Have heard it said that unless a person bears the consequences of their behavior they won't have a desire to change.
IF you're trying to work on your marriage with a sex addict, and they say they are sober and want to change, want to be in the marriage, then they slip up ((again) and you're not financially ready to be on your own yet, what would some consequences look like???
all advise appreciated!!!!
Love, Infidelity, & Sexual Addiction (A Codependent's Perspective) by Christine A. Adams
She had to dicorce her Sa husband...but this book is sooooooo practical/helpful & HONEST...And how *WE* get sucked into the bullshit & denial and stay there until WE get help...
RUN! & order it on amazon TODAY!
and you're not financially ready to be on your own yet, what would some consequences look like???
First and foremost your SA should have his own boundaries and consequences. My rSA (recovering SA) has his own set of boundaries / behaviors / consequences and that is KEY. Your SA should be working a program and have two lists; "boundary behaviors*" and "bottom line behaviors**" and have self imposed consequences for violating those. (Although I just discussed this with my rSA and he said that if an SA is only going to SA or SAA he may only have a "bottom line" list. I personally think my rSA's approach is much better.)
*Boundary Behaviors: These are behaviors that the SA identifies as things that could lead him to breaking his sobriety or things that are generally unhealthy based on his core issues. For example some of my rSA's boundary behaviors are:
~Flipping through the program guide on cable he sees "VH1's 50 Hottest Celebrities" and flips to that channel to take a look.
~Seeing an attractive woman in the grocery store and going out of his way to get another or better look at her.
~Not changing the channel when something inappropriate comes on or not looking away.
So, if he does any of those things he's put on his list he's broken a boundary behavior and will set a consequence on himself, usually a chore he despises like cleaning the toilet. Again, this is HIS stuff. I stay out of it completely. The only exception would be if I were to see him do something and it upset me, I would talk to him about it and share how it made me FEEL. Period. This is not mine to put consequences on. This is HIS front line defense.
**Bottom Line Behaviors are those which he would be required to reset his sobriety for. Examples are: looking at porn, masturbating, looking at online personal ads or visiting inappropriate websites like AFF, having sex with anyone other than me.
Ok, here's my answer to your question (finally!) My boundaries and consequences are all based on his bottom line behaviors and there are levels of severity.
My Level 1 Boundary: He looks at porn or masturbates.
My initial consequence: We do another 90 day abstinence contract and I ask him to show me that he is recommitted to working his program by going to additional counseling and more group meetings. We go to more marriage counseling.
My secondary consequence: If he refuses to comply with any of the initial consequence, I will separate from him for 90 days. If he still does not comply, I will file for divorce.
My Level 2 Boundary: He looks at online personal ads or places an ad but has not progressed to meeting anyone, he's just looked.
My initial consequence: We separate and HE is the one who has to move out. He must show that he is recommitted to his recovery by going to counseling more often and attending more groups. I will consider letting him come home when he's been sober for 6 months.
My secondary consequence: If he doesn't get sober or if he does not comply with any of the initial consequence, I will file for divorce.
My Level 3 Boundary:
If he has any kind of sexual physical contact whatsoever with another person.
My consequence: DIVORCE. Period. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. There are no second chances on this one. He fucks around again and that is it, I'm done.
For levels 1 and 2 there is an additional note, if he tells me about it the consequences stand as written, if he does not tell me and I find out on my own there will be an additional consequence for lying. I don't have that one set in concrete right now but I'm sure I will be able to find something that is appropriate. For Level 3, I have no illusions about that one, if I find out it will be on my own, he will never confess that to me and even if he does confess, that does not change the consequence. He screws around again and I'm gone. Period.
I hope that is helpful. What you have to do is figure out what works for YOU and your relationship. These are what work for me and yours may look very different.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 2:41 PM, February 21st (Saturday)]
This sounds cliche or something but when your SA is sober you'll KNOW. You will. He will be a different man.
I did the search from Carne's site and one is my husband's C and the other one is a woman my husband graduated high school with!
On the topic of counselors, any suggestions on finding one with training or experience with spouses of SA?
I did the search from Carne's site and one is my husband's C and the other one is a woman my husband graduated high school with!
Ask your husband's IC for a recommendation. Explain that the female CSAT in your area graduated with your husband and you wouldn't feel comfortable. His IC should be able to recommend someone for you.
Thanks alot!!! This does help somewhat to hear your angle.
My husband's main problem is going to totally nude strip clubs and getting totally nude private lap dances by one particular stripper with whom he has bought a cell phone for and had several "dates" with.
Last time he saw her was 8/19--not even 2 months ago. 1) He wrote her a letter saying he'll never see her again, that it was a mistake, etc., etc., (I mailed it) and 2) he promised me he'll never step foot in there again, nor talk to her.
I've given him so many chances already----and from this despicable behavior??? to me, this is far worse than looking at porn.
What do you suggest I do should he retreat back to her? I don't have a job yet, and felt when we WERE separated this summer, it just gave him more freedom to call/see her and frequent this gross club. Plus I love him, but I cannot give him any more chances on this one, especially after he did the above 2 things.!!!!!
what would you do??? if you had no money and you knew if you kicked him out, he'd probably just continue on going back there?
I'm thinking, (to be prepared for the worst) that IF he goes there again, I'll let everyone in our family know about it for one, including our kids, who will probably never respect him again, nor will I, and I will make him sleep on the couch. I will not do any activities with him, (like we do now--we've been best friends for 20 yrs....all the more reason why this hurts SO BAD) --nor cook his dinner, I will completely ignore him, go out every day looking for a job even harder, then once I'm on my feet, most likely file for D.
How would you handle it 7 yrs???
I'll offer my two cents. I know how you feel re. separating -- that it just gives him more freedom to indulge in his addiction. However, you're going to have to accept at some point that you can NOT control his actions -- not by keeping him close, not by monitoring, not by giving him sex, withholding sex, etc. etc. Only HE can control his actions and only when HE realizes that what he stands to lose is worth far more than what he'll gain by acting out.
I'm guessing that you're not in a support group or in IC. Please find someone who can help you navigate this. You need to feel strong and clear in your own boundaries. To know absolutely that you will be okay without him and all this insanity. If I were you, I'd work hard on getting a job to give you some independence from him. I'd be careful telling your children, especially out of anger. It would be an awful thing to hear about a parent and, I believe, should only be told to them if doing so would help them, not to hurt someone else.
Then, like 7 years' brilliant list, create your own -- listing behaviour you won't tolerate and what the consequences are -- AND MEAN IT.
You need to believe that you are worth being treated with respect -- AND YOU ARE. Then treat yourself with respect and demand that he do the same. If not...well, know what to do.
But I think the first step is to find some sort of support to move yourself away from thinking you have any kind of control over what he does or doesn't do. You don't. You only control your own actions. It's a tough lesson to learn, I know. But once you do, you'll feel liberated -- less trapped. You'll feel better. I promise.
Well it climbed out from under the rug a couple of weeks ago, when he told me that the best way to save his failing business was to infuse it with money from working as a sex club/party promoter. He was willing to do anything to save his business, though obviously not willing to do anything to save us. He wanted me to go along with this, he even asked if I wanted to go along on trips to clubs so I could see he was behaving himself.
I lost my temper on a monumental scale and threw him out. The business was an excuse for him to get back into that lifestyle, and honestly the idea of me going along, he probably wanted to involve me.
I am trying to not take it personally, it is an addiction he does not want to fight anymore. I know it's silly to think love would be enough to fix this, but I did. He is a sick man, and I can't have him as part of my life anymore, I had to walk away,but I loved him and am heartbroken. I know it is not my fault or responsibility, my head knows that, but my heart wishes I could have saved him.
Thinking of you guys...
I go to counseling today...& my daughter will meet our counselor...
It's so true...you cannot control the sa or their choices or behavior. PERIOD. What's best for me right now is
1. I've kicked him out again
2. I've gone no contact unless about business/kids...& am ignoring his stupid text messages, etc.
Meantime, he's a true gaslighter & narcissist...feeling sorry for himself...still. Even though his kids even know...
Incredible...some SA's never do hit bottom...& they are going to do whatever they r going to do...gotta let go...
Do what's best for YOU.
Well in the long run it will hurt a whole heck of a lot less than a lifetime of this. I asked him plainly if this need to participate in this behavior was more important than me. He just hung his head. It was a resounding YES.
I tried so hard over the last couple of months to convince him to change. He said he wanted to, and part of him probably did, maybe still does. But not enough. And there is NOTHING I can do to change that. No amount of pleading, arguing analyzing is going to change who he is. He now has a way to actively engage in this lifestyle and make money. He has hit bottom. He has lost me, the chance at a family, and has to hide what he is doing from his family. Sure he could sink even lower, but that seems pretty bottomish to me. His selfishness does not see that I guess. And maybe never will.
So sorry for your pain. I don't have much advice to give, other than to say that it may take consequences from you to allow him the room to recognize his need for change.
You are in my thoughts and prayers
Thank you GB, i checked it out. However he is barely willing to acecpt therapy as an option (his family considers it self indulgent bs), and wants face:face.
it's all about James Hunter, now ;)
And here's the 180 link:
I haven't posted lately because I am just so busy at work. But I have been reading. I learn something every time I do. You ladies are all so marvelous. I appreciate your wisdom, your frustrations, your questions etc.
Things have been up and down here for the last few weeks. I felt pessimistic for a few days, followed by some numbness and then followed by some optimism. My H has been doing much better than I thought. The problem is he feels so much shame he has difficulty discussing anything with me. And I've decided that's okay. Why? Because it takes the focus off of him and allows me to concentrate on me. Overall I feel more optimistic than otherwise. But the main thing is I feel quite capable and prepared to leave the marriage when and if I am forced to do so. That in itself is huge and a reason to feel good about the future.
I have joined Al-Anon. There is no COSA or any such group in this small city. It has been wonderful. The first session, after I told them my story, I asked if I belonged there. It was answered with a resounding 'yes'. As I told my story one older woman was sobbing and nodding her head as if she understood. As my friend who went through something similar years ago said, Al-Anon may be the ticket for real life support. It was for her.
Hope to be able to post more as I adjust to new responsibilities at work. If not, I am still read here and lap up all the great learning.
I am so sorry to hear about your situation.
It does not sound like your WS wishes to change or respect you. One thing I have learned is none of us can control how other people behave, but we have control over how we react to it.
Having said that, before you make any final decision to leave, do you think you may wish to have a final talk with your individual counsellor and also have your WS and you talk to your couple's counsellor? May be you can separate and give yourself time to think before filing for divorce? Is it possible that your WS, who is a sex addict, has not "really" hit rock bottom yet and does not really realize the extent of his problems?
These are all rhetorical questions, I suppose. I can only imagine the hurt, anger, disappointment, humiliation and betrayal you must be feeling, and I just think you may wish to separate yourself from the situation temporarily so that whatever decision you make (leave or stay), you will do so fully informed, when you are in as good a mental state as you can be in the circumstances.
I really really am sorry to hear about this. Having followed your story, I cannot beleive the turn of events. Please take care.
There's some good advice -- good, not necessarily easy -- on this forum. What I wish for each and every one of you (not to mention for myself ) is to truly appreciate and respect yourselves. As I read each posting, so much emotion is palpable -- anger, relief, euphoria, pain, bewilderment... Please know how much your presence is valued here -- wherever you are on your path to healing. And trust yourself to do what's best for you. A friend gave me a bracelet in the wake of DDay #1 that has a message on it: "Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live." Deceptively simple, but awfully hard to carry out for many of us who have trusted others before we've trusted ourselves, who have valued others more than ourselves, have spared others' pain and taken it on ourselves...
We need to relearn how we live in the world.