I just picked up E. Edwards book after my interview. I admire her so much for being open about all her pain and it makes me so sick how hard some people are being on her for it.
I did come back (my interview was about 2hrs away from my parents house where I'm staying) to frantic emails from my husband about our bank account. I feel the love. Oh well, at least I know he is still alive.
You make me laugh! Hang in there -- I hope the perfect job comes along!
Let me know if I should get Elizabeth Edwards' book. I'm currently reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food", "The Guersey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and I have "Three Cups of Tea" ready to start next. I have a bit of a book-buying addiction that I'm trying to curb.
You know, when I started to switch gears to self-care, reading was one of the first things I took back. I decided I was going to read 2 books that I LIKED for every one relationship/infidelity/sa/self-help book I read. It is a nice normal thing to pick back up.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
Re. my reading list. I, too, got sick of the self-help books. I wanted to read for pleasure!! I have read Deepak Chopra's Book of Secrets, which I liked (I had never read him before), Eat, Pray, Love, which I LOVED, along with a bunch of Carnes' books.
I also just finished The Book of Negroes, which tells the story of the slave trade from Africa to the U.S. in the 1700s and 1800s. A beautifully written book. Yes, reading is my salvation...along with all of you.
I am not sure how far down this road you are so far, but finding out new information is a pretty likely experience for a while.
Having heard from others here, I was not so shocked. My last bit of extra info was about a month ago. Someone once said that disclosure is a process. This really helped me to understand that my SAH had been lying to himself for so many years, that he had to see things honestly himself, before he could realize what I needed to know.
This doesn't mean I can't be angry. This last time, I felt silly letting him know I recognized the "telling" was good for his recovery, but it didn't lessen my anger. Allowing myself to express the anger actually helped me to express it in a more healthy manner.
I know how hard it is to find that place of support, but not enabling. Just let him know that you are glad he recognizes he needs help, but that it isn't healthy for you or for your marriage for you to be that person. There are too many emotions involved if he slips or feels like he is going to. It is not your job.
Is he with a CSAT? I know based on a year and half of wasted counseling, that regular counselors usually do not understand the dynamics of SA.
Your place in this whole mess? Working on you. Just focus on what you need and go from there.
Do not beat yourself up though, for the times you forget or slip back into the patterns. Remember to use them as learning opportunities, asking yourself, how does this make me feel? How does it affect my choices?
ETA: it made me feel silly in that it was new vulnerable communication, and felt contradictory. It was healthy for me to speak my truth, in the end.
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 9:43 AM, May 29th (Friday)]
Glad I can make you smile
I'd be lost without reading. One other thing I'm bitter about is living in this town is the library is crap. Where I lived before I had a great library and now it's rare they have anything new i.e EE's book.
So far it's a good.
I loved "The Guersey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"
If anyone has Goodreads send me a pm.
My WH is in therapy too and I prayed for a miracle, but I'm in the same boat with you in that he is living in a dream world. It's very painful. I've tried to get him to see CSAT, but he isn't willing to.
You'll get better advice from some of the wiser posters. Just want you to know your pain is understood!
I'm still not sure he's officially been diagnosed as SA, but I'M sure he is and I'm pretty sure the CSAT does as well.
My H has not been to a CSAT, but did have an IC that specializes in addictions. The IC had no question that H is a sex/love addict. H has no question about it either, although every now and then he does wonder about certain aspects of it e.g. he will think he's addicted to sex per se and does not use as a means to decrease his anxiety, etc.
Interestingly, I have said that I didn't really understand he had an addiction until D-Day 3 years ago. However today I was reading some old journal entries I made. In 1993, I made a very intense entry about my H's addiction. I didn't call it an addiction per se in my journal, but my words could be a post on this thread. Everything is there, including my codependency. I wrote that 16 years ago!! And I wrote it before out son was killed in a motor vehicle accident. What a revelation that was, as you can imagine.
SAh is not in IC. He also does not go to a group. Unavailability of both has a lot to do with that, but in all honesty, he's very negative about IC after his initial IC really blew it. If an SAA started up again, he would go back, no question. He found the group, even though there was only 2 of them in it, very helpful and supportive.
For the time being, he is doing what he can to heal, including 'white knuckling' it. I know he will likely fail in his attempt, but for now he seems to be doing well. I am not naive and realize I could discover evidence that he is still using, and using more than ever....whether that be viewing porn and M or having an A. I have decided that I will deal with it if and when it comes to light. That's not to say I'm in denial. I am so into my own self-care right now. I am working towards being prepared for a healing marriage OR a dissolving one, whatever happens.
There is such incredible feeling in devoting myself to my own recovery. I still relapse, but for the most part, I pay little attention to his recovery. He says and acts like he loves me with all his heart and I am responding to that. Yes, if he is snowing me, that could devastate me. In yesterday's daily reading from The Language of Letting Go, Melodie Beattie called this courageous vulnerability. Isn't that a great phrase? It hit me right where I live, when I read that.
BTW, I have also returned to being a voracious reader in the last couple of years. I read novels. I do enough 'learned' reading with my job, so when I read at home, I want it to be fiction. Currently my favourite authors are Jodi Piccoult, Jacqueline Mitchard, Harlen Coben and Lee Child. I can hardly wait to get to my book when I settle down for a rest or for the night.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 5:24 PM, May 29th (Friday)]
[This message edited by reelingbuthealin at 3:29 PM, June 2nd (Tuesday)]
Behind every woman who trusts no one, is a man who taught her to be that way!
My Wh said he didn't want to hurt me or OW anymore. Said he needed to work on HIM first. Then I found out he was living with me and dating her again.
I think my WH is definately...
MY WH fits this exactly except for the gift-giving..although he'd always take me out in the begining
Sociopaths - the 'perfect' romantic partner
Sociopaths can be very romantic, extremely charming and incredibly generous. They will shower their target with attention, flattery and gifts of all kinds - jewelry, clothes, flowers. A socipath will sweep you off your feet and treat you unlike anyone has ever treated you. He will typically seal the relationship very quickly, often before he discards his current victim.
Sociopaths have the ability to gain your affection very quickly and a relationship with a sociopath becomes intense very quickly. They say all the right things and do all the right things to get what they think they want for the moment. It is not unusual for a sociopath to provide an endless about of support, running errands, organizing and encouraging you when you need it.
A romantic relationship is just another opportunity for a sociopath to find a trusting partner who buys into the lies. Everything about the relationship is a game. They can be extremely charming in a relationship while doing much damage behind the scenes by having countless affairs and lying about them. He will lie to his latest target while he is lying to his current victim. A sociopath will show his true self when he has his next target lined up and he knows that his current relationship is coming to an end.
Sociopaths fail to fulfill their promises or commitment made with romantic partners. They usually have a string of broken relationships and/or failed marriages due to their inability to feel true love and sustain intimate relationships. They never really form emotional attachments and therefore lack any sense of obligation. It may appear that there is an attachment but it isn't real. According to Dr. Martha Stout in her book 'The Sociopath Next Door', sociopaths will marry but never for love. Their relationships allow them to appear normal. Sociopaths can "know the words but not the music". They learn to appear emotional and romantic by imitating others' behavior.
Sociopaths show a stunning lack of concern for the devastating effects their actions have on others including wives, children, family and friends. They do not feel remorse, guilt or shame. They are not able to care about the pain and suffering experienced by others due to their complete lack of empathy which is a prerequisite for love. Sociopaths are always takers and never givers in spite of appearances and the illusion they create.
Within the next few weeks (probably after our son gets married at the end of June) I will lovingly and gently talk to my H about further boundaries. If we are no further in our marriage (re: intimacy) within a certain period of time, we need to physically separate to evaluate whether that is the 'way to go'. I will make it clear that divorce is a real option after a certain period of time following this separation if no progress is evident.
One of the things I have come to realize is that bold confrontation about boundaries does not work well with my H. I suppose some of that is related to his inability to confront his own issues himself. However, addressing the next step with gentleness, love and the 'we' factor is much more effective. My anger has decreased to almost a 0 level now so this will not be hard for me.
Example of how I will bring it up: "Sweetheart, we have given it a number of months trying to work through the marriage while we deal with your SA and my codependency. We are no further ahead than we were were when I shared my 'epiphany' with you back in May. You may feel we've made progress but when I consider our behaviours <list them here>, I see no movement ahead. I think *we* need to consider a physical separation. I think we may need to do that to work on our individual issues in order to save this marriage. What do you think?"
If he rebels, I will likely have to be more firm. I will remind him that I have felt repercussions from his addiction and my codependency for over 3 years, and in reality most of our married years, and I can no longer go on as we have.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 10:30 PM, May 29th (Friday)]
Qualifications of Accountability Partner(s)
* NOT the spouse or partner
* same sex
* is experiencing sobriety and recovery
* is willing to be "not so nice," to ask difficult questions
* is not easily fooled
* can keep confidence
* is available for daily check in by phone or email
* will meet for regular face-to-face meetings
* is willing to be "on call" for times of stress and temptation
(This is why all SAs need a GROUP!! Whether it's SA or a group facilitated by his CSAT. They NEED accountability partners and the ONLY place to find them is in a SA recovery group.)
His accountability partner(s) are people he needs to contact BEFORE he acts out so that he won't. If he's tempted he calls an accountability partner and they talk it through. If he's struggling in any way he makes calls and does his work. It's a key part of recovery.
These are the people he relies on to help him enforce his bottom line behaviors and stop his acting out.
IT ABSOLUTELY CANNOT EVER BE THE SPOUSE OR PARTNER.
Yes, a spouse needs to know the status of the SA's sobriety. I suggest all couples do FANOS* You have a right to know the status and whether or not he is acting out but it's not your job to monitor him or advise him.
*For anyone who missed it here is what FANOS is.
According to Google it was developed specifically for couples in Sex Addiction recovery.
Couples in recovery need to stay connected emotionally, and addicts' spouses need to get consistent updates about sobriety. Most couples find that in the busyness of a typical week, this connection gets easily lost.
Over time, Mark and Debbie Laaser have developed an acronym for couples to use as a guide for regular "check in" conversations. These conversations can be long or short, it's up to you. They use the acronym FANOS - from the Greek word phainos which means "to bring to light" - to guide the conversation:
Feelings – describe what / how you're feeling
Affirmations – find one or two things you want to affirm (if you're doing this with your spouse they should be about your spouse)
Needs – something you need today (if you're doing the exercise with your spouse it does not necessarily need to be something you need from your spouse but it can be)
Ownership – something you’ve done or said that you take responsibility / apologize for
Self-Care – report on the status of your self care attempts (or sobriety if appropriate. If doing the exercise with your SA, he will do sobriety. You may also do sobriety if you're working a 12-step recovery and have a sobriety date for stopping co-dependent behaviors etc. Or obviously if you have your own addiction problems you'd do sobriety for that.)
For those in R with a rSA try using this acronym as a guide for a conversation with your spouse every day or every few days. You will be amazed at the sense of ongoing intimacy you experience.
Your SA is doing the standard bit. "You need to get over it, I'll never do it again." He's full of crap. If he's not seeing a CSAT and going to group or has an accountability partner, he's not sober, he can't get sober and he will do it all again. And again. And again.
If he can't face his SA and get treatment you need to decide what YOU want. How YOU want to live. What YOU want from a relationship. Take care of YOU.
It's all about learning how to set healthy boundaries and consequences. Here is a link to a thread I started about boundaries and it includes a link to a FANTASTIC website that teaches about boundaries.
Read "Mending a Shattered Heart" by Stefanie Carnes if you haven't already. Find a CSAT to see yourself. You can look them up by zip code here:
(You need to see an expect on SA who can also treat codependents, that's why I recommend you start with a CSAT. If the CSAT can't counsel you he/she should be able to refer you to someone who can. Finding experts on SA is VITALLY important. Some counselors are doing more harm than good out there when it comes to treating not only the SA themselves but the spouses as well.)
Bottom line: take care of YOU first and foremost.
If he's not seeing a CSAT and going to group or has an accountability partner, he's not sober, he can't get sober and he will do it all again. And again. And again.
I don't know why these SAs don't get that. An accountability partner is so essential to their healing. My SAh is limited due to where we live and the unavailability of resources, but there has to be an IC aware of sex addiction in this town somewhere! He is willing to go to group if we had one here, but in the meantime, he doesn't get how important accountability partners are and he has to make due with the resources he does have here.
Even though he seems to be doing fairly well, although I try and pay no attention whatsoever to his recovery, I realize in the deepest part of me, he is going to fall right back into it at some point. But, I have to be totally consumed with ME and mine, as it should be.
But when I realize that he is going to fall, in all likelihood, and I will have to leave at some point, it just makes me so sad. Not panicky, depressed or anything like I was in this journey, just really, really sad. Such a waste of a good man and what could be a wonderful marriage.
[This message edited by 1Forward1Back at 8:02 AM, May 31st (Sunday)]