The gist of the conversation was that he now agrees we need marriage counseling while we each have IC. The problem I see is that he has not been diagnosed SA and doesn't appear to see that as a possibility. He says he's working on himself but I'm not allowed to be involved at all in that process.
I told him that the R is not going the way I want it to, that I wanted openness, transparency, sharing, and deep delving into the real issues instead of the surface "getting along" that he sees as good enough. I said I was not willing to go forward without this, and he seems to think there's a middle ground and that we both want the same thing.
So, how do you factor in the denial of a possible SA? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I am so sorry to hear that there is yet another setback for you.
Sex addiction is a disease full of real risks of relapses. However, it appears there are now 4 or 5 relapes in your case.
On my D Day 1, I only discovered phone & cyber sex. Not until 2 months after D Day 1 did I discover real affairs. I would say Mr. Birdwatch did not hit rock bottom until D Day 2. It's only then he truly comprehended the extent of the problem.
In your case, you may ask yourself some questions:
* Has your WS hit rock bottom? Is he still to an extent in denial? E.g. I am just "talking" to these women - I am not seeing them? If that's his response, I would say even after all these D Days, he has still not hit rock bottom and understand the severity of the problem.
* Have you set boundaries? When you set boundaries, there have to be consequences. Be sure you will follow through with the consequences.
* Is your WS receiving individual counselling and/or 12-step group therapy? It definitely looks like he needs a certified sex therapist.
* Your foremost concern now is not him and not the relationship; it should be YOU. You have to take care of yourself, your well-being, and do whatever is best for you. Make sure you are receiving support here and from a counsellor. It is okay to be scared. It is okay to not be able to make a decision. Most books I read recommend against making any big decisions in the first year anyway.
Post often. We are here for you.
Is it possible that during the years when a sex addict is wrapped up in their acting out (amidst the 100s of text messages, phone messages, etc. a day), that they really cannot remember any specifics?
Mr. Birdwatch has given me his password to Facebook since D day. There are very old messages that predated D Day where there were flirtations with two of the friends. There has been no contact with these women for a year, and especially not since D Day. Thus, I know this is old news. However, I still confronted Mr. Birdwatch for not having removed these women as a friend from Facebook. We had such a heart-wrenching exchange. Mr. Birdwatch swore he does not remember. He admitted that during his "darkest times", he was emailing, texting & phoning dozens and dozens of women, any women, a day, and he would write anything to get a thrill. He swore he did not remember he had these exchanges with these women a year ago. Do you think it is possible? I tend to believe him since he would have been very stupid to not erase the messages and let me have his password. The silver lining is that he has now removed the two women in question from Facebook.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 11:55 AM, October 27th (Monday)]
Yes, I think they can forget. For us, it's monumental. For them, it's just another exchange in a sea of exchanges. Literally (yuck!) and figuratively...
I agree with EternalOptimist that they can and do forget some things...I'm choosing to trust that is the case with my WH. Some specifics of which there is old proof, he doesn't remember completely.
May or may not be the case for everyone, but I truly believe I know all the acting out that my WH has committed. Even things he broke down and told me that I NEVER would have discovered without him coming clean.
My partner claims he can't remember anything. There was one instance in which I'm sure he was lying, but I also think there were times when he was honest. I mean, he's not going to remember one particular hooker if he can (and has) sat down and looked up 100 hookers or more at a time. He says he just doesn't remember but for whatever reason I can remember some of those girls by name.
EternalOptimist, I try to remind myself that it has nothing to do with me, but I'm still hurt. I like to think of myself as fairly attractive, but many of the women he's so interested in are far from anything to rave about.
I'm sorry sorry CAT5. What he did was absolutely HORRIBLE!
I need to protect myself rather than spending a great deal of time worrying about why he did this. That's for him to figure out.
I'm just trying to take it all in and figure out how to proceed.
Again, many thanks. I hate it that this - any of this - has happened to me and everyone else here.
I know the secrecy is part of the hit, but really, this is a man who lost his glasses in our house 5 months ago and still has not found them.
He cannot remember anything in real life. I honestly believe he's forgotten many details of his acting out.
He has this CD with old email messages on it. He missed one from the OW and I have asked him numerous times to please get rid of it.
He has to ask me over and over again where the disk is. Every time it's in the very same place as it was before.
The dust collection on it is a good year old so I know he's not looking at it with fond memories or anything.
I gave up asking. I don't care anymore. The more I see this about his SA and not the OW, the less important these things become.
I sent you a PM. After reading what others wrote on Just Found Out -- and taking off my rose-colored glasses for a minute, I think everyone is right to warn you to get the hell away from this guy. You seem to be quite together in spite of all this. It'll serve you well as you figure this out.
This is indeed a very, very serious situation. Please take action now.
You need to protect yourself.
Post as often as you can. We will be here to help you through all of this.
In a chain of emails between Mr. Birdwatch and a female friend a year ago (PRE d day), the lady asked Mr. Birdwatch several times about me. Mr. Birdwatch finally answered but ended by saying "I wish I had met you earlier". To her credit, this lady wrote back "Things happen for a reason. We (she and Mr. Birdwatch) are meant to be friends, and you and your girlfriend are meant to be together".
I know I know, this is pre-D Day. Mr. Birdwatch has had no contact with this woman and has deleted her from Facebook. But the fact he regretted not having met her earlier just cut me to the core. Mr. Birdwatch admitted that he was sending so many messages to so many women that he can't even remember this particular exchange. He also admitted that at the time, he would say different things to different women to get a thrill and hence the sexual addiction. He said he never meant what he wrote.
Rationally I know this is in the past and there is nothing anyone can do about it. But it still sucks! How do I ever get passed my partner telling another woman he hoped he had met her earlier? I think I am now re-living and recycling the pain. How can I stop this? Has any of you feel like you are trapped in a loop and cannot stop it? What do you do?
Sorry, just feeling dejected and devastated. I love you all and wish all of you are well.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 1:05 PM, October 28th (Tuesday)]
Just wanted to send you hugs and good thoughts! I know exactly how you feel.
I know for me, I have to process the different types of acting out and get through each type in order to get past all the pain and hurt. I literally talk to myself alot more lately and have to remind myself not to obsess over it. Remember the acting out was all for the "rush", we all know these WS's did and said things for the sole purpose of their "fix".
And I remind myself alot of the positive things my WH is doing to try to repair the damage and conquer these demons.
Know that I'm here for you whenever you need!
The AD's must be kicking in because the fog in my mind is starting to lift and I think I have to leave him. Now if I can stay strong for a few weeks I know I can do it.
Maybe I'm in denial again but I sure feel a lot better (right now that can change in a moments time). I deserve so much better then my WH. Who cares if I've been married and divorced twice. I deserve to be loved by someone who loves me and respects me.
Just wanted to share with you.
Yeah for you!! That's great that you're feeling stronger and can see yourself making choices that are best for you.
I'm sorry about what you're dealing with. I don't know what to say other than I'm sure it was all part of the "game". Reel them in, get what you need, let them go. It's so hard for us to let go of all they said and did and focus on today...but that's really the only way to survive this.
Sorry you're feeling badly right now. Completely understandable and I have to agree with Eternal that it seems to be part of the game. I doubt he meant it. He was just trying to look like the wonderful, loving person (a role) he was trying to portray.
SA's are charmers and they say a lot of things they don't mean. It's a game, the thrill of the chase.
They also say a lot of things they think they mean at the time, but then they realize they never really were going to follow through.
Think of it this way- If he REALLY meant that... Why is he here doing all this hard work with YOU? Wouldn't it have been so much easier to just walk away and be with her? With what I've learned about SA, his response sounds right on target... They'll say whatever they can to continue the relationship- the "high"...Hope that helps...
[This message edited by innerstrength at 9:01 PM, October 29th (Wednesday)]
Last night was really bad because I told him I wanted him to leave (for the ump-teenth time) and he left. Which I was ok with - seriously. But he walked in the freezing cold and left his truck. I was confused but still, overall, ok with him being gone. He called me not more then 45 minutes later from a pay phone saying "I win, he's finally hurting as bad as I am and to tell his children he loved them and good bye". He kept saying he was going to kill himself. Which of course tugged on my heart strings and I begged him not to. I told him to come home and that I love him.
What an idiot I am?!?! Do I really think he would have killed himself no, but I'm not sure and I couldn't live with that. Codependence at its best here.
I picked him up and we talked (and yelled) in a parking lot for a couple of hours. I didn't feel better, I felt worse about me for going to get him.
We got home and he did some more work on his new house project to keep him busy and I worked on homework. He got in the shower and I plugged in his cell phone. While plugging it in for him I decided to look at the last few numbers called. He had called one of our friends (a chick). I asked him why he called her and he got irate with me. Saying that the trust has to start some where and why would I be looking at his phone. He finally told me that he called her to talk about my birthday (he's planning something big for my 30th in December).
I tried to explain to him that it was better for me to ask him then let this thought sit in my head and not say anything. He continued to try and argue. I, of course, apologized and was sick over it. He never apologized (as usual).
I laid in bed last night feeling terrible for having gone to get him. I don't regret looking at his phone or asking him about it. But I do regret going to get him.
I have my 2nd COSA meeting tonight and honestly cannot wait to feel "at home" with others who are experiencing this.
The good news is you're seeing your behaviour (and his!) for what it is -- he's pulling your strings and you're dancing. Now that you see it, you can start changing the situation. It's really, really hard. I know, believe me. And it feels horribly uncomfortable. You're convinced, on some level, that you control so much more than you actually do -- such as the weather, whether or not he takes his vehicle, whether or not he has a relationship with his kids, suicide, etc. I know that you know on an intellectual level that you don't control those things...and now you're starting to recognize that on a gut level. That's a good thing. You slipped up last night. No big deal. When you know better, you do better.
As for "the trust has got to start somewhere" -- he's got to be f#$%ing kidding. Again, you know how ridiculous this is.
The sad truth is, it's impossible to create a healthy relationship with someone who's so unhealthy. At this point, he's incapable. Either he commits to change and recovery, or you're setting yourself up for more heartbreak.
It takes time though to get from knowing that in your head to really knowing it -- and being able to back it up with action. You'll get there. You're already well on your way.
And when you commit yourself to change, he'll either join you...or not. But be prepared for him to pull out every manipulative tool he has. My therapist calls them "counter-moves". When he can sense in you that he's losing control over you, he'll try harder to get it back. But if you can see them for what they are -- counter-moves (think of when your kids would pull it -- the "fine, I don't care if I go to my room. I like it there." or the "you don't love me or you'd let me eat candy for dinner".) He's just a big kid who knows how to pull your strings.
I think you should feel proud of yourself for recognizing what's happening and stop beating yourself up. Next time you'll do better. Or the time after that. In the meantime, do what you need to do to feel stronger and more in control. Read. Post here. Do something good for yourself. Treat yourself with respect until you realize that's what you deserve -- ALL THE TIME.
Good luck with your meeting tonight!
And in terms of Mr. B's sobriety, he is doing well as far as I know. As a matter of fact, in the last week, he has beefed up checking in with me since my digging up the unfortunate year-old Facebook exchange.
Yes, since I have decided to R, the only way to survive this is to let go. I would not have made it so far without all of you wonderful strangers, who have all become my dear friends.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 1:01 PM, October 30th (Thursday)]
I am sorry you are having a tough day and am glad that you have confided in us.
To an extent, I do not believe you have "slipped". The word "slip" implies that one can change and learn like an on-off switch and implies failure. Instead, learning to love and respect yourself, and learning that you deserve to be loved and respected, is a process.
Be gentle with yourself. Know that you are now recognizing the situation and that you are more attune to your wishes and needs. I am very proud of you.
Please continue to focus on yourself. This is the time to care for yourself. You would certainly benefit from seeing a counsellor on your own.
As to threats of suicide, of course, they are always serious. The next time your husband leaves, then calls you to threaten suicide, I suggest you tell him not to do so, ask him his exact location, and tell him you are going to call the police (or his brother or friend or whoever that is close to him other than you). Then call the police/brother/friend to let them know he is threatening suicide and his location. That way, you have done all that you can (really, it probably takes the same amount of time for a brother/friend to drive to him as is for you to drive to him, and it is definitely going to be faster for a police to do so).
Finally, I am NOT saying that everyone and every situation is the same. But before Mr. B hit rock bottom, when I confronted him about one of the OW's whom he had called (who is a sculptor), he said he called the OW to make a sculpture for me for my birthday! I was and still am so FURIOUS (rage rising!) that when confronted, he would make such a despicable lie! But I have learned from other ladies in this Thread that a lot of our spouses tell similar lies, so I want you to know my story.
I am thinking of you, and am letting you know your courage and strength is admirable.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 4:45 PM, October 30th (Thursday)]