He's more of a project than a partner....
I think I have one of those as well!
Were you referring to SAs that don't get treatment? My WH is doing extremely well in his treatment. He can beat this! I refuse to be negative about this.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
I have never been more at peace and happier with who I am and who we are, than I am now. It's been a long painful road, but out of this pain has come a better me, him and us.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 8:01 PM, January 31st (Thursday)]
If he is not in recovery, you cut your losses and run. It doesn't sound like he's in recovery. I'm sorry.
With a SA in recovery it is just a very long, slow, painful process but it does get better if the SA is truly working his program and is sober.
My FWH's recovery is going well, he'll be getting his 18mo chip soon.
If he is more of a Project than a partner, -- RUN and run fast!
Dear Sisters, be very careful with this issue.
I have wasted over 5 years of my life, too.
The idea of having a WH of a SA who is bipolar & NPD, etc., is not appealing, either.
When he refused to work on the Patrick Carnes Workbook in 07 which asked very hard hitting questions...I knew he would NEVER ever change...& I knew I had done everything that I could to re-establish communication & intimacy.
It was his call, entirely!
On the SAA site there is an excellent article on the 3 kinds of sex addicts. My husband is the first kind, titled 'Lost'. These types have a higher cure rate than the other two, which are NPD. But one warning; the Lost sex addicts and their spouses need to realize that the SA will always be an addict, even if they are not using. It's a life long fight against their compulsion to view porn, masturbate, etc.
Can anyone recommend what has helped you the most? Specific books or web sites? So far I am reading "Out of the Shadows".
Thanks a bunch!
I found it. I hope you can access it.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 2:58 PM, February 3rd (Sunday)]
I discovered he was having a 2 year A but on the side it seems he was masturbating, seeing prostitutes and trolling for women on craigslist. He tried to kill himself when I found out. He went into AA but relapsed and took up with the OW again. He says he only feels the urges when he drinks. When not drinking, he does not masturbate or think of other women, etc. He has never been into porn, or cyberchat, etc..
I am not sure what to believe. I freaked out earlier today when I saw he had looked up a meeting for sex addicts but I asked him about it and he said his rehab counselor said he has to go to on because of what he has described--she thinks he has an issue. He denies it and says since he stopped drinking (and before the relapse) he has not thought about having sex with anyone but me and has not masturbated, etc.
He seemed annoyed, but I am not sure if it is denial.
I made him do an online survey and he has done many of those things--but he kept adding the caveat--"only when I was drinking!" I would never do those things sober!
I am not sure what to do. The whole A has blown my mind and I have been very supportive of the alcohol addiction since I view it as an illness and something we are dedicated to overcoming. But I do not have an H who views himself as a SA and I cannot sit here and wait for him to act out again--it is my greatest fear!!!! I cannot go through the pain of another A, whether it can be blamed on SA or not.
Is it possible to only act up when you drink? Am I being naive?? Is he delusional or maybe he has been drinking so long he never experienced it sober?? Any advice is appreciated!
I don't know much about double addictions -- only what I've read in trying to understand sexual addiction. I know that the two addictions frequently go hand-in-hand (SA and alcohol/drug) and I've also read that SA is the harder addiction to give up (in part because the addict "carries the supply inside"). I think one question to ask is whether any of the early signs of SA (compulsive masturbation, viewing porn, etc.) pre-dated the alcohol abuse. If so, it could be that the SA addiction was overshadowed by the alcohol addiction but was still there.
Believe me, I'm no expert. Only your husband can answer whether he's got SA issues. And, I know that alcoholics can spend a LOT of time in denial before they're ready to own up to everything.
Perhaps he needs to ask himself a few tough questions (or answer them for you). Why did he "act out" when drinking? What wasn't the alcohol on its own enough to numb the pain or help him cope or whatever he was using it for? What did he get out of the sexual acting out? For an SA, it's "medication" -- numbs pain, boosts esteem, etc. All the things that alcohol promises to do, too.
In any case, hang in there. It's hell -- all that wondering and worrying if life can possibly get worse or if it's as bad as it's going to get. I still have to occasionally ask "is there any more?? I'm not going to find out anything worse, am I??" But you will get through it. Remember that YOU are okay -- no matter what happens with your husband, YOU will be fine.
XH was alcoholic/pot head/SA.
He quit drinking. (AA)
He quit smoking pot. (on his own)
However, his SA w/ porn & A's/ONS's worsened after being sober.
There is a saying in AA:
"Throw a rock into an AA meeting & you are bound to hit a Sex Addict".
He's been sober 20/19 yrs now.
But he *still* looks at porn.
I don't know about the rest...
Seems he could handle the first 2 addictions, but the SA is too strong or...
BTW: Has anyone ever read:
"Don't Call it Love" by Patrick Carnes? Its by far his best book on SA v. "Out of the Shadows", IMHO, & his workbook is just SUPER!!
His workbook just really NAILS a SA!
He also has severe OCD.
Its the "C" which is troublesome.
It stands for COMPULSIVE.
This is the SA in a nutshell.
He compulsively masturbates & lives in porn online fantasyland leading to ???...combine all the rest...AAAARRRRRGGGHHH
I'm not going thru it a 2nd time, nope!
Time for ME now. Time to love me MORE.
He went to the meeting last night and came back and said, I guess I must be in denial! We sat and talked a long time and looked through the materials. He is not into porn and never was--he looked at some pics online but it really did nothing for him--there was nothing on the computer when I had it examined. He had the A and when she was not around he found 3 prostitutes and then when the OW came back he went to her again.
He said he masturbated a few times when the OW was not available but thought it was too messy and gross so really just did it a few times and that was over a year ago.
He said he is open to going to the SA meetings but really does not know that he has those issues. The people there said he is just in denial, which upset him since he really is open to getting whatever help he needs. They people in the SA meeting seemed to be really into porn! My H never even wants to watch a dirty movie with me!
As for the checklist--it is so vague, I can probably check off a few too. He checked a few due solely to the prostitutes--but that was over 2 years ago over a stretch of 3 weeks or so and he has not engaged in that behavior since. Having an A, by definition, makes you an SA if you look at the questions.
I want to be hopeful--he thinks that he is learning new anxiety mechanisms--his sponsor, the AA meetings and the community of AA members (the men go out for dinner and breakfast after meetings sometimes) and really feels positive. He thinks the steps are similar and if works them it will address the issues he has.
I can only HOPE!
It is still so painful. Are they just blaming the A on this disease? Can we truly recover? Do meetings for spouces work? or couples? anyone with info?
1. How long has your WS been a sex addict, have you known, & what are they doing to deal with that (SA, etc)?
He found porn at a young age. I knew something was not right for over 20 years, but I was so young when this all started and I had low self esteem before I met him, so I just figured that all my "gut" feelings were me, that I was not making him happy, that I was the one messed up. He was very lucky, he worked very hard to keep it secret, he was very skilled as gaslighting without having any idea what it was, just came natural. Right now he is just learning about it and himself, no 12 step or councelling yet. He was able to keep it at bay through discipline for years at a time, but now wants to go the next step whatever that is for him.
2. How does your SA act out & how much verifying do you do?
umm, he had a ONS about a month before we married, then numerous ONS with co workers during work hours or at conventions. Then he got scared that he would get caught that way so switched to Prostitutes (lived in Reno, that was an easy one), this was all in the first 5 years of marriage, there were quite a few of them as well as porn, bringing it in home wanting me to participate and such. Felt guilt and shame and kept it at bay for the next 10 years or so then met someone on a business trip and had OS, then kept it at bay for 2 years and lookedfor and found someone to give OS on craigslist, that was 3 years ago this Valentines Day. I am not sure how many months since he has viewed porn, but it has been at least 6 months.except for 3 weeks ago when he was doing some research about sex addicts and one of the links was porn, he shut it down and told me as he was not looking, but went there. I have access to anything and he answers all my questions even if he knows the answer will hurt me. He just confessed all this to me in October, we have been together since 1986.
3. Has the SA had relapses / slips?
See number 2
4. Do you have kids?
Yep 4, becomming a dad is what helped him to go so long before he slipped up again.
5. Brief description of what brought you to SI?
just finding all this out, on one hand I was relieved to finally know the truth, that carried me thru just before Christmas, then I began to go down hill, that is when I began doing searches online, and eventually I found this site to help me sort it all out and to move forward, I have a horrible problem of tolerating things and stuffing things and just "toughing" it out, but I do not want that anymore, finding out the truth has given me the awarness that I am not as pathetic as I thought I was, perhaps there is even other positive things about me to discover, hopefully I will be able to do that.
6. What would you say are the biggest barriers to reconciliation / recovery?
From his side I see none, he is a changed man, I have known him for 25 years now, and the person he is now is totally different than who I have known. There are still small pieces of the old him that come out at time, but he instantly deals with them and works them out. As for me, alot of my wounds are from the secret life he lived, so dealing with that and how that is all going to work out is a concern for me, I am so unsure of my feelings and so many things just do not make sense, I get some "ah ha" moments every now and then, but it is just all so overwhelming right now.
7. Would you say you had a good relationship prior to the cheating & what made it that way?
No, we did not have a good relationship, how could we, it was all based on lies. The only good thing is that we were both commited to marriage, of course my commitment was deeper, but he never once left, and he never did a LTA, it was all about the physical, not emotional intimacy with anyone else.
8. Current status?
Total committed recovery of our marriage, digging down to the very core and totally rebuilding it all, trying to explore all areas and take the negative out and replace with what is positive for us both and our family.
Whew, that took forever, if there are any questions just ask.
I have more to ask myself, but will start a new thread so as not to get too many things in one post.
1stepforward1step back posted a link to 3 types of SA, (thanks for that, it is one site I had not found yet, so will be looking around there too), anyhow my DH falls into this one:
1) "Lost." These are the lower-level SAs who mostly haven't progressed much. Mostly porn, some masturbation and phone sex. Some may have had physical affairs. They are truly the ones with the best chance of recovery. They are "nice" guys (gals) who are truly using SA as a medication. They may have other addictions, but the sexual addiction is their core addiction and they are in pain, most likely have been in pain for years, sometimes as a result of their own sexual/mental/physical abuse in childhood. If not outright abuse, they most likely gew up in a family situation where they felt trapped and unable to express their opinion. Or they were told that expressing emotion was "wrong" and taught by example to stuff their feelings. The SA is truly a way to medicate themself, to FEEL alive. BUT as a result, they are totally trapped in a shame-based cycle. They DO have a chance to get better. This isn't to say they are guaranteed to stay in sober recovery, but of the groups who have a chance to do so, this is the demographic where you will see the most recovery occur. We see very few partners of SAs in this demographic here, at least not for long-term, because these kinds of SAs will usually seek treatment, if not willingly, at least with an admisison on their part that they know their life is out of control and they need some sort of help. Or they hit bottom the easiest, because their family/job/whatever IS more important to them than their SA disease. Therefore there is more support readily available for the partner through "conventional" means. Also, because their SA is less severe, or seems to make progress quickly, when partners of this type of SA do make it here, they frequently don't stay long because reading others' problems is often "too painful" for them, or keeps them in a "negative mindset" because their SA isn't "that bad." Nothing wrong with that, just a fact. This is also the least-common SA.
If intervention doesn't happen in time, they can/will progress to the next step.
If intervention doesn't happen in time, they can/will progress to the next step.
My FWH has the pain, the childhood issues, lack of expression, trapped, negative issues, definitely uses sex as a soothing thing, if he is mad, or sad, or stressed he wants sex, did the guilt and shame thing, he hit bottom, he confessed, his family is more important than his addiction.
It is the parts I highlighted above that I have questions about. How do I get help in a "conventional" way, what is that? I do identify with the last part about finding others stories very painful to read and I feel that my story has pain, very valid pain, but not as much as others. Does anyone else here fit in this category, if so what are you doing? I of course am reading alot online, ordered Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes, reading "Not Just Friends" reading here, Reading the Yahoo COSA group cause the closest one is too far away, and going to my first BAN meeting next week. Anything of these that you would recommend not doing or anything to add, I do not want to do something that will not really help, just steal my time, but would rather pour my time into beneficial things, and I am totally clueless.
Please forgive my craziness. I have no real focus right now, everything blends together, yet I am frantic trying to find a direction to go, a path to take, this aimlessness is killing me, I am so unsure and have no one IRL to talk to, am very much looking forward to the BAN meeting just to meet others, sorry to have to meet them under these circumstances though.
Also I struggle with the idea of him being a SA, not that he is "better" than that, not at all, but that alot of our problems stem from this, but they also are problems on their own, yet also due to me not knowing for 20 years. I am not sure how much "blame" to give the SA for our problems, or should I just not even go that road and just deal with the issues as if they stand alone?
Thank you all for posting your stories and journey for us all to read, I glean insight and encouragement from each and every one of you, and some smiles too.