You were asking in general, what to expect. My previous post refers to what your husband can expect should he decide to emark on the journing of recovery.
As for you, I have the following to share. Six months after my D Day, I wrote down all my feelings in a journal. I would like to share them with you. It is not my intention to depress anyone. To the contrary, I wish to let you know you are not alone and it is normal to feel all these contradictory and overwhelming emotions. Only after we give ourselves the permission to experience all the emotions, and only after we learn to be gentle with ourselves, can we regain the strength to learn more about ourselves and rebuild our relationship.
* Disbelief, shock, stunned
* Angry, fury, rage, hatred
* Humiliated, shamed, insulted, disgraced, ashamed
* Depressed, sad, despair, gloomy
* Desperate, panicked, disorientated
* Insecure, unstable, unsafe
* Foolish, stupid, gullible
* Manipulated, used, cheated, tricked, duped
* Disrespected, forsaken, betrayed
* Hurt, distraught
* Unloved, unwanted, abandoned, ignored, forsaken, disposable
* Unappreciated, un-cherished, taken for granted
* Vengeful, aggressive, hysterical, competitive
* Empty, numb, hollow, disconnected
* Unworthy, unattractive, inadequate
* Alone, lonely, isolated
* Contaminated, damaged, degraded
* Hopeless, powerless, helpless
* Violated, abused, wounded
* Distrustful, suspicious, disillusioned, paranoid
* Terrified, petrified, scared, frantic
* Condemned, punished, cursed
* Trapped, suffocated, stuck
* Resigned, apathetic, emotionless
* Sexless, asexual
* Incoherent, lost
* Bitter, resentful
* Weak, pathetic, pitiful
* Superior, honourable
Aries61, I'm sorry you have to be here. It's generally recommended that partners read Mending a Shattered Heart.
I am sorry for posting so much. I am on vacation beginning this Saturday for a week. I will check this site tomorrow (Friday) one last time before my vacation. Hang in there in the meantime!
I added a few things to it and sent it to FWH. He keeps asking me how I'm feeling and your list sums it up just about perfectly.
Last night I dreamed that my house burned down. Then I was at a party and a man was pursuing me--wooing me--but I wouldn't engage.
I woke up enraged. An hour of yoga later, I was feeling no better. My mind kept wandering to images of him in his drunken three-ways. Everytime I tried to bring my thoughts back to my breath, they would bounce right back to these sordid images.
There are times--like this morning--when I simply can't imagine staying with someone who would ever think it was okay to do things like this--and then lie lie lie about it. Addiction or no addiction, it's disrespectful and cruel in ways that I can't even express.
I voiced all these feeling to my FWH--calmly. He keeps telling me not to give up.
Though I have promised to give it a year, at this moment, the whole thing feels hopeless. I feel like I won't be able to accept what he did and that the only way to bring equilibrium back to the relationship is to end the relationship. The only suitable punishment is denying him the thing that he wants the most--me (so he says).
At times like these, all my knowledge about addiction and compassion for addicts doesn't help me. Instead of seeing his behavior as symptoms of a disease, I take it personally.
So he's a SA, I think. No problem. He can recover alone reap and what he has sown.
I know that this feeling will probably pass but I thought it might pass faster if I lance the wound and let the pus ooze out here.
Just needed to vent.
[This message edited by onceinlove at 8:36 AM, January 8th (Thursday)]
This thread just explodes!
At this very moment, I feel quite lost. I'm not sure what to do. So, for now, I am going to detach as much as possible. I am going to concentrate on doing the exercises in a book I bought for partners of sex addicts. When I feel more in control, I will have to confront AGAIN. But I must determine my boundaries first. During my detachment, I will come up with those.
He was seeing an IC but that was a bust (see earlier posts in the old thread). He was also attending SA meetings. However the only other member seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. H has called him and he has not called back.
I knew this would happen after the IC turned out to be a real dud and the meetings fizzled out.
It makes me mad that I turn to one of my negative behaviours when I find out he's using. Why kill myself with these behaviours because of his behaviour?
I am not a professional and as such I can't actually diagnose your husband. However, I am the spouse of a rSA (recovering Sex Addict) and I have 10 years of experience living with that (about 7 of which were spent not knowing about the sex addiction but knowing something was "off.") The observations I make and the advice I give are based on my experience. Read my profile.
Here is my advice whether you decide to reconcile with him or not:
To get a good general overview of SA (Sex Addiction), check out the wiki entry on it.
There is a lot of good information there.
This is Dr Patrick Carnes' website. He is *the* expert on SA.
Recovery Nation (http://www.recoverynation.com) has a tremendous amount of good information. It's a very good starting point. (I don't personally think it should take the place of face to face counseling for either partner though.)
If your husband faces his sex addiction and seeks treatment he'll most likely be directed to a 12-Step group. This is the one I recommend. If you look at their site you'll also find information for yourself that may be helpful. (I personally recommend SA not SAA because SAA is too lax in their definition of healthy sexual behavior. This is my opinion.)
To fully understand SA you both would need to do some reading. If he doesn't face his addiction you should still do the reading to help yourself and decide what you want. I don't advise women to stay with SAs who are not in recovery and who are not sober.
First and foremost you need to read, "Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts" by Stefanie Carnes (This is the absolute best book I've ever read for spouses of SA. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I would have given anything for this book to have been available when I found out 3+ years ago, because at the time, there was nothing!)
"Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes (I recommend you read this after you've read "Mending a Shattered Heart" but not before.)
"Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes
(This book can be overwhelming to spouses so I don't recommend you read it but it would be an excellent read for your husband to start with, while you read "Mending a Shattered Heart")
He probably does have a porn habit, so this book, "Porn Nation" by Michael Leahy, would be a good book for him. Mr. Leahy is a recovering sex addict who had a serious porn addiction that cost him pretty much everything before he finally hit bottom. (I don't recommend that wives read this book at first. It's too triggery for "just found outs")
His best hope for recovery is to seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) Here is a resource to find CSATs by zip code:
You might also want to start there to find a good therapist for yourself. He has to work his recovery on his own but you'll also need counseling to recover from the trauma of being married to a sex addict. And believe me, it IS a trauma.
You need to learn to set healthy boundaries with your SA. Check out this link for info on that.
This is going to be vital for you going forward. You cannot force him to seek treatment and you cannot control him but you do have a right to set boundaries to keep yourself safe.
PM me anytime.
You Matter! You need to be first as you said. Now that you SAID you are going to take care of you first you actually need to DO it. You Are First!
Onceinlove, my relationship is not surviving the anger phase. I too had a house dream. It was incredibly powerful and I believe it was telling me what I needed to do.
There was a wild deer rampaging through the house smashing everything and hurting everyone in it. Outside was a pack of dogs waiting to get in. Their leader was a St. Bernard puppy.
My husband has the sweetest kindest helpful demeanor. He can be a St. Bernard Puppy. But when he was out on the road he was a dog of the worst kind, pure and simple.
I too have chosen to take it personally, and I'm OK with that now.
I told him on Monday that I am done.
It's been a rough couple of days, but he is beginning to accept the new reality.
I gave it six months to think, and I thought and thought and thought about nothing but him and "it" for all of that time.
I'm utterly exhausted, physically, spiritually and mentally.
I gave him 22 years of my life, my love and my trust and he tore it up and threw it out the window.
I'm 55 years old and I don't want to wake up when I'm 70 having wasted another 15 years.
I don't want to grow old with him, but I don't hate him and I love him like a brother.
We will be friends, and I'll continue to help him on his path towards independence and freedom from his awful past.
But he needs to get his life together without me to be his mommy, and I need to go back to having a relationship with ME, letting me blossom and grow to my fullest potential and open up to the possibility of a healthy relationship if one should come along.
I owe myself at least that much, and I'm at peace with that decision now.
I'm going to spend a lot of time over the next few months getting spiritual, emotional and physical therapy (and two yoga classes a week), and getting myself back on track.
I can't overemphasize how this site has helped me on my path.
(((hugs to all of us here)))
[This message edited by FaithFool at 9:47 AM, January 8th (Thursday)]
My FWH is doing everything, everything, everything right--today. But it may be that the past is filled with too much hurt, too many lies. His efforts, as sincere and as good as they may be, may be too little, too late.
Is that how it was for you?
He lied and lied and lied some more until my STD results came back positive.
We couldn't afford counselling last year, but now I have it free through my work. He doesn't believe in 12 steps and conquered drugs and alcohol on his own.
He's 8 years sober and I've told him I admire him for that.
I gave him the number and he hasn't called it yet. He's terrified of dredging everything up again and doesn't really believe it'll help him. BUT, he did say, now that we're getting ready to move him out, that he went to the library and looked at "that section". Didn't take anything out yet, but the wheels are turning slowly.
I did tell him that all of it is too late. I'm just too destroyed by his actions, and it was him who made those decisions without ever thinking of how much he loved me and how much he had to lose.
He's losing it all now and is learning a very hard lesson.
I just will never trust him again and can't imagine having sex with him again. The thought of it just disgusts me, and I don't want to spend any more time on this.
It's just time for me now, and like I said, this is not a snap decision for me. I've looked at it from all the angles, and it's just not worth the risk for me.
I hope you find some peace and make the decision that's right for you.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 9:55 AM, January 8th (Thursday)]
Read the post by 7yrsbetrayed on page three of this thread. She's listed a few sites that will give you an overview of SA.
I'll miss you while you're away! I hope you have a good holiday and come back rested and ready to face some more Canadian winter!
Expect to flip-flop for a while about staying/going. I found it changed daily, sometimes multiple times in a day. Even now that I feel fairly settled, I'll get annoyed about something minor (took my husband forever to move the Christmas tree out!) and I'll think, I could just leave... My tolerance is decidedly lower than it was before I knew all the SA stuff.
Eventually I think it'll feel clear and whatever decision you make will feel right.
I just feel so lost and alone and I feel like I can't even be the person that I need to be. I don't know how to be that person that I want to be. I guess it's not helped that I haven't seen my IC in 3 weeks with him being on vacation. I just feel lost. I guess I'm having a major dip in that rollercoaster right now.
I just wanted to let you know that so many of your posts resonate within me and that I hear and live them, too.