MC today, sex & alcohol addiction specialist trained by Patrick Carnes said not to leave him & it was also the advice at S Anon. WTF? I know nobody is telling me what to do...I can do anything I want but I trust that they may know better & for now am taking the advice. I don't understand the S Anon thing where I'm to stay with him, stop checking up on him, stop controlling him...so he gets to do whatever he wants now that he is SA. So what if I have a consequence of him sleeping in the other room. So now not only does he get to act out, which he probably will more now that he is not sleeping with me, I don't get to have the affection or sex I deserve.
"MC today, sex & alcohol addiction specialist trained by Patrick Carnes said not to leave him & it was also the advice at S Anon."
Heh, my XWH left me after I told him he had to make a choice. I wasn't going to live his stupid, fantasy cake-eating life anymore. I am so glad I wasted no more than a year after finding out his secret life. He is still thick in the fog four years later. He can stay there, for all I care. My love for him has been burned away. I just feel sorry for him now, because he is so pathetic. I feel more sorry that my kids have such a *fine* example of humanity for a father.
Mom of three
DD: September 23, 2005
Divorced April 10/08
7yrs, congratulations on the new arrival!
so he gets to do whatever he wants now that he is SA. So what if I have a consequence of him sleeping in the other room. So now not only does he get to act out, which he probably will more now that he is not sleeping with me, I don't get to have the affection or sex I deserve.
Listen to what SorrowHeart is saying...
Heh, my XWH left me after I told him he had to make a choice. I wasn't going to live his stupid, fantasy cake-eating life anymore
You decide what you want to live with. If he is in a true recovery program, he is NOT acting out. You don't have to live with "him doing whatever he wants"... You can tell him what you can live with and what you won't live with. It's his choice whether he wants to get help, or not... But the choice to stay or go is yours.
It is recommended that you have a period of abstinence to "clear the brain", so to speak. It can be very hard for both of you, but the goal is to focus on developing emotional intimacy to build on for the future. If you feel like that is a punishment for you, then you need to decide if you want to take this journey with your H. If he is not willing to commit to recovery, you need to decide what your next move will be.
The choice is yours, and don't let anyone tell you any different.
Are you willing to live with him if he is not committed to recovery and is still acting out?
Are you willing to go through a period of abstinence to understand the effect of this addiction on the brain and allow him to re-set his neurons to learn what real love and normal healthy sex looks like?
These are questions you have to sit down and try to answer. You don't need an answer this minute, but you should begin to try to understand where you fall into all of this. And what you are willing to live with and what you are not willing to live with. Those are only answers you can give.
Good luck- I know it's a hard place to be...
EO- I'm sorry that he's making you feel bad about your contribution... I thought what your IC said was very interesting though. I am tying to learn how to do the very same thing. My H will occasionally make comments like that and I used to get really angry and upset... Now, I am trying more and more to kind of say- "screw you- I do way more than my fair share already!"
And it feels pretty good. It's their warped opinion, and I have already come to terms with the fact that he has lived his life being so selfish that it's going to take a lot longer for him to really see all the crap I've done... A lot of times he can't see past his own efforts to see the burdens others have to endure. (I was working 6-7 days a week to pay the bills and he would go out every weekend diving with friends- Yet, he would bitch that the house wasn't clean when I got home from work after a 12 hour day! I nearly killed him! Did I mention that he also found time for one of his A's during that year? )
Luckily, that has gotten MUCH better and he is appreciating me more, but it will still happen every now and then- I stop him dead in his tracks though- And honestly, I'm starting to really believe that it doesn't affect me. I know what I do everyday and it is damn good enough!
I hope you can feel the same way soon-
And yes, I do think we are all saints... Normal mortals would have DEFINTIELY killed them all by now!!!!
While I do think people should wait to make major decisions when emotions are lower, but I don't think spouses should be made to feel obligated to stay with an SA.
I will also go against the grain and say it's ok to check every now and then. Let's face it, some of us don't have partners that are in recovery or there is not much trust there. If I get that feeling, yes, I will check (usually I don't have to-I find things out by accident). If he doing a bottom line behavior, I think I should know so I can leave for good. Or call the cops on him. Or protect myself in any way I need to. I know that's going against the grain, but that's how I feel regarding checking.
Heh, my XWH left me after I told him he had to make a choice.
My love for him has been burned away. I just feel sorry for him now, because he is so pathetic
I'm approaching that point. At first it was all about the love, but now it's more and more about pity.
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 11:12 PM, April 16th (Thursday)]
I'm sorry that happened. WSASO said that he wants to go to meetings & get recovery & stay with me. He's made a plan when to go to one but hasn't been yet.
I hope he gets true recovery. I heard that this is a very difficult addiction to get totally sober, that they slip. I don't want him to slip but that is controlling. I don't want to not check up but that is me not being in recovery.
I don't mind me staying abstinent with him if he is abstinent from other sources of sexual gratification. What bothers me is where he will get it from if he is not in recovery or early in the program & struggling to stay sober. I will not do it with him to keep him from acting out because I know that doesn't stop them, he did it all throughout our relationship. I will do my part & hope he does his but it's the weirdest thing being an Anon. I am in AA & have been sober many years, I'm not used to being with a practicing or struggling to recover addict.
I hope that he gets to sobriety and recovery for you too...
It sounds like you have made your choice to stay for now, as long as he is willing to pursue recovery. When you say that
I don't mind me staying abstinent with him if he is abstinent from other sources of sexual gratification. What bothers me is where he will get it from if he is not in recovery or early in the program & struggling to stay sober
He will not be getting it from anywhere else. That's what the recovery program is about. He will have accountability to someone in the program- a counsellor, a sponsor, whoever. Not you. They will call him on his BS if he is not staying sober. You have to trust your gut and do what feels right.
That's where your boundaries come in- If he is not in recovery, I will...
If he is looking at porn, I will...
If he is found out to be having another affair, I will...
Etc etc... You decide what the boundaries are for you.
In my case, my H was scared stiff that I was leaving, so he did most of the beginning of the recovery program for me- (which is not good) He is finally at the point where he is doing it for himself, and I can tell it's different now. But he didn't slip or relapse, but he was more in a sexual anorexia stage then- He said it made it a little easier to get through the beginning of the program and the abstinence phase. He avoided sex in every way possible- Avoided thinking about it, doing it, looking at anyone doing it (not porn- I mean even on sitcoms where people are "in bed") He said sex had been all he would think about for most of his life... It was a huge change and it was hard. It's not as hard for him to redirect anymore. He still finds himself thinking or sexualizing something or someone every now and then, but he has learned how to redirect his thinkig and move on. It's working for him.
In terms of checking- I did it early on. I didn't trust that my H was really committed to recovery. I thought it was more lies and manipulation to have me stay... Well, each time I checked and there was nothing to be found, I got a little more trust... And eventually I stopped checking. But it took me following up a little to make sure. I definitely didn't stop cold turkey.
We're here for you- Whatever you decide to do.
[This message edited by innerstrength at 6:23 AM, April 17th (Friday)]
Well have moved house (and Counties!) and it could not have gone a great deal worse if I had tried... Anyway I am glad to say I have computer access back for first time today! I have really missed this site and all of you.I think my H feels that I will have forgotten all about you all by now!
One good thing about my past couple of weeks is that we have been so busy that I really do not believe he has had the time away from me to get up to anything... He has also been very grumpy and that usually signifies he is not!
Innerstrength has given you good advice. Recovery isn't about you giving him carte blanche -- it's about him committing to a program and you doing what you can to support that. Think of it in AA terms -- you're agreeing not to drink around an alcoholic or put them in a situation where they're tempted to compromise their sobriety. You're still free to gratify yourself .
I read an article from Men's Health (it was online) when I was first learning about SA and it talked about the effect of porn on the brain. It was fascinating -- and really helped me get the addiction component of this. Porn, according to this writer, literally changes the brain chemistry. Like any drug, the user starts needing more and harder and different to achieve the same chemical effect. They can't undo the changes to their brain but they can relearn different behaviors. But one of the reasons SA tend to slip is that their brain chemistry has truly changed.
And the effect of the Internet can induce a trance-like state. Combine the two and you've got an SA cocktail. (No pun intended!)
Soon, the addicts are so removed from the sexual experience that real-life sex seems like just more porn. "Porn with skin on," as 7years has quoted an expert calling it.
That's why the abstinence is important -- to really rebalance the chemicals in the addict's brain as much a possible. At that point, you start having a physical relationship based on real intimacy and HONESTY -- not fantasy.
Re. my husband's comments about my work: I've come to realize that he's just stressing about money. He works in finance and has watched so many around him blow themselves up that he's freaked out. Has less to with me (surprise surprise) than with his own mind-space right now. I'm learning...
[This message edited by Eternaloptimist at 9:13 AM, April 17th (Friday)]
You have the right to make a decision as to whether you stay or leave. I believe what the literature says is that when you first discover the infidelities and SA, you are in such a crisis state that you may not be able to make the best decision for yourself. The suggestion of making no major decision within the first year of discovery is to give yourself permission to regain emotional health before you make a life-alterating decision. However, the suggestion is just that, a suggestion. For example, it can't mean that somehow all hell is going to break loose if you make a decision on the 364th day. Also, it does allow for individual circumstances. For example, if your husband's activity is jeopardizing your physical safety, you should probably not wait for a year to leave or call the police.
Please do understand that you are entitled to make that decision. The suggestion is only there to remind you that there is no rush and you may wish to regain some emotional stability before doing so.
I do check up on my husband. I remember posting a rambling note a while back. I venture to say it will be unnatural if you don't feel the need to check up after the devastating betrayal of trust.
In my case, my checking up, at one point, became so obsessional that I have physical anxiety attacks everytime I check up (e.g. right before I log onto his email account). I organized my day around checking up. I spent hours checking up. When I was not checking up, I was thinking about checking up. That state of affairs simply could not continue. With the help of IC, I went "cold turkey" for one week. Then I made a pact with my IC that I only check up once a week.
From a rational standpoint, we know that checking up is not going to prevent an SA from acting out. Checking up will only uncover acting out that has already occured. Therefore, if I check up once a week, instead of three times a day, the only difference is that I may know an acting out eposide six days later rather than sooner. I can live with knowing six days later.
Trust can only be rebuilt after a period of consistent honest behaviours. I have been checking for 5 months now, once a week, and nothing untoward has occured. That naturally lessens my obsession to check up. I hope I don't have to check up 5 years down the road, but at this stage, I feel I am entitled to do so in order to perserve my right to make a decision to leave should things fall apart. BUT, I am checking up in a way that I am not aiming to control my husband, and that I am not hurting my own physical and emotional health.
If your husband is not in recovery, that is very different. To an extent, one can argue there is no point checking up because you know or can expect he will act out, not if, but when. So why bother checking?
I am sorry if this is not helpful. You are obviously in a lot of pain, so please take care of yourself.
Thinking of you,
[This message edited by birdwatch at 11:16 AM, April 19th (Sunday)]
Thanks it makes sense.
As for his recovery we'll see. He's going to a meeting tonight but we just had an argument cos he spoke to someone about it, not even knowing if she is a SA, who said oh yeah the 12 steps are for alcoholics, you have to go within to heal SA. I got so mad. The self couldn't heal him so far!!! He thinks cos he has self knowledge that he will stop now. I know that is not true.
He thinks that I think he has to do it the 12 step way cos I'm in AA. That's not true either. I'm just too sensitive to hear what sounds like him backing out of recovery before he even starts.
I'm at I'll believe it when I see it. He's so like Oh I'm reading the book & gonna go to a meeting aren't I good now. That was the past why do you have to talk about it. Why don't you just hear listen to what I tell you I'm going to do today?
I don't wanna hear anymore words about what he is going to do. I want to see change.
On another note I set the boundary for him to sleep in the other room until he gets recovery but I don't know when I'm supposed to decide that is...especially if I don't know if he's acting out. His most common acting out cannot be traced unless I follow him which I am not willing to do.
I don't know if it should be after a 90 day abstincence, after he's completed the steps, after he gets a sponsor. No-one at S Anon has given me any direction with that but I will keep asking.
Birdwatch, Innerstrength, 1forward1back, Hoping2heal, Ourlifeback and Iwillrecover (Yes, I know that you are new to the pain) you have all given me knowledge that gives me power to grow my self. I will be a healthy human one day. Have no idea if I will like let alone love the SA who is working hard on his recovery, in my life ever again.
"When I have loved myself enough, I will stop settling for too little"
Welcome to this thread & thanks for your input.
I'm sorry your move went badly. I hope you're right about your H. I thought mine never had time either & so did another member on this thread who told me that when I told her my guy never had time. My guy just never had time to do what I thought he was into. Could your H be doing things that you have never found out about with people you would never imagine?
Thanks for the info. I hope my WSASO is as strong as yours or as successful in his recovery & I hope it is soon...like now.
I don't mind going without sex...I just want him to go without it also. He used porn today but said that he masturbated without porn. He is still lying after he sat there saying how great Patrick Carnes book is & seemed to be into going to SA tonight & we were friendly & nice to each other again.
I went to my 3rd S Anon meeting today & my WSASO is at his first SA meeting as we speak. He's been reading Patrick Carnes book "Contrary to Love" since our argument earlier today & was "looking forward" to the meeting.
I'm still unsure how I'm supposed to be around him. I know I'm not sleeping with him but I don't know whether we should hug & kiss (closed mouth peck). I'm not talking about the 90 day abstinence. He doesn't even know about that yet. I mean the boundary until he gets recovery. He is not missing out on sex with my boundary cos he's getting it elsewhere, just the comfort of snuggling up to someone he loves, which is a loss that isn't being fulfilled with his acting out.
He says it's "only" porn, not with the skin on as 7 puts it & he could be telling the truth but I know that anything he's saying could be an untruth at any time. Does that ever change for me?
The trickle truth keeps on trickling. AFF, match & many other dating sites that he never made contact because he never paid. Other stuff too, every day there is more.
[This message edited by Iwillrecover at 11:01 PM, April 17th (Friday)]
I so am Codependent (note the capital C)and have come to understand that my wonderful, safe, childhood in a non alcoholic family helped me to wear the uniform of a Codependent! What ever I did it seemed that I was never good enough for my father who tried to get us to do our best by never praising great achievements, but telling us we could do better! That began a pattern in me that would become an unhealthy need to show my father I was good enough.
When I discovered my WH's SA all my self doubts surfaced and I "knew" that it had happened because I wasn't good enough.
Wow. I don't remember writing this, but I sure could have.
My WH and I grew up with almost identical FOO dynamics, with the exception of alcoholism in his family, none in mine.
I had to learn that it was not about me, it was his story and I just got chosen to be in the story so he presented a character to me that he thought I would want to love.
Well said. I'm posting this where I can read it every day.
All of this makes me SOOOOOOO scared about raising my own kids! My parents were great parents and did a wonderful job (or so I thought), but turns out their well-meaning praises just lead me to always feeling I was never quite good enough.
My situation is this - married 4.5 years with a 1 year old son. Knew about excessive porn use, phone sex, trading photos, contacting craigslist ppl, and a ONS with a prostitute all before I got pregnant with our son. 3 weeks before my son was born, I found out from my parents about two peeping episodes where he tried to take photos of my mom in the bathroom and also some "home repairs" upstairs where our guestroom bathroom was turned into his own peepshow (ugh)
This has completely devasted my family - my mom and my aunt (both peeped on by him) were sexually abused as children and this rehashed many issues from that time. My family will not communicate with him. My mother, family and friends won't come visit me at my house because of all of this.
We start divorce mediation next week, but I still feel guilty about making the decision to leave. He has been going to IC, but still uses porn alot, had a flirtatious email exchange and spent the night at another womans house since all of this hit the fan.
I'm wondering if anyone else has had their immediate family affected by their husbands SA?
I too could have written the paragraph on Codependency. In my case, my father would frequently announce who was his favourite daughter (there were four girls) at any given time. In my case I was the academic and tried to please with my grades. That soon turned into his favourite son-in-law and then his favourite grandchild.
Savvyhippie, it's been almost 3 years since D-day, and I just got out of Step 1. Currently I am floating along on that plane of lethal flatness. I am wondering if my SAh has left it too long to get serious about his healing. I'm not sure he could 'win me back' at this point, no matter what he did. I'm just not sure. And I'm going to stay put there in 'just not sure' land until I feel like getting out of it and getting on with it.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 11:01 AM, April 18th (Saturday)]