Has anyone ever felt their WH was just an ENIGMA?
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.
I know that feeling.
Compliments are few and far between in my family esp. with those who goaded to be high achievers. The idea is that if you compliment somebody, they'll stop doing well...Needless to say there are quite a few alcoholics in my family...
I still have one incident etched in my mind, such a good example of the above quoted text. I was in elementary school, probably 5 yrs old. I showed my parents a picture I colored. Did they tell me how nice it was? No. They tell me I better not bring anything home like that again (I colored outside the lines). I know it must have affected me if I can still remember it so clearly.
I grew up believing that if something didn't work out, I just needed to work harder at it.
I'm sorry you have found yourself here. Spring, I don't even know what to say to that.
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.
Wow, that totally sums up the conversation WH and I had yesterday. He was trying to explain how when we first got together he was so nervous. He did his best to pretend to be all cool and laid back, and not some drooling pervert.
Turns out he was.
Is this the end or did it just begin - Led Zeppelin
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.
Everything you post sounds so much like me just a few months prior. I was there in Just not sure land for about 2 to 3 months (before that, I was pretty sure that eventually he would realize he had a problem and deal with it--my own attempt at living in fantasy land) .
I was waiting on him, to help me make up my mind. It could have gone either way. He could have actually picked up the ball, went to counseling, started working his problems, or he could have done what he actually did: when everytime I try to talk about something deeper than the weather, he would get angry, tell me I was ruining his life, blame me completely, along with throwing out some not so nice names or how much he hates me, and usually followed up by him hanging up on me. Now I am in Absolutely Sure land, a better place for me for sure!
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
He portrayed a total lie to me, from day 1, and he also quickly fell in love with me (or actually, the image of me he had written into his fantasy life--I had the co-starring role, but did not realize I was going to have to "act" out my life, instead of really living it).
I am realizing that I never truly existed to him, that is why it is so easy to compartmentalize people out of his life, when they do not fit into his fantasy life anymore. While I was willing to play along, and stroke his ego, and tell everyone he was the greatest thing since sliced bread, his story played out just fine.
But when reality hit, and truth came out (that ugly thing), and I had the gall to keep throwing it in his face, as he has slowly realized I won't play my part the way he had it written for me, I find it is becoming very easy for him to write me out of his life, as I no longer fit his image of the perfect woman for him, which is someone who will live in the fantasy world he has created, and not question it, at all.
I keep going back to the same 3 letters. Sad.
Glad you and your H are both getting the help that you need. It's a crazy journey, huh? I have to say also that your quote about presenting a character to you that you could fall in love with is so accurate in my case also... Well said!
And, yes, you WILL be a healthy human one day...
He used porn today but said that he masturbated without porn
This is absolutely addictive behavior. Most recovery groups do not even allow masturbation... In my H's case- ever again. His therapist asked him about it and he has realized that is his "gateway drug" so to speak... He (my H) decided that it was absolutely out of the question for him and it is one of his bottom line behaviors... I know your H is new to all of this, but I hope he gets some good advice from the people at the SA meeting.
I'm sure you realize this, based on what you said later about him talking to someone about SA and the 12 steps, but that was total BS by the way- almost all the addiction programs follow the 12 steps, which WAS originally only for AA, but they have realized that they are effective with all sorts of addictions as well- That girl is no good and why is he talking to a random girl about SA anyway?! Was she at the meeting?- I'm having a hard time understanding that one... I'm mad for you!
It's a lot to digest and don't think that all of our H's were on the "recovery bandwagon" from day one... It took my H a long time and a lot of work to get where he is now. And a really great therapist and group who kept him on track and making him accountable for his decisions. It took about 3-4 months for him to really start to understand the addiction and develop his boundaries for himself for what was his addictive cycle..
But you are right- "Going within yourself" ain't gonna' fix it! Otherwise there would be no need for this forum and no need for SA, because believe me... None of our H's ever would have "chosen" this if they were to see where it could take them... It's awful for us and for them-
Stand your ground- I would also suggest putting down boundaries that you can control- 7 yrs has touched on this one really well-
What will you do if he decides he's not sleeping in the other room anymore? Can you force him? You CAN enforce YOU sleeping in the other room though- I know, sounds crazy, like you're kicking yourself out of the room, but you absolutely always have control over that one... Trust us, it will make sense later...
Just my 2 cents-
So sorry... That's awful for you. Talk about complicating the issue, huh? You've got family on one side and your H on the other... The only thing I can say is to try not to feel guilty... At this point even though he is going to IC, he is not sober. If he is still using porn, flirting with women online and spending the night at another woman's house- he is not serious about his recovery. You will not ever be able to have a healthy, loving relationship with this man if he is not sober. AND then, even still you have the added stress of your family being violated and intimately involved.
I am sending you hugs and prayers- So sorry you are feeling torn- Take it easy on yourself- It sounds like you are doing the very best thing for this moment in time.
Has anyone ever felt their WH was just an ENIGMA?
All the time- I am puzzled still by so many things...
Goodnight all- You are strong, wonderful, caring people... Take care of yourselves first and foremost.
My husband has been hinging his own work on the problem on whether or not I'm staying. Saying lots of things about how it's not worth working on if I'm not around - makes me feel horrible! He also brings up very often that I made a commitment when we got married to support through good and bad - but somehow it just seems like I *should* be able to say I've had enough, right? His argument is that I never spoke up and gave him an ultamatum before, so he should get a second chance now since it's the first time I've talked about leaving, etc.
But, on the other side of divorce is a home where my family and friends will feel comfortable and I can reclaim my social life and the prospect that I could have a better and healthier relationship with someone someday. It's hard to resist the pull of those positives.
Seems that most of you are working through SA issues, is anyone else considering divorce like me??
Yes, there are people on here who are choosing to leave their spouses for a better life for themselves. I'm sure they will be along here soon to offer some support to you as well-
I want to tell you a few things that I've learned throughout all of this- and I am hoping it will make your decision a little easier....
If your H is telling you that he is only recovering b/c he wants to stay with you, or that it's not worth it to do all this work if you're going to leave anyway- Then he is not ready to recover. If the motivation to recover does not come from within that individual, they will fail at their recovery. All of the addicts have had external motivation at some point- Fear of spouse finding out, fear of losing job, etc, etc... It doesn't work. It is ONLY when that person realizes that they are completely out of control and they don't want that life anymore- With you or without you. That's when he's serious about recovery.
He's using that statement to make you feel guilty on purpose. It's his way of controlling your emotions so that you feel responsible for his recovery. You are not. He is the only one who says whether he is going to recover or not. Manipulating you to feel guilty is hallmark for them. They have done it for so long and so well- It's second nature. Don't fall for it.
He is manipulating you by saying "for better and for worse"... Well, he also said that he would be faithful and love and cherish you for the rest of your life... That didn't happen either, right? I love how they are so quick to use that to their advantage, but then forget how they broke their promises... You are not bound by your promise. You made that promise with the understanding that he would do all of those things he promised to do. You are free to go---guiltfree. You were misled.
Even if you divorce, please go to some S-anon meetings or read some of the books we talk about on here for co-dependency. I resisted that "label" for so long, but the more I understood what it meant, the more I realized that I can only live my life for me and those I am responsible for (ie: children- NOT my H. He is responsible for his own life and choices). It can really help to avoid a pattern of being with someone who "needs fixing"... You definitely don't want to get into another relationship down the road that is the same type... Unfortunately, without some understanding of why we attract addicts, it's destined to happen again. We are all rescuers in some sense- the ones who try so hard to make everything right all the time... Who try to make everyone happy, even though that's impossible.
I feel like I am ruining his life in order to make myself happy
You are doing what is best for your child- You are not ruining his life. Living in a house with an addict who is not sober and is still acting out would ruin his life and set him up for all sorts of problems later. You are showing him that you want a loving, healthy life for him. You are also showing him that you have self-respect, and that you will not tolerate a relationship that is not healthy. This will help him far more in his future so that he will see that he cannot follow that same patterns of his father and expect a good marriage. You are leading by example. Remember that. You HAVE to take care of yourself first, or else, by default you are not taking care of your son. If your H finds true recovery, he can be a part of your lives someday, but that choice is entirely up to you.
I think you really are doing the right thing. All you have to think about is day by day. Current moment. At this current moment, he is not sober and you can't live with him that way.
I hope you find peace with your decision... We're here for you!
[This message edited by innerstrength at 10:33 AM, April 19th (Sunday)]
How do you spell *JADED*?
I am glad my post has helped you in some small ways.
I think your husband is admitting that he is a SA and has a problem, and he is educating himself. However, he seems unconvinced that he needs any professional help to overcome the addiction. My question is, if he is reluctant to go for group therapy or 12-steps, is he willing to at least see an IC and go from there? Sometimes, a person may be reluctant and intimidated to participate in group therapy, but may be more willing to go for IC in a one-on-one setting. It is not ideal, but at least it's a step forward.
If not, then only time can tell. Literature tells us that without any professional help, the chances of relapse is high. However, my IC once expressed this wittily: you cannot force someone to get therapy by court order. Even if you can physically drag him here, no benefit will accrue if he is resistant. Therefore, unfortunatley, you can only wait to see if he eventually relapses. It is very sad indeed and my heart goes out to you.
In my husband's case, I am "lucky" in that he was aware that he has a serious problem way before D Day. He in fact tried to stop cold turkey by himself a couple of times before D Day. He did not only fail miserably, but the acting out after each failed attempt was even more escalated than before. Therefore, on D Day, he knew, even without my telling him, that he cannot do this alone and that he needs professional help.
Set boundaries. Take this time to regain emotional health and heal yourself. Slowly, you will feel well enough to weigh your options and make an informed decision as to whether to stay or leave.
Thinking of you,
You must be devastated, hurt, humiliated and embarrassed. I weep for you, because you do not deserve this.
innerstrength has given you great advice. Whether to stay or leave is your decision.
Generally, it is recommended that no major life-altering decision be made within the first year. This period recognizes that someone in your position is in such a crisis state that you may not be emotionally stable and healthy enough to make an informed decision that is best for you and your family. Even if you eventually decide to leave, this one year period will ensure that you can make that decision with confidence and you have made all necessary practical and emotional preparations for the separation.
If your husband is not remorseful, is not admitting to SA, is not seeking IC, is not seeing group therapy (or 12-steps), and is not committed to change, he is not in recovery. In that case, it is not a matter of if, when when, he will relapse again.
Also, innerstrength is correct in that an addict must want to change for himself. In other words, they must recognize that their behaviour is out of control and unmanageable, and they must recognize the gravity of the consequences of their action. It is not true recovery if they are just going through the motion for someone else. Any such recovery will not be sustainable.
You must look after yourself. Have you gone to the doctors to check for all STDs and discuss medications (e.g. anti-anxiety, depression, etc.)? Have you set boundaries and consequences?
If you eventually decide to leave, you will be doing so for not only yourself but for your son. If your husband is not in recovery (and in his case, violating other members of your family), or worse still, blame you for his addiction, that cannot possibly be a healthy environment for your son to grow up in. Your being able to remove yourself from an abusive situation will set a good example for your son.
Having said all of that, I do hope your husband will see the light and seek help. Keep us posted. We are all here thinking of you and we all think you are very special.
Thank you for your kind words, and I hope you will join us in this thread to share your struggles and triumphs.
He was mostly wonderful for our first 4 years (except for a few moments here or there, I would see him struggling with something, but he would withdraw for a while, and then be okay later).
He left last April for a better job for us. I was supposed to join him this spring. I will not be going. I went down last July to visit, and found all that crap on his computer, he sent the computer home and told me his problem was fixed.
I researched, spent hundreds of hours on here, read books and websites, talked to my IC, and learned about SA. I also went to COSA for a while. I did my homework. Meanwhile, he just lied to me. Told me he wasn't acting out anymore, I told him no more porn, in any form, no naked women, period. He told me over and over he wasn't doing anything, then I found $400 worth of PPV porn.
Then he lied about that. Denied it until I told him I had the bill here. Then he told me it was no big deal, he didn't go back on his promise, because I didn't say no more porn, I just said no more computer porn. Seriously, those words came out of his mouth. And he thought I would agree, because he is used to people buying his lies.
I can see him now as the seriously ill person he is. It took me a long time, because he always had very good excuses, and everyone likes him.
There is nothing wrong with leaving just for you. Why do you need any other reason? That is codependency, thinking that you cannot live your life to please yourself, that you must always take everyone else's wishes into consideration.
As mothers, we are taught to put our children's needs above our own, and some of us do that way too well. As long as they are well taken care of and loved, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your own needs too. It took me about ten or fifteen different people telling me that staying for my kids sake is not healthy; what my kids need the most is a happy, healthy mom.
It is impossible to be healthy when you are living with an addict that is not in recovery. Once I realized that, the guilt about leaving disappeared. I still feel terribly sad, because my dd will miss him, but she will get over it, and she will be happier if she is in a house with no hidden secrets and tension from addiction problems.
I also have to set an example for herself that you do not need to live your life as a martyr. That is not what I want for her. I want her to seek her own happiness, so in order to show her that is okay to do, I am going to do it. Make sense?
But I did make my decision very carefully, and I gave him a long long time and made every effort to help him understand the problem. Now it is on his shoulders, and he will have to live with it, because I am done.
Naive - Wow, I so sympathize with what you are going through and am so sorry to read about your journey.
I do want to clarify that my husband doesn't deny any of this, has fessed up to everything I've confronted him with and has been in IC for a year now. He's doing everything *right*, but yet I feel like there's nothing he can do to fix the damage done to my family. It's one thing to accept the risk of your husband acting out when it means you get cheated on or your own trust is violated, but how can I ask my family to take that risk? If anything were to ever happen again, I wouldn't be able to bear it.
That said, I feel that over the past year I've fallen out of love with him over this. Partly because of all the things he's done to hurt me. I just don't have the desire to make a strong effort to reconcile. That's where my feelings of conflict and guilt come from - he's doing all the things he's supposed to do and yet I still want to leave.
Sorry you're here. You've been given wonderful advice. Keep posting here & get to some S Anon meetings. One warning about those meetings though. They "suggest" waiting 6 months before divorcing. I wonder what they would say if you told them you no longer love your husband. I don't know what you should do as I'm so new at this.
Birdwatch & Innerstrength,
Thanks again. The latest is that my WSASO is at his 2nd SA meeting tonight & hasn't acted out since his first one, as far as I know.
I have been to 3 S Anon meetings & going to my 4th tomorrow. He is still sleeping in the other room & yes I can enforce it because it was "my" room before he moved in with me.
I don't know when to let him back into my room as I don't know when to decide that he is "in" recovery. I miss him & desire him sexually but I don't know how it will be if/when we eventually attempt that because I have knowledge of where he's been
Love you guys...thanks for being here
He is doing well so far but is feeling so bad cos he's out of the denial of what he's been doing but hasn't got the part that it wasn't his fault, it was that he was powerless over his addiction.
He also deleted his stash of porn pics that I didn't even know he had.
He wants to come back into our room & I would love him to be in there. I miss him.
I want to support him. I know he is at SA for himself. He's said that he will go regardless of whether or not I stay with him & after reading about his problem he can't not keep going. He can't deny his problem anymore & is very concerned about what he has read about his disease.
Don't know if I should wait longer for him to "prove" that he is really in recovery or to let him back in the room/bed with consequences for him slipping or stopping going to meetings. If I have consequences about getting a sponsor & working the steps it's like I'm telling him how to work his program so I don't know what to do.
[This message edited by Iwillrecover at 1:39 AM, April 20th (Monday)]
In re: your comment, it has been over a year since I found out about the worst things (the peeping on family/friends) - I think I felt I had decided to leave after about 7 months. The past 5 or 6 months have been spent struggling with how to actually leave and dealing with my own feelings of guilt.
It sounds like you have been dealing with this for over a year, so it is not like you are new to this and still in shock (although I am not sure the shock of it all ever completely wears off!)
You know who you are best. If your feelings are dead, and you don't feel they could possibly be revived, it would be sad I think to stay with someone you don't love. Also, again, not something really great to model for your children. I've read on the general boards quite a bit, and some of the people there, their feelings do come back, but it takes time, and with some of them, it seems like even 3 or 4 years later, they just can't get past it and the feelings are dead, and they are miserable.
Again, you know yourself, and you can't feel guilty about leaving, if that is truly what you want to do. It does not make you weak, or an "unsympathetic" spouse who won't give him the chances. For many, infidelity period is a dealbreaker, and that is okay. You do not have to be a martyr. It is always a very tough decision to think about divorce, especially when children are involved, but you are not doing him any favors by staying, if you think you will always be somewhat disgusted by him, and the love is gone.
Good luck, and remember, you don't have to hurry to make your decision. Give it all the time you need!
You make so much sense!!!
I'm not sure about others, but I think the hugging and kissing (peck before saying good-bye/hello type) is okay because it's about creating that intimacy WITHOUT sexuality. Which, from what I understand, is the whole idea.
But I'm still trying to make sense of that myself.
Like this guy. He himself comes from a dysfunctional, addictive background (including SA), so he's been able to call FWH out on a few things.
Next step: I see a female counselor tomorrow for my codependency and PTSD issues. FWH will continue to see the CSAT. Not sure of the EXACT path yet, but it sure sounds like we are in the right place, whether or not it IS truly SA.