it is ridiculous on any level.
but you know? your admitting that might help you to understand what is going on in the SA.
intellectually you understand how this works. Intellectually you do. But your heart... the deepest part of who you are, thinks something else. And you're angry and frustrated and need to vent and sort through it all.. I know.
my H has had to deal with a lot, I have had to watch.
but anyhow... the two things don't match.
for an SA... especially one just beginning to heal.. they do not know how they feel about anything many times. it changes. they lie, not because they are trying to lie but because they are six or seven different people... what is true depends on who they are at the moment... they will tell you something truly believing it and the next minutes, they've switched.. they don't mean it... but then that is scary too... and they stop. They shut down, refuse to think or face it, live on what is right now.
and what is right now is often not pleasant.
but intellectually they understand.
it is the heart that has to accept and heal and change. And working there is ... well. It can be excruciating. Especially when shame hits.
I've been working at it for years. And sometimes I'll watch a movie or see a tv show that brings the horrors of what I've been and done back and I just fall apart. And I've grown a whole lot, have radically changed. But it is still hard.
anyhow, vent away... I know you need a place to do that, not trying to intrude, I hoped it would be helpful to tell you... there is hope. that's all.
the battle for you will be to give up...to get negative. you have to fight that.
stepbuild posts here, he is recovering SA.. a guy. Might help you to look for his posts too.
[This message edited by Maia at 9:52 AM, March 19th (Wednesday)]
I think trying to "see" life through our SA spouse's eyes is so hard. But your candor certainly helps.
SA is rampant in this country (the world for all I know) and is being all but ignored on these boards. That's not helping anyone. Plus, some of the advice given to these people in regards to their situation is actually doing more harm than good because the issue is SA and it's being ignored. The WSs aren't going to stop unless they get help. It's just heartbreaking to me. I was curious if it bothers anyone else.
I love him, but I love myself, my sanity, and my happiness more.
I, for one, had never heard of SA
Yeah, I mean that's half the problem right there. It's at epidemic proportions and yet people seem oblivious to it's existence. It's so frustrating.
My FWH is still not dealing with it the way he should. Our son was with us a week or so ago after he came out of detox for an addiction to codeine. The subject of Dad's SA came up and FWH got upset and said he didn't want to talk about it. Our son was very blunt and told him he's never going to get completely better unless he owns the addiction and makes more effort to deal with it. There is no SA group in this city, but FWH should be going to IC counseling on a regular basis. He relied on me to make the appointments but I was done with that some time ago. I keep reminding him that if he doesn't deal with this, it will eventually creep back into his life. And as a 'no longer' codependent, I will just slowly drift away and fall out of love with him. I reminded him of that in the conversation with my son. My son said to his dad, "Are you listening, Dad?" For the most part, FWH and are reconciling nicely. This is the one thing standing between us. There is very little intimacy because FWH is SO afraid he will not be able to perform. I've told him anything is acceptable to me right now and I will teach him the difference between having sex and making love.
I'm not frustrated any more because I'm concentrating on myself. I do not accept things as they are, but I am being patient. He is not using very much and does admit when he does. I have access to his computer, his email, his credit card receipts, phone records etc. and he does not get upset if I go on a 'hunt', which I rarely do any longer. I know he loves me and hates this scourge with a passion. But after being an addict for over 40 years, healing takes time. He knows the boundaries I have set and that I will not accept any crossing of any kind.
One thing I didn't understand about sex addicts, they love us, but unless they are actively working on staying sober, the problem is that they love the addiction more than anything else. It is more important than anything else. I never understood this before because if you ask anyone who knows us, they will agree that I tend to be my husband's whole life. We are very emeshed (not healthy and we are working on that) Plus my h has a deep connection with God. He attempted suicide and hated himself and hated the addiction. Nevertheless, the addiction came first and the reason that it is an addiction is because they CAN'T stop, no matter how badly they want to, even if they manage to white knuckle it for awhile or for years, even if they hate the addiction. I totally agree that healing does take time, but it doesn't matter one bit what boundaries we set, what promises they make, how much they love us, etc.... The illness is a bottomless pit until they hit bottom and seek treatment. The other day he said the new guy he is sponsoring was in trouble. I asked what happened. He said, "He went on-line and that's all it took even after months of sobriety. Now he can't stop."
You are right that the addict has to own his addiction and take responsibility for it. But I hope I am not out of line if I suggest listening to your son. If your h is willing to go if you make the appointments, I'd get him started on the right path any way I could.
My h also had sex with "2" strangers. That was a lie he told me. He also was barely using by the time I found out. And besides, as long as he was only doing on-line stuff and not physically acting out, we would be okay. That was the lie I told myself!
There are some programs that say that masturbation is okay and I strongly disagree with that. That is like telling an alcoholic that they can't have hard liquor but beer is okay. That is just stupid in my opinion. It's a slippery slope and I think if my FWH were still masturbating he wouldn't have the control over himself that he does to not act out in other ways (porn, profiles, cheating etc) If he were still masturbating he'd still be getting a little of the "drug." That's unacceptable. We have a good sex life now and he's learned the difference between intimacy and making love and just sex. I don't think a SA who is still masturbating can learn the difference because he is still DETACHING emotionally.
So, like a I say, look at whether he's truly clean or not. Ask yourself what your boundaries are in that regard.
As to it seeming easy, I've often worried about that. It's pretty uncommon to get 18mos right out of the chute with no slips. I attribute it to him working his program. He sees a CSAT (it used to be weekly but he has cut back to bi-weekly) and goes to a group facilitated by his CSAT weekly. He is working in his workbook and making lots of calls to his group members. That is what is keeping him sober. He's worked too hard to get those chips (his group give chips like AA) and he doesn't want to lose them.
Some addicts do seem to have an easier time of it than others. My mother was a chain smoker for 30-some years. When she decided to quit she asked for the patch but was allergic to it. She went cold turkey and never looked back. The main thing she had to overcome was the habit of hand to mouth and she gained a little weight. I've talked to her about it and she said she never craves cigarettes at all. It was only hard for about a month. This is a woman whose father was an alcoholic so addiction was not out of the question for her. On the other hand, both of my FWHs parents are smokers. Both have quit and started again countless times, they just can't seem to stop. Every person is different I guess.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 11:33 AM, April 3rd (Thursday)]
I too wonder how impossibly hard it must be for a SA to have recovery
It all boils down to support. No SA can recover without therapy and group. Period. I personally feel that going to group is what is keeping my FWH sober. Therapy is great for his family of origin stuff and working the steps, but his weekly group and phone calls is what keeps him sober. He says so too. Because it's true, this is the hardest addiction to kick. They carry the drug around with them 24/7. It's in their brain. They can't chose to not have it around, it's IN THEM.
You sent me a PM about intimacy today. You will never get that with him until he's sober. Never.
For those who don't know me, here's a brief version of my story.
Nov 06 I found out that my H had met a woman we know for a ONS. Turned out they had been sending sexual texts and emails etc for 4 months. He admitted that in 03 he'd got into internet porn and even been to a swingers party.
I thought that we'd been R successfully, particularly over the last few months. Last week I found out that for all that time he'd still been going to swingers websites, watching webcams and the like, and had even been to meet someone who wanted to masturbate him. He says he didn't go throught with as the person didn't show up.
I'm not sure if he is really a SA or is using this as an excuse because it makes his behaviour more explainable and he thinks I could forgive him more easily.
We have had a very good sex life during this time, he doesn't seem to have any problem being intimate with me. He swears blind that he does not masturbate very often. Of course I don't know what's true and what isn't now.
He has been to two SA meetings this week and we are searching for a councellor for more intensive help. I have just told him that I want to separate, at least for a while, because I am scared that he will continue to try and manipulate me into believing that he can change.
That all sounds so clinical and detached doesn't it? But my heart is breaking and I am so scared of the future. Any help gratefully received.
I'm so sorry you're here. Whether he is SA or not, only he can really say. Obviously, none of us have a clue what's going on in our spouse's heads. Porn can be incredibly addictive -- I've read that it literally changes brain chemistry, creating a cycle where they need more and harder porn to get the same "fix".
Read what you can about it -- Patrick Carnes is the acknowledged pioneer and expert on sex addiction. At the very least, it will give you a starting point and something to focus on while your husband sorts out where he goes from here.
It's agonizing, we all know. Keep posting for support. In some bizarre way, it feels better to know we're not alone in this.
Not sure exactly where to post this so I'll try here because my gut tells me it "fits".
Several years ago, WH was left alone with my PC while I went to have a shower. (We were M but still living long distance nearly 1800 miles apart due to many valid issues).
It was a hot July day and he thought I was washing my long hair...but I had decided not to.
It was a short shower v. a long one.
Well, when I popped back into the bedroom, WH was sitting at my PC, and he suddenly did *something* to cause the screen to go BLANK.
I'm not techie enough to know what he did, but its obvious to me he was up to NO GOOD and he had to HIDE IT.
Well, I suddenly went into shock because I just KNEW he was doing something WRONG.
Just recently, as I thought about this incident, I remembered something important that I had been suppressing since-- 2004.
It was his face...he had that 'oh, no, she almost caught me' LOOK and then its as if a hand came down and just *smoothed* out that "expression" -- in a flash!
He went from THAT Look...to a wholly *impassive* look...in an instant and was soon smiling & acting like nothing had ever *happened*. Duh!
Have any of you seen This LOOK that I'm talking about?
Yes, my WH is very sexually compulsive to the max. IC tells me he is hypersexual due to the bipolar...whatever.
WH will always, always, always be a Sex Addict, first & foremost, in my mind!
Thanks for all your insight on this because its really *bothering* me!
[This message edited by dreamlife at 9:02 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]
We're going to see a counsellor on Monday, and another on Wednesday to see if either are suitable. we've had MC for a few months, but I guess it's never going to be much help if one of you is lying all the time.
Does anyone here have experience of recoverynation? Has it been helpful?
This particularly hit me:
If he is masturbating he is NOT sober. Period.
Our IC/MC did not push this aspect a whole lot when he was encouraging FWH to stay 'clean'. I know it was simply lack of education on his part. FWH and I understand the reasoning behind this.
However, could you forward me the background/articles/expert opinions on the 'whys' of this. FWH and want to study it and present it to our IC/MC who is so very good, but learning to be better. You can do it here or by PM. If the references are huge, I will glady share my email
Thanks 7years. I consider you the expert in this area on SI and thank you for so much wisdom.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 12:07 AM, April 5th (Saturday)]
But I will ask my FWH and see if he has any literature on it.
I did some research online just now and found a few things.
I found this description of Sexaholics Anonymous on a site listing resources for sexual addiction.
SA: Sexaholics Anonymous This 12-Step program is the strictest in its definition of sexual sobriety. Masturbation is discouraged, as is homosexual sex. Sobriety is defined as "No sexual behavior outside of a committed marital relationship between a man and a woman."
Copied and pasted directly from the SA site at http://www.sa.org/sexaholic.php
Thus, for the sexaholic, any form of sex with one's self or with partners other than the spouse is progressively addictive and destructive. We also see that lust is the driving force behind our sexual acting out, and true sobriety includes progressive victory over lust.
The key to this is that in sexual addiction the addict is using the drug as a coping mechanism to self medicate. Every time he masturbates he's using. He's self medicating instead of working on the core issues that led to his addiction in the first place.
I hope that is helpful. I will still ask my FWH if he has any literature on it and/or what books you need to look in. He has a workbook he uses and it might be in there.