I totally understand why you were feeling that way, and I'm not sure why your H didn't get it. Is that his normal personality?
It is great that he is working hard on most things for you, are you able to let him know that with his past, any female attention right now just triggers you bad, and especially when it seems like he and the waitress have a little private joke going, and she is not so attentive to you.
This is where he is having problems still with boundaries. What he is thinking is witty, is actually more like flirty.
He really needs to stop being so "witty" with this one. Tell him to save his wit for the guys.
I know it seems like you have been in a bad spot for a little while now. What is going on?
You say he is doing everything he can. Do you really feel that? Is he working his steps, getting his therapy, and trying to be extra careful with your feelings?
Everyone is going to have a bad day or two. But seems like there is still some underlying stuff you guys have to deal with.
Is it just that you have been so busy worrying about him getting the help, and trying to be the supportive addict's wife, that you have neglected your emotional needs too much?
Have you done your grief, and anger? Whether you stay or separate, those are still necessary stages. You may be hitting the anger now, that he seems to finally be working hard on his R.
Flirting with other people than your spouse when you are M'd is NEVER harmless. When you are an SA it can be acting out.
I'd have been furious if I were you.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
How did you come to the point of having your WS write everything down. I have been asking for this for some time. I have had in the past alot of gaslighting and trickle truth. He admits to SA now have been on this journey DDay1 for a year and in MC for a year as well-not a CSAT.WS says he doesn't remember facts of everything but I would like him to write down what he does know. He says he will do this but has not so far
I had partial disclosure and trickle truth for over 1½ years. In marriage counseling I made it known that full disclosure was something that I needed for my own recovery and for any possibility of forgiveness. The counselor has been asking him for it as long as I have and 4 weeks ago got ugly with him. He then started writing. While he was in this tortuous process; he had a couple of guys come to his SAA meetings and encourage him in this process as part of a Step 1. He believes it to be providence and worked very hard and very long on this. He also had problems with his memories vs. fantasies, when things happened, etc. After he wrote it all out we were able to discuss some time lines and events which has helped him "de-fog" as well.
He has said this was very good for him to get it “all out there” and force himself to think through the fog. He knows he’s grown in the process and that his reluctance to disclose everything was an attempt at control. I am very proud of him and happy that he feels as I do – as though a huge burden has been lifted and we are at peace.
I don't think you over-reacted at all. I would not like to see my H flirting in front of me either. And I would definitely be scared of my H if he was yelling like that, too.
I really hope that he can realize what he is doing and see it through your eyes.
Ok, I am in a little shock here. My H actually said that he would get a sponsor, even if he had to drive far to do so, go to more meetings during the week before work, go to the CSAT that is over an hour away, etc. if that is what it takes to get better. I see a tiny sliver of hope but of course, I know now that actions are what to look at. I don't know how we can afford the gas or the therapy but we need to do what we need to do. The one CSAT that is over an hour away, does take our insurance but we'll have to see what would be covered and how much we have to pay to see what we can afford. We really can't go into debt over this. We're already struggling as it is. Having our 3rd unexpeceted baby has really hit us in the pocketbook but I'm so very blessed and glad to have her. She is such a joy.
I was very apprehensive about starting the step study but I'm actually excited to get the healing and continue on this journey. I think it's going to be really great for me.
Ok, I gotta run for now but I'll be reading and thinking of all of you.
Naiveagain is right - I have been in a roller coaster ride, with an average of one nasty episode every three or four weeks. My feeling of anger and humiliation is overwhelming. My husband now walks around with a halo over his head - he is remorseful, he is receiving professional help, he has not acted out since D Day, he has "given up" a lot in his life (e.g. he does not spontaneously walk around town without letting me know first any more) and he has looked after me attentively. So his attitude now is (and to be fair, he never says it, it's how I perceive it): many men would not have stuck around, I stayed to do the right thing because I love you. If you are such a bitch that nothing I do will satisfy you, that's not my problem, that's yours.
Rationally, that's a good point. If nothing he does will ever satisfy me, isn't that my problem? But then, I get mad - I did NOT create the problem. I was a good partner. YOU screwed it all up!
I just want him to understand how much the betrayal and humiliation still hurt me, that while cooking for me, etc., is much appreciated, they do not necessarily just erase and replace the betrayal and humiliation. He has become quite self righteous about "all his efforts in the past year", and that, irrationally, makes me fume.
I am sorry to be self absorbed and sound like an ultimate bitch. As if you can't tell, I am having a small anxiety attack as we speak. The "good" thing is that I am more in tune with my feelings now to embrace it, not to be scared by it. However, the self-realization doesn't make it easier. I feel so scared and so alone in this world. I feel like I have lost my spirit and my life. I really want to be a good person. I do not want to be ungrateful or nasty. I just feel utter despair - and I am a year out D Day! Should I not feel better by now? What's wrong with me? (and yes, I realize I am depressed too).
I will be okay - I'd better be, what choice do I have?
Do you feel like your husband is in real recovery?
Do you feel like you are in real recovery?
My husband was 9 months sober before he made the turn to actual recovery. My recovery lags his by about a year.
So, yes, we were doing what we were "supposed" to do (maintaining sobriety), but there was no change of heart-or a real transformation of ourselves until we hit recovery.
We, too, we having fights as you describe, where we'd second guess whether it was worth it to stay. The fights came like clockwork. Eventually, the fights became more spaced out, happening at 3 month intervals.
18 months past d-day, we had our last fight like that. At 21 months passed d-day, our usual fight went missing. At 2 years, I was scared crapless that we didn't have the usual fight.
At 18 months of my husband's sobriety, he still had reminants of addict-speak left in his thought processes and beliefs. That's what caused our fights. My recovery wasn't so hot at that point, and well, I'm guilty of escalating them.
ETA: My husband was not capable of real empathy until he began recovering. It was then, that I got my first heartfelt apology for what he brought into our marriage.
It also takes couples 3-5 years to heal from sex addiction. Per my husband's CSAT. Reading the stories of other's, the timelines tend to match up.
[This message edited by IRN2006 at 12:21 PM, June 8th (Monday)]
Since d-day, you have worked so hard on trying to support his recovery. You did not support yours so much, you two were actually unable to, because he was too ill to help you thru the natural stages of infidelity.
Now, he is doing better, not so ill, and is in a decent recovery. He is now the remorseful spouse. Now, you can concentrate on the normal infidelity crap that most people out on the main boards are dealing with.
You feel safer now, that you can now start dealing with your anger. Because, when someone cheats on us, there is GOING to be anger! But you were not in a safe enough place before to truly deal with it.
Your H needs to understand this is one of the normal stages of healing. And he is going to have to help you thru it. You helped support him when he needed you. His turn.
Now is the time you are going to have to be reading the healing library, and dealing with the normal stages of infidelity.
Sweetie--you are NOT a bitch!
You are a loving, caring, wonderful woman, who has been stomped on by the most important man in her life, and you need to get that anger out.
Find some healthy ways to vent it. Talk to him and let him know how normal this is, and that you don't mean to be venting so much with him, but the pain inside is intense, and you have to work thru it. And can he please be understanding about it, because again, you can't suppress it.
I went thru absolute fury a few weeks ago, I was venting out on the general boards, a lot! And whacking weeds, and jogging, and screaming along to some pretty heavy songs, and talking, talking, talking about it. Cussing him out, behind his back, and going to see my IC and working on where the anger was coming from, and talking it out that way.
Much better now, just back down to some left-over anger here and then, instead of the incredible fury that I was feeling at the time.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 3:47 PM, June 18th (Thursday)]
I think you behaved completely reasonably for someone who has experienced the level of betrayal you have. It's not at all surprising that an exchange like you described in the coffee shop would trigger all sorts of feelings of pain, humiliation and anger. It seems as if your husband is using his "good behavior" as replacement for acknowledging your legitimate feelings. My husband does exactly the same thing. If I say I need "X", he gives me "Y", then accuses me of being ungrateful for not appreciating "Y". It has been (and remains) a problem in our relationship.
I suspect, too, that he has a real problem with anger -- which might be why he acted out sexually.
In any case, it will take as long as it takes for you to feel "safe" with him. For him to imply that you're not "healing" according to his schedule and his own recovery is unfair at best. The fact that you're still there with him in the trenches trying to put together a marriage is testament to your loyalty and love. But that doesn't make the hurt and humiliation go away.
Give yourself a break. You're such a kind, warm-hearted person...but even Mother Teresa is entitled to get angry and hurt and respond as such. You're obviously missing something that you need -- validation? Comfort? Acceptance? It seems as if your feelings are being dismissed by him while he wants you to do a victory dance for him because he hasn't acted out.
I honestly don't think SAs truly grasp how devastating this is for their spouses. I think much of their thinking is about minimizing what they're doing, the damage is causes, and so on. I think it takes years of recovery to come to terms with the thinking process that allowed them to act out in the first place -- and replace that with true empathy and understanding for the impact their actions had. SAs are extraordinarily self-absorbed and self-centered -- and even when the behavior is removed, that personality trait remains...at least in the short term.
he was trying to pick her up when i was at the beach with friends. it was a few days after he asked my parents permission to marry me. the whole time at the beach i was daydreaming about our life and thinking he'd propose as soon as i got back. instead he was looking for a random fuck.
god, i was so clueless. my feelings for him are really changing. for the first time i can honestly say i'm ok not working things out. blah.
To propose marriage, and then act out like that, wow. It just shows how skewed their thinking is, because I am sure he compartmentalized the two in totally separate parts of his brain.
IRN2006, Thank you for sharing your timeline. It makes me feel I am not losing my marbles. I kept on thinking - it has already been a year, what is my problem? You have reminded me both my husband and I might have been a bit unrealistic on the time required to heal and rebuild. The fact that you said you had experienced the same things makes me feel less alone.
Eternaloptimist, I will PM you tomorrow. Thank you very much for being a dear friend always and hang in there.
All other friends, Thank you for being a friend and sharing your advice. I do not know what I will do without you. To know that you understand and don't judge me makes me feel less alone. And since many of you are newer to this than me, I hope my experience will help you - be prepared for the difficulties when rebuiding trust, your own recovery (not only your spouse's) is critical when it's time to rebuild the marriage, know that we are all here for each other, and be realistic about the timeline.
I love you all so much I can cry.....
Thanks for your response.
I have given my latest boundaries & consequences draft to my therapist.
Hopefully it is ready to bring him in for me to tell him formally with her. I told him myself as he went out of town this morning.
He is still fighting me on the one where I don't want him to go to a party for his job that may have a burlesque kind of show.
It's not that he is attached to seeing the show, it's that he doesn't want to tell everyone else he can't go there, especially his boss who keeps telling him it's part of his job & that he is a pussy & being controlled etc.
Anyway, he can't see why I would have him move out over a non-acting out behavior & I can't see why he would insist on it knowing that it makes me feel unsafe.
I have been a little busy with work and the kids that I didn't have enough time to read your posts. I am a little behind but a lot of interesting things are going on in here some are heart breaking and some are hopeful. Even when I don't have a lot of time to read, I just read 2 posts or so and I feel I am not alone, and I get this feeling that I am not going crazy. Sometimes that is all I need before I go to bed.
I am very greatful for having so many dedicated good people in this forum. Especially EO, 7yrs, NaiveAgain, Innerstrength, birdwatch ,JustWow and many others, I am very greatful for your wisdom and support you contribute in this forum to help people like me.
I'm sending you extra strength to help you thru this tough spot!
(p.s. - Don't be afraid of your anger, it can be your friend--it was such an uncomfortable feeling for me at first, because I had kept it pretty repressed for the longest time, and then when I realized I had thrown the phone at the tv after talking to him one time, and I was getting irritable at EVERYBODY!, I spoke with my IC, and I posted on here, and that is how I realized I was angry at him for leaving me with such a financial mess and I can't support my kids the way I want to. There was a lot of sadness under the anger (anger usually comes from pain--that is why you need to end up in his arms crying your heart out while he supports and truly "gets" your pain/anger.) Once I figured out exactly what was causing it, and I found outlets to release it, the anger subsided. And I have learned to have fun with my anger, with the singing/yelling (and I am terrible!), and posting some vents on here-I had a lot of fun with his birthday thread, trying to come up with ways to celebrate his birthday (lots of sarcasm here!)(like a $50 GC for rent-a-slut, a billboard with his face asking for cheap whores, etc...) I know it is a little different because I am not in R with him, but I would still have a lot of anger even if I were still with him, and would need to find outlets. Humor/sarcasm works well for me.
Just know you have a right to your anger, it is your emotion, and you are allowed to have it! And I know a woman's anger can scare some of these guys, but if he is truly working his recovery, and he is in a support group, perhaps they can help him with some good advice on how to handle it. Because the kind of close loving relationship you are both going for is not going to happen unless you get this stuff out of the way. Plus, you have to put yourself first sometimes, you can't always worry about his reactions!
Suppressing emotions never works in the long run (remember, that is part of the problem of SA!)
Iwillrecover - he is going to have to learn to be a big boy and stand up for himself. If he tells his work buds that he does not go to those types of places anymore because he respects his marriage too much, and they give him a hard time, what does that say about them? Not good things, to be sure.
If going to strip/burlesque places is a part of his job, maybe time to look for another, especially with his addiction, you might as well have an alcoholic that works in a liquor store.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 4:50 AM, June 9th (Tuesday)]
Is the burlesque business a boundary for you? With the consequence being you will separate from him if he goes to it?
I just read your post, and I saw one of the things your H said that he didn't want to have happen is this judgement from his boss that he is a "pussy" and "being controled". Is his boss really like that? Or is your H passive/agressively telling you HIS response and projecting as being the response of his boss?
It really tok my H some time to break the "control" stinking thinking. They spend years trying to control the actions and responses of others around them, and they imagine others are doing the same. No one controls anyone other than themself. The addict doesn't want to control himself, he wants to behave in an uncontrolled manner and control the reactions of others to him by manipulating them and concealing HIS behavior.
Boundaries you set up break that cycle. You state to be in a relationship with you requires certain behaviors to occur or stop. And you control the consequences. What this really is doing is NOT controlling the addict, it is giving him a choice. He can choose X behavior, or a relationship with you. They've spent their adult lives doing what they want and not having to make choice or have any consequences. They see us forcing them to choose as being controlling. Well, we are, we're controlling ourselves and holding ourselves accountable to properly protecting ourselves from harmful behavior.
A lot of addicts completely lack boundaries themselves. They know what society perceives as proper boundaries and they conceal their behavior to be accepted in society, but they don't really have internalized boundaries. My H had a much easier time learning to treat others with respect and not violate thier boundaries than he had respecting HIMSELF and realizing he was worthy of not being party to certain behaviors, whether initiated by himself or by others.
It is a tough balance, because for our own recovery, we need our personal boundaries. How those bondaries are received by our recovering addict can impact their recovery and our M's. But truly, you need to be responsible for caring for yourself first. No one else will do that.
Maybe your H's boss really is like your H says. I guess the alternative is not to tell his boss why he can't go, just simply say "I'm sorry, I won't be atending". The more you tell a person, the more ammo you give them. While I'm not encouraging him to lie, I am saying that not everyone is entitled to our entire truth. It helps to get used to saying "I'm sorry, I don't wish to discuss it, it is personal". You can repeat that line to 100 questions being asked of you.
If this really, truly is an expected function of his job, AND it is a boundary behavior, HE needs to decide if he wants the job or you. He needs to control his actions to achieve what he most wants. That's a toughie that is new behavior for a recovering addict. Their MO is to do what they want and hide it, never having to choose.
Way too much rambling on my part to say - hold yourself true to your boundaries.
[This message edited by JustWow at 6:35 AM, June 9th (Tuesday)]
They spend years trying to control the actions and responses of others around them, and they imagine others are doing the same. No one controls anyone other than themself. The addict doesn't want to control himself, he wants to behave in an uncontrolled manner and control the reactions of others to him by manipulating them and concealing HIS behavior.
I'd never looked at it that way and I think that's absolutely true. Wow -- I think I get it now.
As well, NA's response to birdwatch re. anger is also something that I can really learn from. I, too, tended to "suck it up" until I simply couldn't contain it anymore, then I'd blow. Since I've learned to just feel the anger rather than try to suppress it, I've noticed that I'm infinitely more patient with my kids and with situations that would otherwise aggravate me.
So thank-you all. Those of you who think you're not offering up wisdom yet...you're still helping those of us "old-timers".
P.S. NA: I also express myself through humor -- tends to be black humor these days, but it's amazing how much power I take back by being able to laugh at a situation.
We did not discuss things further over the weekend as far as what we are going to do about the cost of the CSATs. And I'm NOT going to do a polygraph because I know that's not wise.
I talked to my group last night about everything and at my individual session with the CSAT. We mainly talked about how I can empower myself to not feel so helpless and afraid of the "what ifs". CSAT wants me to see a psychiatrist to get on the correct meds because she doesn't think Zoloft is helping my anxiety level at all.
So I come home and he asks how my appt went (which he never asks). I told him she wants me to get on different meds and that we talked about how I can maybe lose some of my fears about daycare and getting a job if I do some research about both. He asks, "Did you discuss the financial problem?" and I said yes, but didn't come up with a solution other than explore the possibility of me getting a job.
He said, "Did she give you any indication on how long this (therapy) is going to take? Like is it going to be a few more months or what?". I said no, it's going to be at LEAST a year (that's what the CSAT told me). He said, "A whole year of going once a week?" and I said I guess so. He says, "Well, I guess I have a decision to make" and storms out the door to go to work.
WTF?????!!!!!! Is he thinking about STOPPING therapy? He knows that is not an option. He knows it is therapy or divorce. So how can he even ENTERTAIN the option of stopping (if that's what he was thinking). I just said I was going to explore the possibility of getting a job (which would pay for therapy). How is giving up and divorcing the BETTER option?????
I am soooooooooo freaked out and scared that he's going to say he just wants to give up and divorce. I'm also terrified that maybe he knows if we stay in therapy we'll be wasting our time (and money) if it comes out that he's been physical with someone.
I don't know what to think. I don't know what to do.
I'm just terrified -- for me, our kids, and our marriage.
WHAT SHOULD I DO??????
I'm so sorry for your pain. Have you mentioned to him that the cost of a divorce would probably be way more expensive than counseling??
It's so hard that our sick husbands aren't willing to do whatever it takes to save the marriage. I just want you to know I hear and feel your pain.