"And I cycle too. I'm on an up again, after a pretty bad down a week or so ago. But it is two steps forward, one step back. I know there are more downs coming, but I will get thru them, with all the support and help I have here and with what I am trying to build in my life now.
We are weak because we are human. So isn't it amazing how resilient the human spirit can be, and how we can go thru so much and still come out standing!"
Right. But I sometimes think what one of my Pastors said to me. That infidelity is THE one thing that breaks a marriage in two. It disinigrates it.
When I think of this, then see all the hurting souls on here, I think maybe this pastor has something right here. That we were not meant to undergo this trauma. And why do we? That the WS blew it. Destroyed the marriage, the union, and that we, the BS are fools to stick in it so long, having ups,downs, and arounds.........
I can hear your pain and sense of confusion in your Post. I am sorry you have been hurt by infidelity and SA. I hope you can find support and comfort here.
I have written a detailed post to brokenmom13, who is also new to this Thread, on February 6th 11:29 am. You can find my post under Tab 16 in this Thread. You may find the suggestions helpful.
Post as often as you want. We are here for you.
My thoughts are with you,
From my personal experience, it takes a shorter time for a wayward spouse to recognize his wrongdoings in terms of the affair(s), and a much longer time for him to recognize he has a sex addiction.
Specifically, a wayward spouse who has affair(s), who lies and maniulates to cover up, and who compartmentalizes to minimize the consequences, usually has little problem recognizing those behaviours as wrong after they "get busted".
However, he may believe that's all that is - he did something terrible by having affair(s), but now that he has broken up with the OWs, he is committed to monogamy, and he is working to rebuild the marriage, then all will be well.
Not only until a few months after counselling and an honest look at the acting out behaviours might he realize it was more than affairs; that he had a compulsion/addiction.
The recovery from addiction is a journey and a process. It is important to have a consistent and regular schedule of therapy, and not drop out of it as soon as things "seem" better. However, by the end of the day, remember that we cannot control our spouses' recovery.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 11:43 AM, February 15th (Sunday)]
Does that make infidelity easier or harder to recover from? Is there any "easier" to any of this process?
I know I hate it.
Savvyhippie - Addiction is a disease/illness. It can change a person into someone you don't know or like. I am still staying with my H for now, because I feel if he gets the necessary treatment, he will be one heck of a person. He is a good person underneath all this, but the addiction, which for him is fueled by anger/guilt/shame, and bad coping skills, has turned him into someone I don't care for much right now. The worst part of it all, I think, is the constant lying, to me and to himself. He tells himself lies, and makes himself believe them. He gaslights, blameshifts, it is kind of like a perpetual "fog". But he has been in this fog for almost his whole life.
For those who have been following my story:
I now call him on his lies and untruths, everytime I hear him saying anything remotely false. We seem to do nothing but fight. I used to just let stuff slide all the time, to keep the peace. But no more. If he says something I feel is false, I try to gently say something like, I don't believe that, or I think you are kidding yourself. And he gets mad. Because he is so used to people believing his lies. But I have decided as long as he is with me, he does not get the easy and false way out anymore. (I say as long as he is with me, because it is constant pressure for him now, knowing I will not put up with this crap anymore. And he wants to run all the time, because it is hard and painful to look at himself, and he doesn't want to do it).
I don't bring it up all the time, but anytime it does come up, I am painfully honest about it. And I try to go from my needs for the most part, but I am not perfect and sometimes, like last night, it came out as "I don't believe you can do this yourself, you need counseling, because you are looking thru an addict's eyes, and you cannot see the whole truth". I didn't know how else to put that, but he still says no counseling, and I cannot give in to that. He got mad and we had to end the conversation.
I talked to him once more, and then it went along the lines of my needs, as in, "do you even know how to fix the intimacy issues? You have never had real intimacy in a relationship, how do you even know what it is, in order to fix it? I have had it before, so I know what is missing here, and I cannot live without it the rest of my life".
He keeps putting pressure on me to make a decision to move with him, but he has not shown me anything but words. He says he is not acting out anymore, gave me an instance of when he would normally order ppv porn but didn't, and I am supposed to believe everything is okay now. I am getting tired of the pressure, and he told me if I don't move down there by the time the kids start school next year, he is moving on, because he has waited long enough. And I told him the only thing I was waiting for was for him to get into recovery and start showing a little improvement. He still doesn't get it.
I am sending that letter tomorrow. Still nervous. Oh well. I'm tired of limboland too.
ETA: Can anyone give me any insight on why he is so stubborn about the counseling? I just don't get it. He says now he knows he has a problem and is working on it. Is he just manipulating because he really doesn't want help? I asked him what he was so scared of in counseling, he has gone before when he was younger, so why won't he go with me? I actually told him I thought it had to be something like he is afraid stuff will come out that will end us for good, like he has cheated on me more than he has told and he said "Is that what you think?". I mean, what else can he be so scared of? He says he is facing himself, and has gotten angry with himself, so why can't he do that in counseling?
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 6:40 AM, February 16th (Monday)]
He seemed so "normal", you know?
Maybe I just overlooked the red flags because I love him. Now I need to figure out how to fall out of love with him.
Reading on WebMD's site matched SD's actions throughout our marriage. Guess he just has issues that I will never understand and he will never seek help for, because he is "okay" by his standards.
I have to give my H credit. He took the bull by the horns, found a C, found a meeting, is reading up. He says that even if we fail, he knows he has to do this for himself. That gives me a little hope.
I myself am overwhelmed by all of this. I just finished reading "Mending a Shattered Heart", and damn if I don't feel worse than before.
His C says I need to get into C soon to help work through this,and boy do I believe that. From just reading "MSH", I know I'll never be able to navigate this on my own.
And ya know what, I'm scared shitless what the C is gonna tell me.I've been through some major shit in my years and I thought I was doing OK with all of it, I guess in reality, I'm not doing so hot after all. But I also know I can't go on like this, so I say C, hit me with your best shot.
As for the marriage, at this point I don"t know if we'll make it or not. I don't know how (at this point), how anyone comes out of this and has a, not good, not bad, but respectable, marriage.
Someone before me said that their H would be a great guy if he gets the help he needs. My H would be too, and I do hope that he continues to follow his "new path" for his own sake.
I just don't know if he found the new path in time for us. There's so much water under our bridge, I don't know if I can stay afloat,KWIM?
With some major C for me, my friends here at SI,and a good dose of hard headedness, I will survive this and come out on the other side, hopefully a better ME!!!
Just checking in after a busy weekend (it's "family day" here in Canada so a stat holiday - and the day before my husband's birthday so I had the whole family over today).
counselling isn't easy...but it's like exercise. You may not like doing it, but you'll like the results because it usually leads to greater insight and therefore better choices for your own life and an ability to really embrace yourself -- the good, bad and ugly. I've been able to become a better mother, better friend, better at my job...because I'm able to "see" things better. I no longer react blindly to whatever comes my way, I'm able to see the situation more clearly and make decisions that are respectful of myself and others. It can be a long road...but worth it, in my experience.
If you still want to send the letter, send me a PM with it and I'll read it. Not sure if it's too late to help, but I'll try.
And to everyone else, a warm welcome. We all hate needing to be here, but having a safe haven to air our pain and our struggles and our happiness makes it a bit easier.
My WH was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last November after I caught him with an OW, said I wanted a D, kicked him out of the house and he tried to kill himself a few days later. I found out shortly afterwards that he' been sleeping with prostitutes for several years, had memberships on pretty much every adult dating and affair website, posted ads on Craigslist, etc. Some of his behavior definitely fits into the sex addiction category, however, the family therapist we saw through the outpatient treatment program he was in after the suicide attempt said that WH's sexual "acting out" wasn't really a sex addiction so much as the hypersexuality and grandiosity associated with the manic phase of bipolar disorder. I guess the difference is that sex addicts feel disgust/loathing with themselves (like a drug addict) after the act, but bipolar folks typically don't feel bad they hit the depressive phase, and even then the depression isn't about remorse or guilt.
What do all of you think? Did your WS's feel guilt/shame after their behavior (like a drug addict ashamed of his/her addiction) or were some of them more like my WH, who was unconcerned during his manic phases that his behavior was wrong? I'm not sure I understand the difference between a sex addiction and the hypersexual phase of bipolar. Can anyone here shed some light?
I concur with Eternaloptimist. The counselling is for you, not your husband or your marriage. Initially, you will talk through the aftermath of the infidelity and discovery of sex addiction. You will explore your anger, hurt, obssession with checking up and controlling, depression, fear, sense of helplessness, and all the messy, at times overwhelming, and at times contradictory, emotions.
Later on, your counsellor may explore your past experiences apart from the infidelity and sex addiction. Did you have an abusive childhoold? Were your family "rigid" and "closed off" emotionally? Had you suffered previous trauma?
Most people mistakenly believe that therapy brings immediate relief, thanks to Oprah and Dr. Phil. Alas, that is not true. While therapy brings a better understanding of oneself and better equips one for life's events, it is a long term process requiring a commitment.
My family doctor explained that in therapy, you feel worse before you feel better, but yet it is so necessary. In the beginning, all dirts have to be dug up, all lies and secrets we hold close to our hearts have to be exposed and dissected. It is uncomfortable,exhausting and painful. However, with each sesssion comes greater understanding of oneself, and a greater sense of empowerment and of being true to oneself. This journey is necessary for you, irrespective of whether your husband recovers or not, and irrespective of whether you wish to stay in the marriage or not.
Lastly, not all therapists are created equal, and sometimes it is a matter of chemistry. Give it a try - you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
Please keep us posted. You are in my thoughts.
Did you send your husband the letter? How do you feel?
I know that you, being a more seasoned member of this thread, are aware that you cannot control your husband's recovery. Though you are correct to set boundaries - you have control over how would you act if your husband continues to refuse counselling.
You asked us for insight as to why your husband refuses counselling. While each addict is different, I have the following thoughts:
* Please see my Post on Sunday at 11:42 am - Your husband may realize his wrongdoing, is remorseful, and is committed to rebuilding the marriage in the context of the affairs, but NOT sex addiction. In other words, he may be out of the fog with respect to infidelities, but NOT sex addiction. In that case, he may simply "act in", believing that since he has ceased contact with the other women, he has solved his sexual acting out problems. But if he has a sex addiction, the acting out will recur without treatment.
* Many people, not just sex addicts, are fearful of what counselling may reveal. In goldenrule's Post, she said,
And ya know what, I'm scared shitless what the C is gonna tell me.I've been through some major shit in my years and I thought I was doing OK with all of it, I guess in reality, I'm not doing so hot after all.
If a betrayed spouse, who has done nothing wrong, is reluctant to seek counselling, how do you think a sex addict must feel? A sex addict, who is plagued by shame and guilt, knows he is the wrongdoer and has to confront these lies, manipulation and infidelities, as well as any childhood abuse or past trauma. I am not justifying at all a sex addict refusal to seek counselling - I am just saying you can empathize with his reluctance if we as betrayed spouses are reluctant.
Goldenrule, I hope you do not feel like I am singling you out in this Post. You are not alone. I am reminding all of us that the decision to enter, and stay in, counselling is not an easy one to make. And that is true for BOTH betrayed spouses and sex addicts. We are all human.
Having said that, if a sex addict standfastly refuses counselling, we have to set boundaries and weigh our options.
Lets support each other and remind ourselves, we are loved.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 8:54 AM, February 17th (Tuesday)]
Your good mood is contagious! I'm smiling at the notion of you swinging your butt around to disco tunes!
I bought the Grammy 2008 CD and I haven't been able to listen to the whole thing because my eight-year-old son just keeps playing HIS favorite songs -- ie. PINK's "rock star".
I'd better stop procrastinating and get to work!!
I have an appt. scheduled for this Thursday with a C that speacializes in SA.
I'm so new to this situation, I'm just overwhelmed. Trying to deal with the infidelities and now this, just one more thing to deal with, Does this shit ever end?
What ever happens with him, our marriage, I have no clue yet, But I do know I have to heal, I can't keep going like I am. I'm turning into a looney toon.
I feel like I'm rational enough now, (I wasn't for awhile) to really try to heal. And I'm going to.
This mess has worked me over big time, now Ive got to get my shit together and finish living my life, with or without him.
Iknow it won't be easy, but I'll be OK.
Thanks to all for the "experinced" replies.
Hugs and prayers for all of us here!
birdwatch - no, it was a letter I was sending him, but I am reworking it, to make it a little shorter and more succinct (he just hasn't the attention span), and less about me trying to manipulate and control him into counseling and meeting my needs (oops), and just basically, 1. My Needs and 2. Counseling or outside help is a non-negotiable boundary.
He is trying, and we have had a lot of talking about this (which is weird, because it has been a taboo topic for so long), and even though the talking has been painful, it is at least REAL. And I think I prefer REAL pain and anger and feelings as opposed to going back to the superficial sweeping stuff under the rug crap.
I do have to watch that codependency stuff--just when I think I have a handle on it, bam!
((NA))- That is so the story of many of our lives isn't it! Dying to hear your letter if you decide to share.
(((Golden Rule)))It is true that it is so overwhelming for every second of the day. It controls every thought and action for quite awhile. I think it is amazing that we manage to get dressed or even remember to tinkle (and on some days we don't). You are doing all the right things. The rest takes time and remember we are here for you.
((BadlyHurting)) Many stress disorder portray the same symptoms so don't get too caught up in the yet. Just deal with the things you can for the moment and that is mainly YOU and your health.
((Savvyhippie)) Great name by the way!! You have had one hell of a time of it woman! Don't let distance get in the way of your healthy growth. If you can't make it to a meeting, see if you can link up with some of them online. My S-anon people are fabulous and we are making connections all over. I drive 1 1/2 hours right now for my meetings but have found it difficult as I have young children. You may not realize it but after reading your profile I think you are doing fabulous to get to this point.
((birdwatch))and ((Eternal Optimist))Dahlings, you are wonderful. I would not be in such a good place in my head were it not for your anchors. Sunny but cold here too.
((Zinnia)) You have given me much to think about before I reply but I have not forgotten you.
((Ingrid)) Never stopped praying for you, hon. Little steps and keep care of you.
I'm so behind in this thread. :(