different from women. As a specific example, men are wired for visual arousal and stimulus.
Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry. The consumers of pornography obviously are not all L/S addicts. As much as we would like to believe there is an epidemic – this (L/S addiction) is a very bad and specific problem that goes way beyond engaging in a fantasy that I might find distasteful or disgusting. Stated more bluntly – what is the difference between a kink and an addiction?
If I understand the gist of what I have read, experienced and see here in this forum – it is the compulsive nature of the action. The pathological inability or unwillingness to exhibit self control. Why doesn’t that bleed over into other aspects of their life? Or does it?
My wife, from very early in our relationship, has exhibited an extreme need to own an identity separate from me. Nothing bugs her more than if I show interest in something she is doing – or if I want to participate too. If we sign up for a race, she absolutely refuses to be partnered with me. When we started exploring the same profession – it brought us to the brink of divorce because it was “her thing” – not mine.
If I expressed a desire (simple things like lingerie, bed and breakfast, sometimes just holding hands), it has usually been met with apathy at best and outright scorn sometimes. Now I find out she has gone out of her way to do those things with her lovers – spontaneously. In fact, when I look back with my hindsight glasses – she said some of the meanest things during sex - while she was engaged in an affair. Hard to feel manly after that.
I just wondered if anyone else had a similar experience. There is so much more, but this seems like a way long post, so I’ll leave it at that for now.
Just hoping to talk to some real people who understand - it's not like anyone else will ever believe it.
Addicts lie. They mainly lie to themselves. An SA's core fear is that if anyone knew who they really were, that they would not love them. They fear that they are so disgusting, that no one would love them if they knew the truth. To me, this manifests itself thru alienating the person who seems to love them the most. I think part of this is a struggle between their hatred of themselves, and their fear of being discovered. Their guilt and shame make them push away those who are closest to them.
As SA progresses, I think it's harder and harder to keep those separate worlds apart, and they take out their anger and fear on you. I think at the heart of this, it's a subconscious way of beating themselves up--"See, I'm so terrible, that now you don't love me anymore>" Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Firstly, you have to work on getting over the idea that any of this has something to do with you. It doesn't. This has nothing to do with anything you did or didn't do. You can't fix it. Only she can. There's recovery help out there for both of you, but you've got to do the work. I know couples who have survived this and are thriving. (And I know a number of men, whose wives are SA--if that helps).
Learn all you can, but remember that you can only be responsible for your own recovery.