So we started talking about our R, and problems, and I asked him if he thought we were happy when he was back home here. He tries to put all of our problems on my XH, who is a nut. He does cause some problems, but absolutely not all of them.
He was talking about how the separation is so unfair, and why do we have to be apart, and we seem to have so many obstacles thrown at our relationship, etc...so I used the opening and started talking about how I feel this is God's way of waking us up to deal with our problems. (He believes in God but is very angry with him right now for everything he/we have been thru). So I told him, yes, in the beginning, I was angry too, but then I realized I could either do something destructive or constructive with what we have been given, and I've chosen constructive. I told him I was using this time apart to work on me. I was going to an IC, and I told him I started a 12 step program last month that I feel will help me a lot. I told him I was a codependent, and that I have been looking all my life to fill this hole inside left by an emotional void from my dad (I have a great dad, but he was not emotionally astute), and that I have used jobs, men, and hobbies, etc.. to fill that hole, and I have just recently realized that I have to learn to fill that hole from inside me. I told him I wanted to be a stronger person, and to be with him because I love and want him, not because I need him to fill an emotional void.
And I told him that he has been running all his life also, that he also has a hole, and that we both truly believed God put us together for a reason (we met under very unusual circumstances), our souls know we are meant to be together, and I believe it is to help each other heal. I told him we both came into this relationship with some deep wounds, and God is giving us a chance to heal those, and we can either take that chance or not. And he said, well I don't understand why I have to go thru this, and I told him, God is going to keep throwing obstacles in your way until you "get it". He wants you to heal, and will keep giving you those chances to figure out what is wrong and fix it.
Then my H said he was at his work stop, and he was getting a headache, (he can only take so much deep talk!), and he loved me and would talk to me tomorrow.
I am so happy I was able to finally get some of this stuff out. I don't know where it will go, but I do know my H will process this throughout the next few nights at work, and we will see. But at least it is out there, and that is a start!
I've been insanely busy. Working for a friend of mine to help with Xmas etc.
Big news is that we decided (very spur of the moment) to do a vow renewal on Dec 19th. It's a significant date for us and one that is "clean" for me in terms of my rSA's addiction and acting out.
Between that and getting ready for Xmas, I've very little time to be at the computer.
I hope everyone is well.
One website with really good information is RecoveryNation. I learned a lot from that one. You can also go to the offical Sex Addiction Anonymous website and will get good information--also reading thru a few of these threads from earlier posts will maybe help you find similarities in your WS and ours.
From what I have learned, Sex Addiction is more than just about sex, and it permeates the whole personality. A lot of times it starts with abuse in childhood, there is a lot of porn involved, and a problem with escalation as the old images don't quite do it anymore and a lot of them will finally escalate into hookers or real-life affairs.
There is usually a lot of guilt/shame/secrecy involved.
I am finding it helpful for me to seek out a codependent support system. If you have been with him for 24 years, and he is a SA, you most probably would benefit from looking into a group like COSA or S-ANON
Also, go to this website and answer the quick quiz
That should be a starting place for you.
Please remember, that with the sex addict, it is often not about sex at all, it is about an addiction, and no matter what kind of partner you are, the addict will still feel the need to feed his addiction. I'm not sure what you were talking about with finding some acts disgusting, but the escalation factor makes a lot of them seek out things like threesomes, exhibitionism, anal sex, things that a lot of people are not really comfortable with, but the addict starts to crave because normal gets too boring and they don't get the high off of that anymore. You will see a lot of information on that on some of the sites I gave you, so don't for a second think it is you or you are boring or anything at all like that!
The last week has been hell on earth. I know this post is long, but if you may bear with me, I am desparate for some support, understanding and advice.
It has nothing to do with relapses or acting out. I don't even know what it is about.
We fight ALL THE TIME. For example, as some of you know, I am trying not to check Mr. B's two email accounts and also not call him during the day all the time. To be fair, I have passwords to his email accouunts, and he voluntarily calls me during the day quite frequently. But to me, the fact that I am able to stop these checking up activities is a good sign for trust building and I am proud of myself (since it is not easy to trust).
Yesterday morning, I said to Mr. B, so what are you up to today? Mr. B's union has been on strike for 1.5 months and he is getting annoyed and restless, so I asked. It has been 1.5 weeks since I asked that question (I know, because it is part of my "not checking up" to let him volunteer information first, without me interrogating him all the time). He snapped at me irritably, "nothing! what do you want me to say? I am effectively unemployed and doing nothing."
So yesterday night we had a blow out. So here was what happened:
Mr. B: I feel dismayed, helpless disappointed and sad that I am not able to make you happy despite all my efforts. I know I am culpable for your unhappiness, but I have tried to pour my heart out to change and make you happy.
Me: I know you do and I always thank you for that.
Mr. B: I don't need any thanks. I want you to be happy.
Me: I am making an effort to building trust. I have not checked up on you for 1.5 weeks. I thought it is a good thing worth celebrate, that trust is slowly being rebuild.
Mr. B: I am not sure you trust me more. You still checked my Facebook the other night. And that has nothing to do with what I just said, that I cannot make you happy no matter what I do.
Me: Yes, I did check your Facebook, but I have stopped checking up on many things. I have also stopped calling you during the day and stopped asking you questions obsessively. It takes time to build trust. I thought by tellling you, you would be happy that I am now trusting you more, instead, I get snapped at!!!!
Mr. B: Well, guess I made yet another mistake, didn't I. I should have appreciated you for trusting me more, which I am not convinced you do. So yes, I made another mistake. What do you want me to have said? You'd better give me the script so I can read it out word for word.
on and on and on and on until we both stopped for exhaustion, and I took a sleeping pill and anti-anxiety pill and fell into a blissful sleep.
What is wrong with us? I am scared and tired. If you have encountered similar experience, please let me know. I feel really alone right now. What should I do next? I can't continue to have conversations like this once a day - it is seriously jeopardizing my mental and physical health.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 1:43 PM, December 13th (Saturday)]
It began with me feeling I needed to reassure him, then his distancing then the snapping at each other all the time.
SAH was struggling with sobriety and the urge to act out. From what we talked about after, the irritability came first. Maybe he is struggling and needs to be vulnerable with you right now.
In either case, you can only pull back from his guilt statements, and think about what you need and give it to yourself.
disclaimer: very very new to SA stuff myself, so just seeing this from the outside. Wouldn't be near so clear if it was our relationship!
You have been hurt and betrayed, and are doing your absolute best to trust you H again. You are making as much effort as you possibly can to not check up, but you are still very hurt and not able to show much enthusiasm in the M.
Your WS, what I am getting from him, and I don't know your total situation, so keep that in mind:
1. If he is the kind of man that feels it is his job as man of the house to provide financially for his family, and his job is in trouble, he is going to be under TREMENDOUS stress. Because for my H, that is first and foremost his measure of a man. My H would happily risk his life to provide for us as opposed to sitting around on his butt doing nothing while the family sinks under financial pressures.
2. He also has the added pressure of realizing how badly he hurt you, and now is feeling that he can do nothing to regain your trust and get your happiness back.
In his eyes, I am thinking, that makes him a two-time loser. I think most of us with SA spouses have read that they generally have low self esteem to begin with, and what does he have right now that he can feel good about himself for?
It is a hard problem, because you are both in such pain. In a perfect world, you would both realize each other's pain, and take extra efforts to comfort and reassure each other; Him: "I am so sorry for all the pain I have caused you, I will never forgive myself and can hardly stand to see the pain in your eyes. And now I am not providing for you the way I need to, I wonder sometimes how you can bear to stay? "
You "I am staying because even though you broke and shattered my whole soul, I realize there is still love there, and I know you are struggling with this addiction, and I appreciate all the effort you have made with this and also for providing for me--it is so hard for us right now but I know we will be okay in the long run if we work this through together". Big hugs.
Anyway, even a gentle animal will bite out when in pain, and your H's reaction to me shows pain.
NA, I was just reading the sex addiction is really about feelings of unworthiness and loneliness not sex.
Just a tidbit I read in Cosmo, it seems as though more and more men are turning to hookers, but not necessarily for sex. They want to cuddle.
That's one reason I do not allow strip clubs. It really isn't all about sex. Some guys go there and bond and even have a preference for a certain woman or women. They go there and be vulnerable with these women instead of being vulnerable with their partners.
I think my partner prefers the desperate hookers/escorts b/c he sees them as beneath him. He can be vulnerable, and if they reject him it's ok b/c their opinions really don't matter.
But, yeah, I know the sex is just a diversion, if it wasn't sex addiction, it would probably be alcohol or drugs or something.
I definitely agree about the diversion. Mine has had a few dui's in the past and was mandated to go to counseling.
He doesnt' drink a lot everyday, but he's a binger. When he gets depressed he'll drink like 10+ beers in a single time frame. I think he's a binger with the porn/hookers,too. He doesn't drink and drive anymore (thank god) but he sure can knock 'em back.
Oh and sex workers definitely know how to stroke men's egoes! I suspect that mine didn't have his needs met as a child and just needs the ego boost. That's true for both of us actually.
To be honest, I can see why we are together. Really, we are a perfect match. We have such similar backgrounds. And to be even frank, we probably have similar issues!
Thank you both of you for helping gain some perspective. You are both right in that each of us are so damn close to our own situation, with all the emotional baggage, it is hard to pull out from the pile of debris and garbage to see clearly.
Despite all I said, R is going well in that I don't think Mr. B is acting out and he is really committed to change. I think we are at a point (9 months out D Day) that the acute, "I want to die", pain is gone, and the immediate danger of Mr. B acting out is a little less. Then all the "other" rubbish, like communication, distrust, shame, etc., is now surfacing.
It is also true that this economy, with layoffs, strikes and unemployment, is affecting all of us. Mr. B lost his job in April, and with much effort, found a new job which started in September. Two months later (Nov) the union went on strike and the strike is still going on with no end in sight. Mr. B is totally dejected, being under-employed at home all day, and convincing himself that I despise him because I am working hard and bringing home the bacon, after all that has happened.
I cannot and will not be able to get through this without all of you kind people. I am so much indebted to you for listening and supporting me. I hope you are well, and I will try my best to listen and support everyone here as well.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 8:01 AM, December 15th (Monday)]
I continue to be totallly amazed at how alike our situations and our SA spouses are!
Bird, you are so right in that we are so close to our own situations it is difficult for us to see what others see so very clearly.
Mr. OLB has been a mess over the weekend -- not sleeping, being in his own world - like forgetting to ask me if I would like something to eat for dinner the other night, not asking about my day or class....little things, but to be big read flags.
He also told me that he was looking forward to the new year so he could change - I'm thinking, what's wrong with NOW? And then I asked if he was going to try to do it by himself this time -- he said, no, he wanted me help.
So - two steps forward, I am not sure how many back.
We leave on Friday for Florida -- I think I am going to take all my good stuff in case I choose to not come back.
On the not checking experiment -- I have not checked! I think, though, that this was somewhat a comfort for me -- it is like I am really giving up control and that is hard and scary.
I hope all of you have a great day!
I am going to buy Patrick Carnes "Out of the Shadows" as recommended, and I'll do some internet reading.
Could some of you more "seasoned" partners of sex addicts take a look at my post and post a response there as to whether you think that's what's going on with WH. Thanks so much...
I sometimes feel like I'm the crazy one in the marriage but my head tells me that there is something really wrong with him.
I agree with Naive that I think you're both in so much pain that it's hard to step outside and acknowledge each other's. That's one of the aspects that makes reconciling with a SA that much more difficult is that, when we're at our lowest point, we still need to at least try and be compassionate toward their struggle and support their recovery.
What saved me, I think, during that stage was finally "getting" that I could only manage my own healing. I simply didn't have the energy to support him the way I always had. I had to trust that he had what it took to keep himself on the straight and narrow -- with the help of his IC and group. And that the healthiest thing for me was to take care of myself...for a change. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me because I was always the martyr -- taking care of everyone else, then getting resentful that no-one took care of me. I had to close my eyes and leap and trust that my world would not fall apart (any more than it already had!!!) if I wasn't micromanaging everything. And sure enough, I was able to lick my wounds and leave my husband to do what he needed do. My resentment evaporated because someone WAS taking care of my needs -- ME!
Perhaps give yourself time to get some perspective, be good to yourself and let him deal with his own issues. Being unemployed is a tough one -- I suspect harder on men than women because their egos are so wrapped up in being the "provider". But don't try and "make it better" for him, any more than simply being there.
I don't know what to say about your situation. It's hard to determine whether he's a sex addict based on what you said.
I'm not even sure it matters. Whatever his motivation, this seems an exceedingly unhealthy relationship for you. You're being consistently asked to compromise your desires and your values, to stay in situations in which you're completely disrespected. My advice is to get out and find yourself again. Only then can you possibly make a healthy decision about what you want in a relationship. Clearly it isn't what he's offering. And I suspect he hasn't a clue what he's really looking for... Please give yourself some distance and time and hopefully you'll see the situation more clearly.
I know that crazy feeling all too well.
I hate it when he lies to me. Even though I have physical proof (his viewing history plus URLs I've written down) he'll still lie. Does he think I'm stupid???
I've realized that this is the same feelings I've gotten in my relationship with my mom. This woman has treated my horrible, but she thinks she has done no wrong.
There might be a slight change of plans for us. We were thinking of moving to Las Vegas in June or July, but now his boss wants him to move back in February. I thought I'd have so much more time to really think about it. I think he's been better lately, but I think he'll transfer his energies into another preoccupation. I think he will sleep if something very stressful does happen, like me having another miscarriage.
I'm still mad that he called me a SA. I'm not perfect or anything, I do have my issues, but I think he was just trying to put the focus on me and off him.
I'm still working on Don't Call it Love. I can really relate to the coaddict chapter. One spouse was told she wasn't sexy enough for him. I can so relate, b/c I was told I needed to be more stimulating. HA! One thing I have NEVER been is understimulating. Far from it indeed. In fact, he can't keep up with me, so I don't know what in the hell he was telling her!
Now I'm really stepping out here, has anyone else with a SA partner realized they may be SA,too?
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 1:41 PM, December 15th (Monday)]
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 1:42 PM, December 15th (Monday)]
In my case, I have no problem having fun and experimenting a bit, but I have no desire to bring a 3rd party in the relationship in any form. And actually the part of sex I like best is the closeness, the feeling of our bodies together, that type of stuff. So I don't feel I have an addiction to sex, but I do think I am codependent. And from what I am learning (and I still have a long way to go on this subject), being codependent means that we may give in to our spouses on things we might be a little uncomfortable about, just to please, or go along, or to avoid confrontation. That is me, although I did draw the line on things I knew would bother me forever or kill any pride I have left.
However, there were some moments in the books I've read when I was like OMG that's ME!!! I've been OK the past 2 yrs bc I've been in relationships, but b4 that...Um wow!!!
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 8:56 PM, December 15th (Monday)]