OK I'm a little scared now. My WS just called me to say that his friend Ian has a surprise for us. He bought my h a computer so he can play on line games with him and his male game buddies. they play world at war? I have no idea if that's it, i dont play games on the computer. for those of u that know, my h burnt up our last computer when i confronted him. I should be posting this in sex addicts too, but i think it belongs here. He is one. He says can we talk about this over dinner. He has said since march that we will never have another computer in the house because of his issues. Now he wants one. HELP! Do I say ok honey, i'll try to trust you. NOT! install keylogger on the downlow... Or do i try to set up boundaries with him about those famous sites...AFF, ALT??? He is still lying about going to alt as it is. What do i say!!!???or do. I think the keylogger is good no matter what. trust but verify right?
I just wanted to post a note and thank those of you who have supported me in the "Just Found Out" forum. It's a little harder to follow this thread because you can't reply to individual people.
Read my story on my profile - it seems redundant to post it here. WH is seeking support through SA and a CSAT, and I am seeing a CSAT for IC and we're doing MC, so I'm hoping we can make this work.
"To love is not just to look at each other but to look together in the same direction." ~ Antoine de St. Exupery
We found out yesterday H has colon cancer. Our best hope right now is stage 2. He had a ct scan today to see if it has metastisized (sp?) and we'll have to schedule surgery as soon as those results are back.
It really hard, the kids are taking it pretty well ( well, the one in diapers is oblivious, which provides some welcome smiles and distraction).
Prayers, mojo and happy thoughts, please!!
edited for typos (I always have to!)
I'm so sorry for this new worry in your life.
As a survivor of colon cancer myself (age 23), I'm sending prayers and good vibes your way!!
I'm so sorry -- I hope your husband and the doctors can wrestle this one to the ground.
Welcome to the SA thread.
I'm so so sorry. You and your husband are in my prayers.
(I had wrote a novel and decided to delete it... much to much info to expect anyone to read.)
So to keep it simple. He is a SA... and doesn't really see what's wrong with it. And I have known this for about 7 months. And have decided to try to accept and deal with it. I myself do not have the need to sleep with other people outside of my relationship, but have always had a healthy sexual relationship with the person I was with.
It is the only thing in our relationship that causes any stress. Majority of the time we are pretty happy. But I do sometimes get emotional and feel hurt by it all (thus leading me here). It's usually only when I'm P.M.Sing though, so that leads me to believe that I can deal with his actions, at least when I'm not hormonal.
Does anyone else here feel like they can (for the most part) deal with their Partners SA, even if they aren't trying to recover? Or is this just nuts?
I know a lot of you are probably going to tell me that I'm in denial... but I did go through the arguements, the hurt and resentment with him. He does slow down sometimes... and our family is really really good in those moments.
So anyhow, my point of posting was to see if there is anyone on here that is just trying to accept and cope with their partners SA, while they are not in a program to fix it.
[This message edited by needs2relate at 10:05 PM, July 7th (Tuesday)]
My personal stance is that no one should ever stay with an unrecovering SA. EVER. SAs escalate. No matter what he's doing now that you think you might be able to live with... the odds are better than not that he is going to escalate (or already has and you just don't know about it) into something that you wouldn't (or shouldn't) tolerate.
I think you're not so much in denial but rather you're choosing to be a co-addict. I am very, very, very hesitant to use that label but when a spouse of a SA knowingly condones the SA she is a co-addict.
You cannot force him to get treatment but you can choose to get treatment for yourself. I suggest you find a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) and get into counseling. You can search by zip code for a CSAT here: http://iitap.com/find_csat.cfm
PM me anytime.
I wish we lived close together...I would love to buy you coffee as we compare notes on SA knowledge....
Actually, now that I have "escaped" from it, I kind of find it fascinating.
I wish I could get together with other women from this thread in person.
If anyone is ever in the Denver area, let me know!
In reply to your question about what he does to act out...
When it's really bad he contacts people from craiglist looking to hook up to have sex. He simply e-mails backs and forth until they both agree to meet somewhere (that same day) and have sex. He also goes to porn shops and watches the porn in the booths to masturbate and from what he has told me he sometimes gets blowjobs by other people (men/women) that are looking to give someone a blowjob. He has received sex from prostitutes (supposely not for money, cuz he says he is so good looking and charming he doesn't have to pay). Which I don't believe, but whatever. And he has went to the swinger and transgender parties and hooked up with whom ever.
I pretty much know a lot of what he's done... I don't condone it, I tell him I wish he wouldn't live that way, I think it is a sad existance. But I'm not going to be able to make him change. I did not know he was like this until after I had our baby girl. She is a huge reason I'm trying to make this work.
Wow he sounds like a monster by what I have described, but outside of that "secret" life he has been living for a long time, he is a really decent person and an awesome father.
anyhow, I think that if he is going to change he is going to have to want to change and not have me force him into it.
I've told him numerous times of how I would like our relationship to be, with him not sleeping with other people. But, if I set "rules" then he will just go back to not being honest with me of what he is doing. And i would rather know than have to wonder the worse.
another note is he is SLOWLY getting better with not going out... as we get closer through talking about what is going on and why he does these things.
I do appreciate everyones input.
I would love to get counseling on how to cope. because it will be his choice to change.. me simply wanting it will not make it happen.
[This message edited by needs2relate at 2:17 AM, July 8th (Wednesday)]
I spent two hours with my daughter last night discussing her hurtful choices in her love life.
Every second of that conversation I had to remind myself that now she is an adult and it is her own choices, I am not responsible.
I had to keep reminding myself because I know my own choices as she was growing up and my modeling as wife and mother, and both father figures in her life, have affected how she sees herself.
As a mother this kills me, daily. I struggle with the guilt of not doing a better job to keep them in a healthy environment. Yes, I know I did the best I could with the knowledge I had, but it still hurts me every day.
I see my sons and their life choices. I live in fear that they will be SA or an addict of some sort.
I had no idea my current SAH was an addict. He is a successful man in his career. He's quite personable. Great fun in general. Just as you have said, great when he isn't acting out. There were NEVER any outward signs. My children have never witnessed anything. (They have, though, experienced his detachment from the family.)
And yet, I can look at my children and see what a serious dysfunction in a family ((even though hidden) can do to the children.
Our children learn by watching us, not by what we say to them. I so wish I had realized this simple fact. I thought we could just always "talk" about everything honestly and it would be good. Nope, not with my modeling. That carries much more weight.
You have some great insight. You are right, he has to choose to heal, you can't do it for him. Counseling is a great idea for you.
So you aren't at a point to make any other huge decision.
That is ok, just start with taking care of you.
Just for the record in case I rambled too much, I agree with the inadvisability of staying with an SA. If my SAH stopped moving forward, I would be out of here so fast it would make his head spin.)
Tootrusting is right when she says it's what we DO that teaches our children how to live far more than what we say.
I was at the Denver airport in mid-June. I wished I'd thought to contact you. I had about a 5 hour layover... Next time!! Are you keeping your morale up?
My daughter is my life... and I want the best for her. And her Dad is her father and I can not change that. Me simply leaving him will not change that. He would fight to the death to have joint custody...
Now tell me... is it easier for me to be able to try to "control" her environment (or what is hidden from her) when I'm there 24/7; or when he has her on his own.... around is ex who has actually "joined" in on his addiction. I'm not about to let that happen.
We have talked about the future of our daughter... if things do not change... then she is not to have any clue. (We both feel this way)
I didn't have any clue until he slipped up, by leaving an e-mail up. I did have a feeling that he was cheating... but never did I think that all of this was going on... and i would have never known if he did not tell me... he opened up and decided to trust me enough to make himself very vunerable in telling me all the things he has done. Sure he probably left some things out, but I don't think that after what he has told me, that much of anything would shock me now.
And just to give you idea of what he is like when he is home with us... He is not distant at all... even at his worst. He has "learned" how to seperate this secret life, I guess. He is very attentive to us both. And I see that He loves his daughter very much. And she of course already thinks the world of her Daddy. I'm never going to change her view of her Daddy, nor would I want to.
The point I think that may be different in our situation... is that, I am a very strong person (though staying with an addict may seem weak & submissive to most), I am strong... and I try not to take his SA as a "blow" or attack of my own self. He does not do what he does because of me or who I am. He does what he does because of his past (far as I can tell). I try not to take it as a personal attack against me and our relationship. He is human and we all have faults... he simply has one that is more shocking to society than others.
I hope to teach my daughter not to simply throw a person away like a broken toy. If she is not being harmed and it is not destructive to her self worth, then she too can be the stronger person. Too many people feel the part of the victim, because their parnter is sick.... but their partner is the real victim. I try to ask myself why he is doing this to himself... and try not to dwell and ask why he is doing this to me.
Now... don't get me wrong... I do have trouble coping from time to time. I too am human, and don't always know how to cope. This is very different from anything I've ever known. Before this I didn't know people really lived this way... at least not people that seemed so together in every other aspect.
I do not try to pretend that I know how to cope with this... that is why I am here and would definitely like counseling. I do need help... I need to understand the situation better. My daughter is my top priority... that is why, believe it or not, I stay!
I know he loves me and our family... he just has not figured out how to "fix" his dependancy on sex.
ETA: I'm doing okay. I got the registered letter from the hospital today with instructions about getting the free test. I made my appointment and get the blood drawn on Friday. It will be weeks before I get the results though. :(
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 12:59 PM, July 8th (Wednesday)]
Good luck with test! Your strength and resilience is astounding, though I suspect you're getting a little sick and tired of it being tested!! Keep us posted.
I confess you're challenging my convictions and making me, perhaps, open my mind to other possibilities of how to approach this issue. Your approach wouldn't work for me -- however, life is not a one-size-fits-all thing.
I would challenge you, however, to ask yourself how long you can shield your daughter from her father's acting out...and what the likely consequences are when she finds out. After all, he slipped once which allowed you to find out...and you admitted you suspected earlier. My fear is that your daughter will similarly "suspect" (ie. intuit) that things are not necessarily what they seem, yet because that won't be confirmed by honest dialogue, she'll learn to deny that inner voice. Or your daughter will stumble across an e-mail, a profile, see her father somewhere or be told by someone...and will wonder if her whole life has been a lie. I think the approach you think might work with an infant, will be far more difficult to maintain when she's older. Just something to think about.
The other disturbing thing with the people sex addicts engage with is that many (all?) of them are similarly unhealthy...and can certainly create problems.
I think you'll find few of us advocate "tossing away" anyone like an unwanted toy. The chorus on this thread tends to shift focus to us -- helping all of us achieve the boundaries necessary to create healthy relationships in which our needs are considered as important as our partners.
You're clearly a bright, well-spoken woman who has given this a lot of thought. Please continue to post (and challenge my own views!).
Let me start by saying that I'm here because I genuinely care about other spouses of SA. I hope to help people and offer support. I do tend to be very straightforward. I don't mince words and I don't sugar coat things. I don't think it's helpful or productive. Everything I'm saying is because I care about you and your situation and I hope that you will make some positive changes because YOU ARE WORTH IT and so is your precious baby girl.
When I asked about your husband's acting out I thought you were going to say that he only looked at porn and masturbated. I could fathom someone saying they could tolerate that behavior. Or as you put it, "accept and deal with it."
What your husband does puts his life, your life and your daughter's life at risk. This is not an exaggeration it is a fact. Every time you have sex with your husband knowing that he is engaging in these behaviors you are willingly putting your life at risk. There is no "safe" way for him to engage in those types of sexual behaviors. From what you said it sounds like he also acts out with men. If that is the case his risk of HIV is exponentially higher. YOUR LIFE IS AT RISK.
By "accepting and dealing" with his SA, you are saying that you are not worth the effort to make things better. That you don't deserve a better life, a better marriage, a faithful and SOBER husband. Why do you devalue yourself? YOU ARE WORTHY of all those things. You deserve better and so does your daughter. By allowing him to continue this behavior and not standing up for yourself you are teaching your daughter that she isn't worth it either.
By saying that you would rather "accept and deal" with this you ARE condoning it. (Your denial is not about his SA, your denial is about your co-addiction and codependence.) His behavior is either unacceptable or it's not. You are saying that it is acceptable because you don't want to change YOUR behavior.
You are a co-addict. (and believe me I hardly ever, ever use that term) Please, please, please find a CSAT and get into treatment. If you don't break this cycle you're setting your daughter up for the same life. Seriously.
Your daughter is only 8 months old so right now the damage can be controlled but when she is older... this will DESTROY her. You think that you can hide this from her. YOU CAN'T. Trust me on this. She will end up in the same situation you are in. Or worse she'll end up a SA herself degrading herself for the affection of men like her father. Do you want that for her?
Saying that you are controlling the situation by "accepting" his SA and staying with him is an illusion. You're not controlling anything. Your life is COMPLETELY out of control. Instead the addict is controlling the situation. He's got you snowed into thinking it's acceptable for him to screw anyone he pleases. Has he ever said "I am a sex addict."??? Or did you conclude that he is on your own?
It is true that you cannot force him to seek treatment. But you can encourage him and you can make his situation with you uncomfortable enough that it could possibly motivate him to seek treatment. (You do have to be prepared however for him to choose his addiction over you and your family. If he does you HAVE to protect yourself and your baby. You can legally protect her by being honest about his SA and the behaviors he engages in with the courts. His visitation should be supervised only. But remember that is the worst case scenario. If he chooses treatment, recovery and sobriety your marriage can survive and he can be a good parent to your child. )
You can set boundaries and consequences that will show him that you are NOT going to tolerate being treated this way and you are not going to tolerate his out of control SA. If he were a raging, violent alcoholic who hit you or your daughter when he was drinking would you "accept and deal" with it?
Here is what I would do in your situation.
1. Buy "Out of the Shadows" by Dr Patrick Carnes, give it to your husband. Tell him you love him very much and want your marriage to work but in order for that to happen he needs to admit his sex addiction and the first step is for him to read this book. That's the boundary, you're asking him to read this book. Also let him know that if he refuses, there is a consequence. Until he reads the book you will no longer do his laundry, cook his meals or whatever other things you do for him. You are not his maid and you do not feel obligated to care for him when he cares nothing for your physical safety.
2. Find a CSAT and begin counseling for YOURSELF. Then set another boundary with your husband. Ask him to attend with you and be completely honest. If he refuses, set a consequence. Tell him he is no longer welcome in your bed. YOU ARE NOT SAFE HAVING SEX WITH THIS MAN. If he will not leave the bed, YOU LEAVE THE BED. Again, YOU are NOT SAFE. Bottom line, you will not share a bed with him until he chooses to see the CSAT. (Ultimately and ideally you should each see your own separate CSATs and his must be a male CSAT, preferably a recovering SA himself. That is the ideal.)
Both of these boundaries are reasonable and enforceable. They are not a means to control him, rather they are a means to PROTECT yourself. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR BABY. What your husband is doing is DANGEROUS and HARMFUL.
I'm going to repost my list of resources. PLEASE use them.
First and foremost you should read, "Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts" by Stefanie Carnes. Read this book, whether you stay or not. (This is the absolute best book I've ever read for spouses of SA. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I would have given anything for this book to have been available when I found out 3+ years ago, because at the time, there was nothing!)
This is Dr Patrick Carnes' website. He is *the* expert on SA.
If your husband faces his sex addiction and seeks treatment he'll most likely be directed to a 12-Step group. This is the one I recommend. If you look at their site you'll also find information for yourself that may be helpful. (I personally recommend SA not SAA because SAA is too lax in their definition of healthy sexual behavior. This is my opinion.)
http://www.recoverynation.com is an excellent online community with online recovery workshops for both the SA and the spouse. (This should not replace seeing a CSAT (see below) and going to SA meetings (see above) for the sex addict but is a great addition to those things.)
To fully understand SA you both need to do some reading. If he doesn't face his addiction you should still do the reading to help yourself and decide what you want. I don't advise women to stay with SAs who are not in recovery and who are not sober.
"Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes (I recommend you read this after you've read "Mending a Shattered Heart" but not before.)
"Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes
(I don't recommend you read this book, but it would be an excellent read for your husband to start if he's willing to face his addiction, while you read "Mending a Shattered Heart")
Most SAs have a serious porn habit, this book "Porn Nation" by Michael Leahy, would be a good book for the SA. Mr. Leahy is a recovering sex addict who had a serious porn addiction that cost him pretty much everything before he finally hit bottom. (I don't recommend that wives read this book at first. It's too triggery for "just found outs")
His best hope for recovery is to seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) Here is a resource to find CSATs by zip code:
You might also want to start on that website to find a good therapist for yourself. He has to work his recovery on his own and even if he doesn't get help you'll need counseling to recover from the trauma of being married to a sex addict. And believe me, it IS a trauma. You need to find counselors who are experts on SA otherwise you're in for a world of confusion and pain. (This is my opinion based on experience)
You might also find this post really helpful. It's about setting healthy boundaries with your spouse.
This is going to be vital for you going forward. You cannot force him to seek treatment and you cannot control him but you do have a right to set boundaries to keep yourself safe.
Keep posting. Keep listening. Stay with us. OK?