[This message edited by innerstrength at 8:56 PM, May 15th (Thursday)]
[This message edited by innerstrength at 7:42 AM, May 16th (Friday)]
Is there anyone active on this forum who can tell me what the key factors in their spouse's (or their) recovery were?
My FWH has been sober for 21mos. He and I credit his sobriety with seeing a male CSAT who is a recovering SA and going to a group led by a CSAT who is a recovering SA.
I am seeing a therapist for codependency and I'm attending a group at the same counseling center my husband attends because the counselor leading the spouses group is an expert on spouses of SA.
It is absolutely key that the addict is seeing a CSAT, first and foremost, but I also believe that male SAs should see a male CSAT and females should see a female CSAT. My FWH has been very candid with me about this. He credits his success to the fact that his CSAT is a man who is also a recovering SA. My FWH can't get away with anything in counseling. Also, in terms of him seeing a female counselor, he cannot fathom that any sex addict male could sit in a room with a female and discuss sex and not sexualize her or fantasize about her. To quote him, "I'm a sex addict. It's what I do. I can't go to a restaurant and be comfortable with a woman waiting on us, I can't make eye contact with waitresses and maintain my sobriety. What makes you think that I'd be able to sit alone in a room with a woman and discuss sex and maintain sobriety? It's insane."
But she has said a few things (according to him...) like: "Fantasy is ok sometimes, just don't let it take over", "Is she willing to role-play?", "Masturbation is no big deal, just don't let it keep you from wanting her" and "If we fix our sex life she says we'll be fine".... I'm feeling like those are HUGE warning flags.
By the way, she's a marriage & family counselor and a sex therapist, but I don't think a CSAT...
I told my H that might be like going to a happy hour planner for treatment of alcoholism.
The whole problem with SA,(as I have understood it to be) is replacing intimacy with fantasy, neglecting your loved ones for that fantasy even though you know it's wrong and not seeing love and sex as a package.
I'm glad you're going to read "MASH" by Stefanie Carnes but Eternaloptimist has a point about "Don't Call It Love" by Patrick Carnes. I should start recommending that people read both...I think I still think that reading "MASH" first is a good idea because it's so very validating of the spouses feelings but it is true that the spouses also need to understand SA and "DCIL" does a better job of that. I still contend that "Out of the Shadows" is too overwhelming and too scary for new spouses/partners to read. Maybe further down the line but not right off the bat.
PM me anytime.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 12:47 PM, May 16th (Friday)]
Our MC helped us find a IC with lots of SA experience. She is a woman. But MC and I also discussed that that might not be bad. One thing I really need to see WH work on is the emotional disconnect--and I wonder if another woman could help more with that. So far, so good.
Of course-my WH went down the road of some experimenting with a man ---so no one really seems like a safe choice.
If you cannot find a CSAT near you, there still might be other people who can help. I find one of the more overwhelming things right now is just trying to figure out if we are getting to the right people who can help.
I don't have a lot of experience yet--still trying to find our way through this.
I strongly agree with the concern about this:
Is she willing to role-play?", "Masturbation is no big deal, just don't let it keep you from wanting her" and "If we fix our sex life she says we'll be fine"....
God--telling an SA that everything will be ok if their spouse just gives them the sex life they want is beyond ridiculous. My WH tried that at the beginning and it really PISSED ME OFF. I told him that sounded a lot like this was my fault -and I was not buying that.
I did have some big concerns about my WH's IC until I met with her yesterday. Hearing the info from her directly made me feel much better that we were on the same page. I hope you find the same.
[This message edited by FeistyWoman at 4:39 PM, May 16th (Friday)]
We know it's going to be a long journey, thanks for being here to join me on it and point out the sights along the way!
Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts.
I just wanted to say that so far, my H is doing very well with SA. He's been keeping in touch with some of the members, especially the one that he's riding to the meetings. I never saw him put this much effort when he was going to Sex AA.
He had stopped the porn during IC. With the SA mtgs he has now stopped the MB and finally understands how wrong he was all these yrs.
Listening to other SA's at the meetings has helped him understand.
An SA needs to talk to other SA's.
I would never have gone along with my SA seeing a female therapist. Especially a female sex therapist. I almost choked when I read that.
Out of the Shadows is a great book to help you understand the addiction. It is hard to read but it will help in the long run.
A spouse of an SA also needs therapy and other grps to sort all this out. If you are a spouse don't go thru this alone. You need to talk to others in the same situation as you.
Whether you stay or go from the marriage you will need some kind of support to deal with everything.
Also welcome to the newbies on this forum.
As part of our R, I told him that I wanted all accounts and the passwords. He just went and opened a new one. Dumbass didn't think I would figure it out. He won't give me the info for the new one so I am done with R and going on with my life, as hard as that is. I hope for my kids sake he is truly trying to get real help. We will see.
I know from credit card statements though that he is still looking at porn and I think he might be atleast partying or meeting someone.
When he told me about the meeting all I said was "great for you". Too bad it took him this long to attend a meeting. I have been trying to get him to go for several years. He finally does when our marriage is pretty much over. I know that I should be happy that he is going but the timing just pisses me off.
It is what it is.
I'm also really recognizing how much I've taken responsibility for in this relationship -- childcare, meals, cleaning, organizing activities, volunteer work, my paid work, our social life (apart from his "liasons" -- he took care of those ) and on and on.
I get that I shouldn't have taken on so much and that he should have been far more connected to the family and far more accountable for his time.
But now that I'm trying to give up some of my control/responsibility, there's this chasm -- he simply isn't equipped or certainly accustomed to stepping up to the plate. And I'm not a nagger (or at least I don't want to be). It's like trying to have a new relationship but with all the debris from the old one still in the way. God, it's exhausting.
Wow, Eternaloptimist. Are we the same person? This is exactly how I often feel.
Interview with Dr Drew
Look for this text: (right now it's the second one on the list)
May 16, 2008: Michael Leahy talks about his book "Porn Nation," which is his
true story of sex addiction and the story of America.
Here is a video clip dealing with the evils of porn which includes an interview
with Michael Leahy and his ex-wife Patty. I found this particularly helpful
because she shares her side very well.
Also, here is a link to Michael Leahy's site to promote his book. You can read excerpts from the
book if you have Acrobat Reader.
I hope this is helpful to everyone.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 11:40 PM, May 19th (Monday)]
Thanks so much for those links. I've become quite curious about the "porn" culture that exists. It has never appealed to me, but I tended to have a laissez-faire attitude (and I guess I still do, to some extent). But I read an article about internet porn that noted how people's brains literally changed from watching porn. Different synapses are created/strengthened, etc. I was horrified to read that many child molesters use porn with kids they're "grooming" in order to desensitize them to what will be happening to them.Porn is not as benign as many would like to believe...
How do I protect her? How do I let her know what to watch for? How will she know if she's with a porn addict just waiting to escalate to "porn with skin on?"
I'm seriously freaked out and right now she's only 4!!