She is a "classic" addict. Sexually abused at a very young age. Sexually used by her PSYCHIATRIST under drugs in her late teens. Has acted out in many ways during her life. Never been an alcoholic or a drug user but gambling for 8-9 years , now sex in various forms and I think before I knew her she was quite promiscuous but whether it was addiction idk. I am seeing an IC and attending Coda meetings. SHe is not and will not. SHe has been to at least 3 psychiatrists and 3 other psychological counselers in the last ten years.
I guess I need to learn how to let her go. But damn it's hard.
Happy birthday!! I often think that women would make the best husbands -- we're so much more thoughtful!
I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Sounds like you have a good support network in place but, yes, it is still hard to feel the pain and work through it. Hang in there. Post often. As NA so kindly posted, we're a supportive bunch.
I'm sorry you and your husband are in a rough spot. I hate the constant bickering and am trying to stop it when I notice myself doing it. It's generally symptomatic (in my case) of not dealing with the BIG issues and and instead nit-picking about the "safe" issues. When I look back, it's part of what made my marriage spiral downward (oh yeah -- that and the fact that my husband was screwing strangers )
And you're right. The tough work is piecing everything back together after the bomb goes off. I think many people think that the hard part is the disclosure. That's only the beginning. It's the day in-day out stuff that wears us down or builds us up...depending on the level of communication, honesty and genuine compassion. I too have noticed, now that the dust has settled, that my husband is settling back into some of his old behaviors, and that my feelings are being shuffled to the back burner. And it's easy for me to quickly jump to the "after what you did to me, my feelings should be the MOST important thing..."; however, I'm realizing he can't spend the rest of his life making it up to me and that we have to create a relationship based on equality. Not easy...
Two out of the three general psychologits we saw said they did not think WH was a SA at our very first meeting. How could they know that without having any background in that addiction? Needless to say we are not going back to any of those three.
I am very frustrated.
The CSAT, while I think will be very helpful is extremely expensive and is not covered by our insurance. The one hour session is $195 out of pocket. Who can afford that? I certainly can't on a weekly basis but I feel as though somehow we have to come up with it and figure it out.
I actually got on the phone with our insurance company and asked THEM to find me a therapist who is a CSAT in network and they said they could not do a search like that.
Come to find out by this CSAT last night that there are only 4 of them in my geographic area (within an hour drive) and he doesn't think any of them take my insurance. He basically said they were in such high demand that they didn't need to take insurance at all... that people were willing to pay out of pocket to get this kind of help. I live in suburbia with 4 million people. How can this be? Oh, he also said this is a new area of psychology.
It is all so frustrating but I think you will all know how I feel. My WH is willing to get help and its going to take the next several months to even determine if he is a SA!!!!
I need to pray for patience.
This CSAT did give me the Patrick Carnes list as must reads... so I put that order in to Amazon this morning.
And WH's next appointment isn't until May 27th... this guy is going on an extended vacation to Hawaii.
I went into the wrong profession apparently
Welcome to the newcomers.
This is the best bunch of women. SO wonderful to find people that understand and can help.
I just wanted to say thank you for being here and taking time to answer questions and offer support.
I'm doing ok. Our relationship is ok. If we put effort in, we are very good together and I totally feel connected to him. I just need him to get some coping skills so that the compulsion will be at bay.
Anyway, I'm not feeling so insane as I was. Just taking one day at a time and doing the best that I can. I'm going to be doing a step study for my co-dependency/co-addiction behaviors and work on healing me and all my myriad of issues that I have been avoiding.
I'm still hurting. It's just crazy how much this stuff hurts. I mean, just looking at porn is damaging, but finding out about the sex with other women is just so devastating.
Anyway, thank you all so much. I have a lot of stuff to do before leaving so most likely, I won't be back until after Memorial Day.
She is still not making any move to get counseling (I am in IC) and does not want to discuss the details of what she did.
She claims she never touched another man besides me.
She says I should view her naked webcamming as the equivalent of posing for Playboy. Her excuse is "Cindy Crawford did it too". I was caught off guard by what she said and replied "maybe someday I will be able to view it like that".
Actually, when I thought about it later, I don't think the Cindy Crawford comparison is fair. Cindy did her nude modeling when she was still single. I believe her ex-bartender model hubby would probably be pretty angry if his now 40+ year-old Cindy got naked on cam for anonymous guys. Not that I know anything about their relationship.
Nice to see my wife puts herself on a par with Cindy Crawford in certain respects. I should try to mentally categorize myself with people that I admire, like maybe Clint Eastwood or Charlton Heston. Lately all I can seem to conjure up is Rodney Dangerfield.
and put in your zip code to search for CSATs and/or CSATs in training in your area. Your CSAT may or may not know of all of them.
Be sure that you read "Mending a Shattered Heart" (often referred to on this board as MaSH) by Stefanie Carnes FIRST. After you read MaSH, then read "Don't Call It Love" by Patrick Carnes. Your SA should read "Out of the Shadows" by Patrick Carnes. You may decide to read it at some point but quite honestly it will SCARE you and I personally do not recommend that any "just found outs" read it. If you decide to read it just be sure to read MaSH and DCIL (in that order) FIRST.
I'm trying to detach from my WH,since he told me that he doesn't think our marriage can be saved. We're not living together so our only contact is via email, phone, and text.
I'm pretty clueless on how to deal with an addict. Should I practice the 180? I haven't called to catch up in a fews days and it's killing me!
What is the best way to proceed? Is doing the 180, not being a support system the best way or does that just drive an addict further away?
Even though it's hard not to talk to him, it is helping me heal. I had a job interview that went well and I'm able to get a clearer picture of how messed up my life with him has been. I felt like things were pretty perfect besides his hidden life :)
I know I need to focus on me, but does that mean zero focus on him.
CSAT did recommend MaSH for me as a must read and "Out of the Shadows" for WH. I will pick up "Don't Call it Love" for my second read.
I found this CSAT through iitap website. There are 3 others in my geographical area (none are in my health plan) but the other 3 are a bit farther away. This guy is 15 minutes from my house where the others are about an hour. And I liked him. I think he might be able to help us. The cost is going to kill us but I believe this might be WH's only chance at living a normal life if he is indeed a SA.
BTW, the CSAT said he couldn't make a diagnosis of SA until WH took some test (forget what it was called but he did say it would take several hours to take the test) but he believed after we told him what was going on that there was a good possibility of SA.
I still think WH doesn't believe he is a SA but he is going becuase he knows that getting tested is a requirement for us to stay married.
I wish he were willing to do the reading and research I've been doing.
Has anyone had to "drag" their spouse along through this process? Not that I am dragging him... he is going willingly but it feels like I am doing most of the work.
YES! You do need to focus only on you right now and look how quickly you're getting a clear picture of your life. Life with an addict of any sort is crazy-making. Up becomes down, right becomes wrong, etc. Getting away from that will do wonders for your own sanity and self-regard.
I do think you should do the 180. Your not driving anyone further away, you're simply taking care of yourself and allowing him to experience the consequences of his actions/choices.
I remember reading something in my early days following disclosure about how the spouse can spend time "managing" their partner's recovery. It hit me like a ton of bricks because that was exactly what I was doing. I was giving him a reading list, checking up on his counselling sessions, encouraging him to go to 12-step meetings, etc. In other words, the focus remained on him instead of on me. As hard as it is, you need to shift focus to you. It'll hurt because focusing on him in part allows you to numb your own feelings about all of this. But feel the feelings and determine what YOU are going to do about this... He has to take responsibility for his own recovery. You can't -- and shouldn't -- do it for him. If he drags his feet, then so be it. You can still move forward.
The CSAT recommended two specific IC's for me. I am going to look into it.
I hope you can find comfort and advice in this Forum. You are going through a terrible time. Everyone here are embarking on the same journey as well.
Most of you seem to have discovered repeated infidelities, but are not yet sure if your spouses are SAs. I have a number of responses to that:
* At this stage, it is almost irrelevant whether or not your spouses are SAs. The fact that your spouses have been unfaithful is sufficient for him to admit to having a serious problem and to seek help.
* Only a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) can make an official diagnosis. There are on-line questionnaires which will give you an idea, but they are not a resplacement for seeing a CSAT or at least a therapist with experience in addiction. Relying on on-line questionnaires can be dangerous - it's like you feel physically ill and decide to play doctor and diagnose yourself by searching on-line.
Dealing with SA is a totally different ball game. You and your spouse need a lot more support, education and therapy than "just" infidelities.
There really are two different discovery dates: one is D Day for infidelities, and one is D Day for SA. The SA him/herself has to recognize and admit to both infidelities, and then SA.
1. Look after yourself first
Any consideration of rebuilding the marriage or your spouse's healing would be futile at this stage because you are simply not in the physical and emotional space to do so.
Visit a doctor to do a FULL set of STD tests. Also seek advice for possible medicine for insominia, panic attacks and/or depression.
Visit a counsellor for yourself.
If you are working, ask for a one or two weeks' vacation time.
Remember to eat and drink water/juice. I was so distraught in the beginning that I threw up all solid food. So I bought a pack of protein shake, and at 9 am, 1 pm and 7 pm every day, I forced myself to have a shake, a glass of water and one fruit.
Find support through a trusted friend, join a therapy group for spouses of SAs, and/or post here.
2. Get educated
There are many books and websites with credible information (and to the financially strapped, these are quite affordable). Dr. Patrick Carnes has a number of books. Mending a Shattered Heart is recommended for spouses of SAs. Before that though, I recommend the book After the Affairs (sorry, I don't remember the author's name but sure you can google it). This book deals with affairs in general(not specific to SA). I find the book highly relevant, yet less emotionally charged than the books that are specific to SA. Out of the Shadow by Dr. Cairnes is intended for the SA. I recommend strongly AGAINST you, as a spouse, to read it at this stage.
If you google "Patrick Carnes", you will find his website www.sexhelp.com. The FAQs section summarizes a lot of the key concepts of SA.
Finally, to add credibility to Dr. Patrick Carnes' credentials, I called the Canada Addiction and Mental Health association, which is a world class and reputable organization. The CSAT there recommended the books by Dr. Patrick Carnes' to his patients.
3. Your spouse and your marriage
While you are not in a state to help your spouse's recovery or to rebuild the marriage, you should set boundaries with consequences. In addition, you must recognize you cannot control your spouse or his/her recovery. Others here, like 7yearsbetrayed, can give you better advice on that.
Your spouse must have no contact with OWs.
You spouse must see a therapist who is trained in SA or at the minimum addiction, or preferrably a CSAT. As mentioned earlierly, only a CSAT can make a proper diagnosis of SA, though there are websites that have on-line questionnaires to give some indication.
Your spouse may join a 12-step group.
Marriage counselling comes much later when both of you and your spouse have been sufficiently healed individually.
I wish to emphasize that too often, we focus on our spouse's recovery and neglect our own. In the beginning, your mental health is shattered. You must focus on you and look after yourself. Only after you regain some level of emotional stability and wellness can you support your spouse and rebuild the marriage (if that's what you want).
Finally, it is normally recommended that no major decision be made in the first year following discovery. This time is needed for your own healing (which in itself is a painful process, that may uncover baggages from your own past that need to be addressed). The objective is for you to regain emotionally stability to make informed decisions, to weigh all options, and to make the necessary financial, emotional and practical preparations should you decide to leave.
It is not your fault. Something terrible has happened to you. You have been betrayed by someone who had broken a vow. When someone sets out to lie and deceive, and when you keep to your own vow of trust and monogamy, it's not your fault to not have discovered earlier.
You will survive. You are being thought of by everyone here. We are all cheering you on. Don't give up. Take care of yourself. Post as often as you want and PM any of us if you wish.
I hope my previous Post to all newcomes is helpful.
I also wish to specifically respond to your question about escalation.
Every SA is different. I use the analogy of an alcoholic. Some alcoholics drink consistently and daily at the cost of their jobs and daily responsbilities. Other alcoholics drink not as frequently, but once they drink, they become verbally and physically abusive. Some alcoholics choose hard liquor, while other get a high simply from beer.
SA is not so much about the type of activity (e.g. porn, texting or seeing a prostitute), but rather is defined by "out of control sexual acting out and the inability to stop despite serious consequences". Some SA compulsively watch porn (on DVD or online), never escalate to more "severe" forms of acting out. Some SA progress from porn, to texting, to phoning, to dating sites, to meeting, to emotional affairs, to physical affairs, to prostitution, etc.
There are also studies to suggest that SA causes changes in the brain chemicals, just like other drugs, alcohol or gambling. It gives the SA a "high", and as time passes, the SA needs more frequent acing out or more escalated forms of acting out to achieve the same high.
Also, SA is also defined by the cycle of addiction. An SA uses sex to handle stress and negative emotions --> acting out makes them feel ashamed and guilty, thus causing more stress and negative emotions --> lacking healthy tools to deal with stress and negative emotions, an SA acts out some more --> repeat.
Having said all that, and while you should educate yourself to make some sense to your life, the most important thing is for you to take care of you. Be gentle with yourself. Take care.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 12:27 PM, May 13th (Wednesday)]
This is the first time I'm posting here but think I may belong here....I don't know.
My WH does not have a porn issue, does not go to dating sites and until October, I wasn't aware of his cheating problem. That has changed quite a bit.
He has now admitted to at least 25 A's over the course of 14 years (although now he says he just threw out that number and it was really only 5). He moved 1000 miles away 2 weeks ago for his job and within 24 hours I saw that he texted inappropriate things to a woman and then she called him for 15 minutes. When I mentioned her name the next day, he told me not to worry....and he stopped (which he did). Before that he had claimed that she was a friend who's husband is dying of cancer and he was supporting her. (even as I type this I figure you must think I'm a dumbass I sure sound like one to me) I never suspected him in our 20 year marriage, so I guess he's so good at this that I always fall for it.
Well, I think I've worn out my welcome in the other threads because they've pretty much told me my WH has this issue and I should leave him. I'm not sure if that is the right thing for me and I think he loves me with all his heart (I know he does actually) BUT he does hurt me emotionally.
I have to figure out how to deal with this. I'm not a doormat although when I read what I write, it comes off that way. My WH and I have a really fun time when we're together, he is my best friend and I'm his. So why is this happening....I don't know.
I'm hoping that I can be here with you and learn how to work through these issues. I don't share my troubles with any humans on this planet....including him. When I find out info, I just tuck it away. He doesn't know I know about the texts from last week, he only knows that I know about d-day in October and what he's admitted to me. Any information I've found since then, I've kept quiet in fear he'll go more underground. When I ask advice in the other forums, they seem to tell me to just 'hang it up' and 'get out of the M', so I don't think I should ask anymore. (ok, maybe they are right)
Is my M really that much worse than everyone elses?
I look around and think not.
When my H and I are together, we are always having fun. I don't want to give it up. I also don't want to share my problems with 'real' people who get angry at me if I don't follow their advice. I need to figure out the best path for my family.
Can you help me?
[This message edited by reelingbuthealin at 12:53 PM, May 13th (Wednesday)]
Behind every woman who trusts no one, is a man who taught her to be that way!
I'm sorry you've had such a tough time on other threads/sites. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for infidelity and it sounds as if you want your marriage -- which is reason enough. That said, your husband's behavior is incredibly hurtful on so many levels. Whether or not he's SA (see birdwatch's post above) remains to be determined...but he's certainly got a problem with boundaries and respecting his vows.
What was his response following his disclosure of 5/25 affairs? Does he think this is acceptable? Do you two have a plan for dealing with the betrayal of trust and his earning back of your trust? Has he said it will stop?
I'm confused as to where you two are right now.
I would recommend you get clear on what you will and will not accept in your marriage. State this very clearly to him. Don't get into where you get info, his excuses, etc. He has admitted infidelity - that's enough. Now he needs to let you know what he plans to do about it -- and you need to figure out what you need him to do about it.
I would also recommend you read the books suggested on this thread: Mending a Shattered Heart for starters.
Keep posting. You're welcome here.
I found out in October about one affair in which he was very much emotionally attached. That was probably why he got caught...he wasn't careful enough. We (me) tried to work on M but there was a d-day #2 with same OW in Nov. At that point I told his Mom and all hell broke loose. She was very upset with him and told him what a disappointment he was to her. He came back the next day and showed the first hint of remorse since d-day #1. Begged me to give M another chance, called OW and told her it was over, NC (which has been established and not broken), etc, blah, blah, blah.
I really thought that was it. Thought we were healing. Weird things always got me though. I had bought Viagra for him (sort of a joke gift) but one of them went missing (never figured it out), he opened and closed a couple email accounts (he told me about one after he closed it but it was too late for me to see the emails), nagging things like that. Stuff that has kept my gut on high alert for all these months.
I've never stopped asking questions.
So he finally said, "what do you want me to tell you"? I said, "the truth". So he told me what number do you want? Is 25 good? Do you like 25? OK, it's 25! Now leave me alone.
I said, "really" 25? He said, Yes. (later he changed it to 5, saying that he just threw 25 out there to shut me up)
Then I started asking questions again, that's when he put on the brakes. Said that he's really happy with US right now....before we weren't as close as we are now (that is true) and he went elsewhere. He said that we should work on keeping what we have now and that bringing up the past will only hurt me so he doesn't want to keep talking about it. Refuses to talk about it anymore.
So I was pretty good about that until I started catching onto the new stuff. That's when I realized that this may be a real issue he has. He seems broken, really remorseful. He'll call me right after he talks to someone. If I sound even slightly aloof, he sounds panicked.
I just want to collect as much information as I can....on SA and on HIM cheating on me....and present it all at once. I don't want to go through the lies again. I just want to lay it out there and say what are YOU going to do?
(My sister told me that he hit on her once too He doesn't even like her)
So, I'm on a fact-finding mission. He is working away from home for a year, so I've got time to compile the info and time to decide what I'll do. My heart has already been broken (can't re-break a broken vase)
I was sexually abused as a kid, so I understand if he has issues that he needs to work through. I don't think he knows he has any issues. He did tell me last month that he never would have cheated on me if I hadn't been sexually abused as a kid. That pissed me off.
sorry if this is all over the place. I'm just not sure what to make of this man. I thought SA meant you had porn and strip club issues too and he doesn't. Maybe he's just a plain old cheater. could be.
Maybe he's not a SA, maybe he's just an asshole.
I agree with eternaloptimist that you wanting your marriage is enough to continue to get support. I understand that because I am in a similar situation.
7yearsbetrayed has posted excellent information for resources on SA. That might help you get started on helping to determine if there is the possibility that SA might be an issue. Or, as you stated he might be a regular old cheater. That made me giggle by the way.
Though I have been married significantly less time than you, some of what you posted really resonates with me.
I'm wishing you lots of success finding what you are looking for and then to go through the healing process - alone and possibly with your WH.
I made it!! He left for work early so I started packing up he came home for a minute to get something and I just said I will be out by tonight. He didn'ts ay anything just left. Then 2 hours later we had the first truck loaded up. My friends brother calls and said he did something to the propane tank in the garage my stuff was going to be at and it blew up. I just sat and kept thinking like why is this happening, god must not want me to leave. i didn't do anything just sat there. Since he is only 16 my friend left to go see what happened because he said it started neighbors car on fire and cops were there and their parents were gone.
It was a lie. No fire, no explosion.. he was just messing with us because we asked him to sweep it out and he didn't want to.
Then after the truck was loaded with all my big stuff cops come pulling up. I took a deep breath and walked out to talk to them. They said Jermaine had called and is leaving work because he is worried about his property. Next Jermaine pulls up and first thing he said to the cops was can't you make her stay she is on the lease. The cop looked at him and said no she can leave if she wants. You can take her to court. He never said anything directly to me.
He was in our bedroom talking to cop and the other cop asked me to go in there and Jermaine was asking about taking our son and the cop told him that no he can't. In MN mothers have sole whatever custody and he has to take me to court. He tried to keep the crib and the cop said anything pertaining to the kids she can take and you can not dispute.
He tried saying my computer and tv were his. Cops said if he disputes something it stays in apartment till we go to court. So I looked at the officer and said well I don't have to leave right? He said no so I said fine everybody unload the truck and bring everything back in if I can't take whats mine I am not leaving. So jermaine just looked me and said fine take whatever you want.
So then he asked the cop if they would make me tell him where I am tkaing my son. The cop said we can't make her tell you. So I looked at the cop and said to a safe healthy place where there isn't someone passing out all the time from being drunk.
After that he decided to go back to work or wherever. But he took my damn car seat for the baby. I had the neighbors watching the baby while I was moving and as soon as Jermaine pulled up I had a friend go get him well neighbor wouldn't give him to her. So I had another neighbor go get him she was taking too long so I went to get him. And I guess they were on jermaine's side and didn't want me to take him they were going to give him to Jermaine. They weren't going to open door for me but the neighbor did and I grabbed my son and left. I had no clue I thought they just weren't going to give them to someone other than me, but no they were holding him for jermaine but had no choice but to give him to me. So after all that these people came to my apartment and just stood in door way. I looked at the cop and said can you please ask them to leave. I think she was in shock I knew what was going on and she left.
Anyways I know God was with my the whole day. It didn't start raining till the very end when we were just moving a couple boxes and it was just sprinkling.
I don't have internet where I am staying, but my mom is looking into getting it hooked up and paying first bill for me. So for now I will try to stay in touch every few days when I get a chance!
Reeling - YOu still have to have some shock, finding out all that just last fall. I think on the other threads, most of the people are just so tired of the unrepentent spouses, and a lot of times, it seems like some of the WS's never get it, plus some of them can be somewhat abusive while in the fog, and they just hate to see people being disrespected and in pain. If you want more specific advice on how to keep your M together, you might try the reconciliation boards, and/or preface your posts with "I really would like to work on my M", and you may get other ideas and hints.
And of course, if your WS IS an addict, there is a different way you need to approach the situation, which you can learn on this thread, as there are some people here who have successfully navigated their way into and thru counseling and healing.
You know, there is also a "love" Addiction - as well as "sex" Addiction, where the person is drawn towards the high that you get when you first start up a new relationship, but those new relationships don't last, because the high eventually wears off, and you are left with reality. Love and Sex Addiction can be present in the same person.
Like KGT said, 7yrsbetrayed has some great places for you to start learning and educating yourself, the url for her info is:
Also, maybe google up "love addiction" and see if anything there rings a bell for you.
Please don't feel you have to stop posting anywhere, you are the only one that can make the decision on what you want to do, and for most people that do eventually leave, they didn't make that decision overnight, and some of them took years to decide. It is an important decision, and deserves all the thought and time you put into it.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:56 PM, May 13th (Wednesday)]
I just want to say that you sound so matter-of-fact about things but I know you must be hurting tremendously.
Thank you very much. You're right. I feel like I'm underwater with a straw....just trying to breathe.
I think I'm going to drown.