Is he being abusive?
He won't leave, but I don't want to live like this.
Yet, I'm so scared of him leaving
Yet, I'm so scared of him leaving
Here's what I think. I think you don't need to be in marriage counseling. You are wasting your time. This is POINTLESS unless or until he gets into therapy with a CSAT and gets into recovery and is SOBER. You cannot force him to do so but you can set boundaries and consequences.
YOU need to be in IC for YOU. If the counselor you're seeing for MC can do IC with you and you think he or she can help you with your codependency, that's a good plan.
I'm reading Melody Beattie's Codependent No More right now. And I mean reading!! I am using a highlighter and I am journalling on a private USB stick after each session. There are other books out there that are very good as well, including the one that we consider the best yet, Mending a Shattered Heart.
But the books that center on codependency concentrate on how you have developed an addiction to your addict, himself. It is hard to find yourself in all that co-mingling of personalities, egos, etc.
Believe me, I know. I am a codependent queen. I fell back into it in the last few weeks and I want to boink myself over the head for it. But I just got back up, shook myself off and went back to working some sort of program to get back on target.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 5:53 PM, November 23rd (Sunday)]
He's already been told that he doesn't have any problems by a counselor. In fact, I was told I was the one with the issues. :/
You're right, I think it is the exact same thing. He's even looking up the exact same type of girls. He seems to have a preference for a certain type (which I am the opposite). He repeatedly looks up these same women, then claims he doesn't have a preference for them.
Like Judge Judy says if it doesn't make sense then it's not true...
I had talked to him before about quitting porn, and he acted as though I had slapped his granny.
Okay, I will try to make some boundaries.
1Forward1Back, I'm reading that,too! I just started today. I can't wait to finish. I also read Out of the Shadows.
I agree with 7 on the boundary topic. You've got to be able to enforce whatever boundaries you determine necessary.
Like 7 said, first is to get him to acknowledge his problem and get him into recovery. Until then, you are spinning your wheels. You can't help him if he's not willing.
Maybe your first step should be to find a counselor for YOU to help work on boundaries and deal with your healing.
In my case, I followed alot of what 7 had said in much earlier posts about setting levels of boundaries. My WH has consequences for varying levels of acting out. I set boundaries if he acts out with cyber sex, phone sex, massage parlors and ONS. Lower on the consequence list is looking at online porn and masturbating. He is well aware of the consequences and knows what will put me in the position to walk out.
We're six months out from d-day and we did a 90 abstinence (x2 so it was about 180 days) suggested by his IC. Absolutely no masturbation on his part since d-day.
There's a book called "Boundaries" that may help you as well.
Take an hour or so and write down what consequences match what acting out. First and foremost I think he's got to acknowledge his problem and understand that you are not going to tolerate it.
I'll PM you later!
7yrs--thanks again for all your advice. I read your post (twice) and am a bit braindead after travelling all day, so I will check the website tomorrow and read the posts again--I know what you are saying makes sense, I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with it yet. I have gotten advice in the past, and sometimes it is too painful for me to deal with right away, (in fact, one time I stayed away from this site for a week, but then I realized that the person who gave the advice was right and I needed to deal with it. I am getting stronger; believe it or not, I am much stronger now than I was 4 months ago when I was just scared he was leaving and didn't even really deal with what he had done.
As I was flying to see him, I felt powerful, for the first time in a long time. I felt like I could let go of the outcome and just deal with myself and my children.
I had an okay visit--I only told him I loved him once (after he said it when I was leaving). No sex. And actually, I even feel awkward changing clothes in front of him right now (never had that hangup before!) I did not clean up his apartment or do his laundry (I usually do, but I just didn't feel like it).
I also told him, on the cellphone, on my way home, I cannot handle any more lies, I actually told him the truth about what I wanted, and I told him I was going to start telling him my needs and when I was not happy about something (again, this sounds minor, but is a very big thing for me, because I never complain, I just do it.) I also am calling him on it when I know he is not being truthful about something. (again a major step for mrs. wimp)
I am having moments where I feel I can be okay by myself, and sometimes I almost prefer it, as to dealing with this crap--I'm not sure I want to go thru all this hard work or not, but there is still "some" feeling there, and I would not be okay financially at this point. I have not worked a normal job in a long time, and I am trying to think about what I could do that would support me and my children at this point.
anyway, I couldn't wait to get back here because I have found that this site and all the wonderful people that are trying to find their way like me, or have already had some success and wisdom on these things, help give me the strength and support I need right now. Thank you everyone!!
I'm getting my WS to do the Recovery Workshop for SAs. It's free, online and takes 90 days. You post your responses to the forum and a coach will comment if they think you're missing the point.
The information about what drives a sexually compulsive person is fascinating, and I've read through the Recovery Workshop for the SAs and I think it would work well with both IC and a 12 step program or by itself.
I may add that to my list of resources that I give to all newbies! Thanks for the reminder. I had been meaning to check Recovery Nation out for a long time and kept forgetting.
NOTE TO ALL:
I owe responses to folks and some PMs too. This week is nuts with Thanksgiving but also because I'm working this week for a friend of mine so I'm not home like usual. I'm not ignoring anyone, I'm just slammed.
I'm trying to work on myself though. I haven't been checking as much.
I keep having an inkling that he is more aroused by porn than by me. I don't like that b/c my inklings are generally true. I also suspect he spends more on porn than he lets on.
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 8:09 PM, November 24th (Monday)]
I basically grew up around 12-steppers, so I see how it's a valuable method, but Recovery Nation takes a different approach: it asks "What are you values?" and really works on the cognitive dissonance aspect of the addict's behavior. So instead of suppressing or avoiding triggers, they are actually removing the compulsion and replacing it with strong value based decision making.
I think it might be the best program I've ever seen for compulsive behavior.
You stunned me with this:
He was a sex addict when you met him. When I said "path he chose" I meant in terms of choosing not to get sober and in leaving you rather than face his addiction and get help. So, the answer is, he's always been a sex addict and your life has been full of secrets and lies as long as you've known him.
I have read most of the books that keep coming up in this forum and somehow I had missed this. Maybe I cannot yet accept this yet. It has to be pretty obvious that I am struggling with accepting that I spent 20 years with this man and I seemingly had not a clue of anything like this. I knew he was arrogant and controlling and forced us all to accept he was right even when he was wrong. But this?
The reality is I had clues that something was wrong but the timing was such that with the death of his brother two years ago, his father's alzheimer's and his father's more recent cancer diagnosis, I thought that some of the red flags I was feeling at the gut level were symptomatic of depression.
He may have multiple addictions, I'd be surprised if he doesn't. My rSA also has issues with food. That is the most common dual addiction sex/food.
My spouse drove us crazy with his fanaticism with his weight-he was a small man but gaining 5 pounds drove him crazy. He was constantly battling with the foods he ate in order to maintain his weight or lose weight. he was an exercise fanatic. Constant battle-I had no idea how this was a part of the whole need for feeding his ego and building his self confidence.
I traveled a lot with my jobs and I can mark the times he was accessing porn, calling escorts, on-line sex to match the times when I was out of town and my daughter was at work. It is like clockwork for at least 2 years.
My spouse is very smart and appeared to be very confident. His confidence was what drew me to him. It has been very difficult to realize that he was actually very weak and he was capable of manipulating and lying for so long.
i believe he finally left me because of the level of emotional involvement with one of the other women.
I believe my spouse may have actually convinced himself that he could leave me and force me to acknowledge all of our problems were my problems. This would justify all of his outside activities in his head. Then he could come back with me "under control" (the narcissist part) and he could continue as usual with no one the wiser about his other activities.
You're never going to know. You have to face that and deal with that. He left. He chose his path (which is to deny his addiction) and he's never going to give you what you want.
You are right. I believe I finally have as much as I want to know to recognize and accept the truth.
I am in the divorce process and this produces some conflicts between "need to know" for positioning in the divorce process and "want to know" for moving through the emotional destruction to acceptance and finally to healing. I struggle with separating the two processes.
7, you have given me more to think about than most of the other resources available.
Thanks. And keep hitting me with the reality. I am ready for it.
[This message edited by WantingtheTruth at 11:20 PM, November 24th (Monday)]
As far as really leaving, I am starting to think this is a disease I don't want to deal with--I don't think I am strong enough--will I have to watch him the rest of our lives? That is an awful lot to deal with. But I am not sure how to leave just yet, financially, and also because my ten year old daughter thinks the world revolves around him, and she has been hurt so bad in the past by her biological father--my current H was the role model she has been needing. (In most ways, but how did I miss this part!) I am honestly still kind of confused on all this.
I like the part in setting boundaries where I can say, if you don't get some help, then I will need to start considering my options. And if he says what options, I guess I can just say ??? my options of where I want to go with this relationship? Does that work? I am trying to figure out how to let go of the outcome--some days I think I might have it, and others I am just not sure.
I hate confronting him over the phone, it is too easy for him to hang up and get mad and not deal with things. Plus, I have a lot of papers I have downloaded and copied that I would like to show him that helps to prove my point that he has a problem, but honestly, I think down deep he probably knows he has a problem even though he denies it.
I like what you wrote about if he continues to deny the problem, I won't come to see him. That would be easier for me, because i don't really feel like going to see him anyway.
I don't know if I am thinking in a healthier way yet, but I am trying to learn, sometimes for me it takes a while.
Thank again you for your advice, it is something solid for me to latch onto and actually start making plans to do something about. I think a COSA type group would be very helpful also, but I can't find anything in our rural area.
I don't have to be nice to people who aren't nice to me
That is one of the affirmations of basic rights--and he isn't being nice to me when he is lying about his addiction and hiding things from me and trying to sweep what happened (even though it was 5 months ago) under the rug.
You know, if someone is rude to me when I am at a store or something, I don't take it personal but I will stand up for myself and say "excuse me?" or answer back in some way without getting nasty, I just stand up for myself and then walk away. Why is this so hard in a relationship?
Sorry I was on vacation for two weeks, but I am back now.
I think of you often, and hope you know you have a friend in us here. Thank you for continuously giving us newbies support, advice and help.
Please take care of yourself.
Please rest assured that all of us here have gone through emotional roller coasters.
From all the sources I have consulted, it is recommended that no major decision be made the first year after the discovery of SA. Whether you would eventually decide to stay or leave, you need that time to heal yourself and weigh your options. Do not feel obliged or pressured to make a quick decision, and do not feel that your indecision is a sign of weakness, because it is not.
I echoed everyone's comments on your situation. You cannot make someone change. You can only take care of yourself.
I only wish to add that for you to set boundaries is assuming one pre-condition: that your husband acknowledges he has a problem and is committed to change. It is a futile exercise in the long run for you to set boundaries which your husband does not agree with and is not committed to complying.
Having said that, if you do wish to set boundaires, I concur with Mourning123's advice. Think about the different activities that you will not tolerate, and the consequences you wish to impose. You can write your thoughts down, and take as much time as you wish. Also remember the following:
* Do not make threats or aim to control. The objective of setting boundaries is to create a environment wherein you feel safe and happy in your relationship.
* Do not have consequences that you cannot control or impose.
* Follow through with the consequences. You lose credibility otherwise.
* Continuing on the previous point, it is important to think carefully about the consequences. For example, in a moment of anger, you may think "if you watch porn, I will kick you out and file for divorce". However, are you really doing to get a divorce just because he watches one porn?
* After you have thought out your list, preferrably after having discussed with your counsellor, share it with your spouse. When I showed my spouse the list, I told him if he has any objections, he should "raise them now or forever hold your peace". He actually said "I agree to everything. I do not think our relationship will recover otherwise".
Here's my update. I am for sure pregnant. I've taken 4 home pregnancy tests and have starting having severe symptoms.
Since finding out last Friday I've come to realize this has happend for a reason. I will try to make things work with WH and if they don't it's not the end of the world.
I'm not very far along so anything can happen at this point. But honestly I want to have a happy and healthy pregnancy. I've always wanted to be a mom and truly this is a good thing for me. It's just terrible timing.
The wife said she felt like a whore. I can relate.
The addict said he started off with print then moved toward finding people in real life. I'm not sure if my partner has already cheated, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did in the future.
Like the sex addict, my partner has had profiles on adult sites. I don't know if he has an account on friend finder, but he does have an account on hooker review sites (hookers even post there ).
He definitely has the porn thing down. She said she knew about it, but didn't know the extent. I knew he had some, but I didnt know he did everything he was doing.
I've also caught him looking up a man's profile on craigslist. I hope that was a mistake!!!
Congratulations on your pregnancy. It sounds like you are happy about it and we are here to support you.
After having reviewed your profile, it appears that you have been subjected to a serious case of tricle truth. May be your husband has only engaged in cyber and phone sex and nothing more. May be he has actually met up, dated and/or slept with others. The reality is, it is quite unlikely that he never at least met up with these women or slept with any of them, especially since it sounds like he has had the addiction for as long as you have known him.
In my case, on D Day 1, I discovered all the cybersex, phone sex, texting and personal ads. Mr. B maintained that he never met anyone. Only on D Day 2 did I discover and did he admit that he had met with many of these women and slept with a few. It was only then did Mr. B truly hit rock bottom and the fog lifted.
You have to figure out how much you need to know now that you are pregant with his child and that you are more motivated than ever to reconcile. I have always advocated that before you demand details to everything, you should think very carefully and deliberately the reason behind the need to know everything, what exactly you need to know, and what are the consequences of knowing for you and for your relationship. For example, once a betrayed spouse knows that sex was involved, does it really matter and does it help you to know the exact sexual position they were in? Or is it just "pain shopping"?
However, in your case, it sounds like there are HUGE gaps with basic facts. I would go out on a limp and say you have a right to know more. You may prefer to discuss this with your own counsellor first to clarify your thoughts, and ask your husband these questions in the presence of a couple's counsellor.
From my experience, until and unless a sex addict has hit rock bottom, any recovery he is embarking on, and any reconciliatory efforts you are both making, are illusory. The positive side is, once a sex addict has hit rock bottom, his recovery and your reconciliation will be that much more meaningful and hopeful.
Finally, there is never any harm to think of a contingency plan. What would happen if your husband "falls off the wagon"? What actions will you take? Are these actions feasible (e.g. if you wish to end the relationship in that case, do you have the financial resources to support yourself and a child, and if not, what can you do now to plan for it)?
I am not trying to sway you any one way. You are a unique individual. All I am saying is that you should think about this and make the best decision for you.
I wish you the very best. Please look after yourself. Post often.
I was thinking about this boundary-any more online porn, and we are going back to counseling. I think that he needs to stop for sure with the online stuff since now he's dabbling into an area which could potentially have legal consequences. I'm not sure if I'm just ready to enforce that one yet. I think if he did stop with the online porn, he'll just find other outlets (Maxim, Playboy, Yahoo Personals, something!!!).
Ok, I'm starting to come up with theories about why he has financial problems. He has bad credit, and I think part of the reason might be that he was spending money strippers and not taking care of his business. He also admitted that he put up with a lot from an ex, and that put him in a bit of a bind. I think he's codependent,too. He was surprisingly honest about the strip clubs in the past, but I don't know if I believe him when he said he had never been with a prostitute.
ETA: I feel like stuff is just coming to me. I can't get over this-why is my partner carrying around xtra large condoms, and he's not xl??? Please don't be what I think it is.
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 6:01 PM, November 26th (Wednesday)]
I took the little quizzes and acted as though it were talking about co-sex addiction instead of co-alcohol addiction. It said if you answered yes to 3, you may want to consider joining a group. I answered yes to 11.
There are not any cosa meetings in my area. Has anyone ever gone to al-anon??? That would probably be fitting,too, b/c sometimes I wonder about his alcohol use. He's already had a DUI, that's not counting the times he didn't get caught. I think he might have been mandated to attend meetings at one time.
ETA: I just realized that I haven't felt sexy for him this whole year.
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 8:51 PM, November 28th (Friday)]
I go to Al-Anon. We do not have a CoSA group here, so this will have to do until we have one.
I just went back today after not going for 3 weeks. In that time a lot happened and I did not respond in the mature way I wish for myself.
So I went back to Al-Anon and I am so glad I did. I am getting to know some really neat people who, like me, are co-dependents. It doesn't seem to matter what the addiction of the loved one is; many of us react in a similar fashion.
I'd give it a try if I were you.
I think that if I go, it's going to keep putting nails in the coffin. If I am trying to get some kind of help, and he's not then I'm just wasting my time with him, and I can find someone else.
I don't feel sexy, I'm tired of being made out to be the jealous, irrational,smothering partner. If he's so in love with porn and other women in general, there's not much I can do.
I can see now that it's not just for the erotic images, he looking for someone flesh in blood. When I found it he was looking up women on Yahoo (his replacement for hookers) that just proved what I've suspected all along-that's it's not about the pictures, it's about wanting to be with someone else.
I don't want to be with a guy who looks up nude and suggestive pictures of a minor, then tries to lie about it. I'm trying not to be judgmental, but I mean yuck. He don't seem to want to get any help. I just can't get past that.
I'm reading Porn Nation. I just read Out of the Shadows. Some say these books are scary, but I think they are really helping me understand better. I think PN would be good for my partner.