For everyone talking about the shame--I don't look at it that way at all. I would have had issues about staying with my WS if he had gotten help, but shame wasn't one I even considered.
It is no shame to stay with someone you love who is ill, and be there for them as they work to conquer that illness. Again, from what most everyone has written here, you all have fine men, who have an awful disease, that was kind of thrust on them mostly in childhood I believe. Those of you whose H's have gotten help, that is a wonderful and scary thing for them to do, and I would be proud of them. And proud of yourselves, for having the strength and courage to deal with this, because it is not an easy road, and with us all being human, there are no guarantees.
Those of you whose H's haven't quite gotten help but are working on codependency and detaching while giving your H some time to come to the conclusion that they need help, that takes a lot of strength also.
I would feel good about my H and staying if my H started REALLY facing his issues and got help. I think it would be a hard and fascinating journey for him, as he healed. But mine not only refuses help, but has been a bit abusive about the whole issue, so for me my only choice is to detach and leave. It is also hard to walk away from someone you love who is ill, knowing they will probably spiral downwards, but we all know staying and helping him hide his problem would have disastrous results for everybody involved.
You all deserve a pat on the back, and you all have my respect, for all the hard work you are doing on your relationships, and yourselves, and for hanging in there thru all the tough times and craziness this disease brings!
We are glad you are here, but sorry for the reason that made you seek us out. This is such a devestating disease. Your H does sound like he may have addiction issues--I am glad he called the therapist. It is good you found one that specializes in sex addiction, the more senior members of this board usually recommend a CSAT, as it takes a special training to deal with an addict!
You have to realize none of this is about you. Your H would act out no matter who you were, and no matter what you look like. It is more of an "intimacy disease".
There is a lady on these boards with a ton of resources, and when she gets back (7yrs), I am sure she will point you to a lot of things to read and consider. A good place to start in the meantime is just reading sexaholics anonymous online. They have a self-quiz to give you some ideas, and some other information that may be useful to you.
I'm sure her resources are posted somewhere in the Spouses of Sex Addicts 2 thread, but I'm not sure where in there they would be.
I'm sure he does love you. My H loves me, I know this deep in my heart, he just can't have sex with me (unless we make it about one of his fantasies, which grosses me out)
YOu are in the right place, if you read thru these threads some, you will find a lot of us have been dealing with the same stuff you are, mine also had profiles on dating websites, emails to hookers from craigslist, phone calls, IM's, webcams, chats, and tons of nasty photos, he was always searching for that next photo, the next way to act out, that escalation needed to get the next "high".
I have learned not to believe a word my H says, as he is not in recovery, so he is still denying to himself that it is a REAL problem.
Others will come along with some great advice and support for you, there are some incredible people here dealing with this issue!
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 5:06 PM, April 8th (Wednesday)]
Things that are bothering me the most right now; that he's slept with more women since he's been with me than he did before we met.
That he started using prostitutes right after we moved in together, so I don't have any good memories or a solid relationship foundation to try to rebuild. It's all been a lie!
That he put me at risk for STD's WHILE I was pregnant.
I could go on and on sadly.
Is this the end or did it just begin - Led Zeppelin
A lot has changed but my heart aches for you right now. (For all of us, really)
All you can do is take this one day at a time.
I've been staring in the mirror wondering what I can do to myself to make him want me again, even though he says he's never been so in love with someone as he is me.
This is absolutely not about you.
He had just done it because I was fat and not so desirable since getting pregnant/being a mom
Again- ABSOLUTELY NOT ABOUT YOU! You could be the most attractive, wonderful, sweet, sexy woman on the planet and they would still cheat. This is a disease. Not about you. I have to repeat this over and over and for the first few months after my DDay, I had to say it nearly every hour to remind myself. It can be so easy to feel depressed (I was) and want to change yourself (I wanted to) to be desirable to them. It is perfectly natural... Not healthy, but natural nonetheless.
Please repeat that to yourself from here on out.
I am glad that he has called a therapist. That's agood step. My next suggestion would be that it is a CSAT... A Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist. My H and I went through a few and wasted a lot of time before finding one. (Even a "sex therapist" which was the worst one!) Usually they don't take insurance, but I am telling you that it has been the best money I've ever spent. It has changed my and my H's life.
Based on what you said about the therapist being a "her" I would also caution that it might not be such a great idea for him to see a female. It's a lot harder for them to be honest... (Just my 2 cents.) I would applaud him for taking the steps to go though- That does take a lot of courage and it can take awhile to figure out what works for you guys in particular. I'm just giving you what is working for me...
If you scroll through the last 2 "Spouses of Sex Addicts" forums, you will also find lots or resources and websites, books and recommended reading to get you up to speed about what this exactly means.
There are online tests that your H can take to see if he "may" have a problem, but to be diagnosed, he needs to see a CSAT. They really are the experts and you can check if there are any in your area by looking at:
There are books by Patrick Carnes that are helpful for the addict and the spouse- "Don't Call It Love" is a good one to start with.
Stephanie Carnes has one that is for the spouse called "Mending a Shattered Heart" (That's what the other people are referring to as MaSH on this forum) It's really good too.
"Porn Nation" by Michael Leahy is also another great book- He is a recovering sex addict and it goes through his experience.
There is also an online system called "Recovery Nation" that can be helpful...
There are lots of decisions ahead for you and lots to learn and heal from... Give yourself time to decide what you want to do. If your H is committed to a recovery and a reconcilliation, you can get through this. It takes a lot of hard work on both sides though....
We will be here for you- We've got a lot of people with a lot of years of doing this- I have learned a lot from them. You will discover things about yourself that you didn't realize either-
I'm sending good luck and strength your way-
I am also sending thoughts and good wishes your way.
And now I'm reading an unpleseant little book by Adams, "Love, infidelity, and sexual addiction : a codependent's perspective," that basically says either I become one with God or I'll be an amoral addict for the rest of my lift.
I loved that book. Mind you, I am a religious person so perhaps that's why I didn't find it unpleasant. To be honest, I never noticed any of the religious stuff at all. All I remember is the author describing certain thoughts/behaviours/reactions of SA spouses and I felt validated for the first time. I sobbed in places in that book.
The one part I remember so clearly is the author saying that many SAs are considered so lovely and wonderful by those on the outside, but make comments like "So why is his wife so unhappy/such a bag?" Man, that hit me like a ton of bricks. That was my life and the comments of too many people than I would like to count.
Good warning though, foray, for those on here that prefer more secular stuff.
It also goes back to shifting blame to the BS esp if the BS is female, which happens all too often.
I've been told things like
"He can't possibly love you"
"Well, at this point it's your fault b/c you chose to stay. You can only blame yourself"
"You knew better"
Yadda yadda yadda
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 6:36 PM, April 8th (Wednesday)]
I definitely sounds like you belong here. I'm sorry you are going thru this!
I'd like to reiterate that it has nothing to do with you, not even your post-pregnancy body. However, we had a discussion about SAs and their mommy issues in the previous spouses of sex addicts thread.
Right after I finished posting, I checked my email and one of the "women" emailed me to tell me that it was wrong that he deleted his accounts (he asked me to sit down with him and delete all accounts) and that she's sorry I just can't make my husband happy, but she'll do it for me.
I know she's just trying to start drama, but man..it hurt. She finished the email by saying "Yea, I bet your children are real proud of Daddy, huh"
How do you not lose your mind? I feel like screaming from the top of a mountain. That would only get me thrown in the looney bin though,lol.
You are some pretty awesome people.
I'm sitting here with my mouth open at that last email. I'm so sorry that you find yourself here. My story is pretty similar in that I knew stuff was wrong but didn't do anything about it. I think I could have saved us a lot of years of misery and him actually cheating if I had just done something. That is my shame. But I had no idea what to do. I didn't know about SA. I thought there was something wrong with me.
omisery, I can relate to the risk of STDs while I was preg. He cheated right before, during, and right after my pregnancy. He put my baby at risk of getting diseases in utero and after because HIV can be spread through breastmilk. That one I am still very angry about. He was chatting with women while I was in the hospital after giving birth to our latest daughter (he was hope with the other 2) and he chatted with women and joined sites on our anniversaries over the years. It is just so hurtful and painful.
7, Congrats!!! That is so awesome. Lots of sticky vibes to you.
Ok, I have to get going but I just wanted to pop in here and say hi.
My SAH is going to be out of town next week. The same place that he had 3 of the ONSs. I'm going to be a wreck. I already am. He is going to stay in a different hotel as he did the previous times so that it's easier for him, I guess.
Anyway, I'll be back soon.
Innerstrength, you gave some really good info to SaveTonight. SaveTonight, I'm so sorry for what you're going through but as another pointed out, many of us have been there (check out my profile...pretty similar to yours).
My first conversation with my husband's counsellor following his disclosure to me of his SA, I said, "what do these people have that I don't?" He said to me -- I'll never forget it -- "what these people have is nothing you'll EVER want". The partners of an SA are very possibly SA themselves and very, very mixed up people. PLEASE don't take anything they say seriously. You're right that this woman is just trying to stir up drama. Don't let her. Focus on you and your husband. Sounds as if he's pretty close to hitting bottom. He needs help and he needs it now.
I, too, had to come to terms with the fact that my husband had exposed me to who-knows-what while I was pregnant and breastfeeding three times!! I just don't get it and likely never will. The anger will abate with time...and with increased understanding about the addiction.
I agree with what you're saying about shame and in my more "Dalai Lama" moments, I'm able to appreciate the fact that my husband has a disease. But society tends to congratulate the women who kick these guys to the curb...and seem perplexed or disappointed in those who try to heal their marriage. So I think the shame is a kneejerk reaction to societal pressure. But thanks for the kind words re. sticking it out.
I'm sorry you'll be anxious when your husband is away. Can you put a plan into place to ease your anxiety? That he'll answer your calls at any time of day/night or something?
And re. books: Codependent No More is a good one and does offer comfort. There were parts of MaSH that I found hard to read at first, but was better able to absorb in subsequent readings. And Christine Adam's book annoyed me mostly because it's so poorly written (I'm a writer, myself).
ldlh - I am so sorry you are dealing with such ignorant people, about "you should have known better, and he can't possibly love you". Don't listen to them, what does Dr Phil say - "You can't fix stupid!"
And yeah, eternaloptimist, with society as a whole looking upon women as being "weak" or some such nonsense for staying, you just have to put it down to more ignorance, there is a lot of it out there. My grandma stayed with an abusive alcoholic, back in those days divorce was rarer, and I look back and see what she went thru and have so much respect for her quiet strength and efforts at holding her family together.
The real shame is the fact that society seems to think these people are just "throw away" people, but I always say the people sitting in judgment would be better off looking into their own glass houses before throwing stones!
I get upset at this topic, of guilt and shame, because they are such unproductive emotions, and I have dealt with both, and they about destroyed my life for a few years.
I carried extreme guilt for years, at being so naive and ignorant as to get into a relationship with a sociopathic npd, and then I stayed in that relationship a couple years too long, but I had my reasons, which most people understood, but even my sister has tried to get me to admit I was wrong for staying, and so it is a topic we avoid, because she cannot understand. I was fearful of this sociopath taking my dd, and brainwashing her, and taking off with her, and I would never see her again.
That is because he told me he would do that, and I believed him, after seeing what lengths he would go to for revenge on someone. Unfortunately, my sister who is basically a good person will never understand the fear of losing a child to a monster, she has not been thru anything like that, and she seems to have this fantasy idea that nothing like that would have ever happened, even as I just yesterday received a notice that my protective order has been extended another 2 years and she has seen now firsthand the lengths at which he will go in order to wreack havoc and get vengeance. But her world is black and white. My world has always included grays.
Save Tonight --that is awful - so sorry you had to read total crap like that --that apparently is one of those unhappy and ignorant people I was just talking about! You have to be terribly unhappy and insecure to try and purposely wreck someone else's life. Happy people don't try to make others unhappy, they try to spread their happiness. At least you can take some comfort in the fact that obviously her life is totally f*cked up or she wouldn't be doing that kind of crap.
I'm going to be a wreck. I already am
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:07 AM, April 9th (Thursday)]
Another way to think about these women the SA uses is something 7 yrs. posted here once and something I use a lot.
An SA's mistress is simply porn with skin on.
My SAh told me when asked what he was thinking when he had his ONSs and had sex with his mistress, "It was like looking at porn on my computer and then masturbating to it. No different."
Eternaloptimist--Was Adam's book really poorly written? Interesting. I guess when you read your first validating piece of material you ignore all the rest. Duh! Was it overly religious? Was it poorly written?
I'm a total book snob! Would do me some good to read my early writing -- might make me more humble! And I give Adams great credit for telling her story candidly and compassionately. I'm sure she's done many, many women much good.
what an experience you went through. It's true that people simply can't imagine what others' lives are like. In a way, I feel sorry for those whose lives are so black and white because their need for "control" reveals a total fear of being out of control. And to feel so judgemental of others can't possibly feel good in a true sense.
Re. these sex partners of SA, I'm reminded of what someone posted when I first started visiting SI: "Hurt people hurt people." It's so true. When you're hurting, inevitably you end up hurting others, whether intentionally or as "collateral damage" to your actions.
D-Day #1 1/15/08 LTA: summer 2004 - Dec 2007
D-Day #2 2/23/09 a dozen (more or less) prostitutes during "R"
My husband and I had MC yesterday and the things he recalls me saying and what I recall myself saying are like people speaking a different language
So true. I tried to tell my partner that he was having sex with me like I was a whore. He heard me say that he was treating me like a whore overall. I had to rewind and try to explain it to him.
I think when he hears me call him a SA, he hears me calling him a pervert. I have had trouble trying not to see him as a perv, so maybe he picked up on that as well.
[This message edited by lovedontlivehere at 11:29 AM, April 9th (Thursday)]