I don't have a lot of answers, but can at least give you ((hugs)). I'm fairly new in this forum.
This past Monday I moved out.
Good for you!
On Friday he left me a message that I had better be back when he got home from work or he was going to go into chat and find the first girl and was going to fuck her really really hard. And he repeated himself again. I turned my phone off for the night.
And good for you again! I don't know if your F is SA or not -- he'd need to be evaluated by a CSAT. However, it sounds like he at least has many of the attributes of SA -- trying to manipulate, denying and minimizing the problem, blameshifting.
It sounds like you're doing a good job so far with protecting yourself, and not buying into his shit. You really cannot help him -- he needs to recognize and own his problem, and be willing to go through the difficult steps of recovery. You can't do it for him.
7yrsbetrayed has posted lists of resources to help -- look on the first page or two of this thread to find her advice to others.
Others who have dealt successfully with this will be along -- it's been slow on the thread for the past few days. Sounds like you're doing as well as can be expected -- continue to take care of yourself!
[This message edited by gettingthrutoday at 10:35 AM, August 30th (Sunday)]
I'm sorry both of you are dealing with this...but glad you found this site.
As you're both discovering, SAs are master manipulators and liars...brilliant at compartmentalizing what they're doing because if they truly acknowledged it, they'd be forced to "feel" the shame and guilt and self-loathing that lurks beneath the surface.
And yes, the feelings that you have of disbelief and shock and anger and sadness and on and on are completely normal. Finding out that much of your life was not what you thought is quite traumatic and can leave you wondering what you can trust, whom you can believe and wondering how you could have missed the signs.
The person you can trust is yourself and that knowledge can carry you through all this. Be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. Accept that you need time to absorb all this. But do NOT accept responsibility for his actions and do NOT give up your own self-respect and dignity.
An SA in recovery is a different person -- but as long as they're acting out, your life will be crazy-making. Keep yourselves safe.
I have a question....
My WH has problems with a fear of engulfment or being overwhelmed by me. (according to our MC) He is not going to any SA meetings but seeing IC and MC. Am not convinced he's in recovery but think he may be in some sort of denial stage where he says that "things are different now" and the fantasies don't control him. They may be different or not, I don't know. I don't think he is acting out though.
I've been checking up on his phone and for months nothing seems out of the ordinary.
Last time I asked him if he would show me his email
(this almost always is a huge problem for him and his sense of privacy - we have huge arguments where I tell him he abused his right to privacy and therefore does not get so much these days until I feel safer, and he resists..)
in the deleted box was a spam mail from one of the OW. I was upset and furious - he was supposed to tell me if she or any of the OW contacted him in any way. He said it wasn't sent to him specifically but her whole email address book. Therefore he read it and then deleted it without telling me. He asked if he was supposed to tell me of every little spam email he ever received from OWs. I can't believe he was serious in asking but of course told him yes he was.
This was three months ago and I havn't asked to look at it since.
I was thinking this week that it was certainly a "co-incidence" that the time I checked there was a deleted spam email from OW. I've checked his email before that and not seen anything, but maybe he had deleted it thoroughly, although I always check the "recover deleted items" folder too.
I've been thinking of saying to WH -
"I feel like I am not trusting you at the moment, and I have been worrying whether OWs have been contacting you again despite you saying they havn't. When I saw your email last time OW had contacted you and you had said that you hadn't been contacted by any o f the OW.
You have the choice to show me your email accounts. It would help me to feel better about trusting you if they back up what you say that you are not in contact with OW. You don't have to show me your email accounts, whether for privacy reasons or for hiding secrets, but I will be more inclined to think that you are hiding contact with OW if you do not show me the email accounts."
SO - does that sound reasonable? I'm so confused about what is healthy or not these days, that I don't know if that is being controlling or manipulating or co-dependant or actually healthy and ok....
Do find this issue worthy to make a boundary about..to keep you feeling safe in the relationship?
What level of privacy do you feel is appropriate in a relationship?
The issue w/your H and his phone, and his lack of transparency tells you that you cannot trust him. He cries privacy when you ask him to be tranparent. It seems kind of clear that he is more interested in maintaining his "privacy" than he is in rebuilding your trust.
If you say to him "unless you become transparent and prove that I can trust you, I simply won't be able to", THIS IS NOT A "CONTROLLING" STATEMENT. It is a boundary.
Addicts love to get hung up on the "control" dynamic. It is hogwash. What you are saying above is really offering him a choice. If he chooses to be in a healthy relationship with you and rebuild trust, this is what it requires. If he chooses not to be in a relationship, he doesn't have to do it. The trouble is, addicts want to have the benefit without the cost. And if you do not defend your boundaries, the above statement souns like an empty threat.
So, it is not a controling statement if it is a real boundary. For it to be real, you need to know that that is indeed what you need to do to protect your well being - and let go of the outcome. If you are unwilling to let go of the outcome, then you aren't setting a boundary, you are instead trying to manipulate his behavior.
So, what DO you need in order to establish some kind of trust with him, and what do you need to do for you if you cannot establish trust?
edited for typos (I always have to!)
I woke up from a bad dream this morning. I asked WH if I could see his phone. He questioned me as to why and I just said "you always say ask you first, now I am asking" He gave me his phone...with some hesitation and continued to stand over me and ask questions the whole time. I didn't find anything, but that doesnt mean ANYTHING to me as his work phone was the last one he was using to act out with. No one calls his personal phone....so I also just found some porn magazines. I dug through a bin beside his bed...looks as though it hadnt been accessed in quite sometime. Pages were bent and it was under so many other folders an such. I just throw my hands up ya know...myheart almost doesnt even care anymore. I just feel numb to all of it. We havent been getting along this past week. HE hasnt seen his IC in almost 4 weeks. It's all just a CROC of SHIT in my opinion. I really don't think he will/wants to change. He just wants to keep me from leaving. I have been thinking about GPS or VAR...but what's the point. Imnot leaving him anytime soon. I have a whole year of school to complete....
I just feel stuck....
They say "Love conquers all" Well, I am afraid they are WRONG!
whatnowaz -- I'm so sorry
Thankyou IRN2006, debbied, Just Wow and gettingthrutoday.
I spoke to him about the email, pretty much what I had written here, and he was absolutely fine about me looking at it. He even left me alone with his computer and let me go through it. (which I think should not be extraordinary in this situation, but it is).
And there was nothing remotely suspicious in any of his email accounts. (not even when I recovered deleted emails in his work email)
So either he's being honest or he's covering his tracks very well.
I'm not sure which it is.
I hope he's being honest.
We had MC last night and MC said that as I express less anger, WH is expressing more. In spite of that, MC thinks we are doing very well
debbied - I might bring up about him about changing email addresses, but at least the work email address he can't change, and that was the one that one of the OW sent a spam email to. Maybe he can block her. (I'm not sure if blocking is available to a work email)
It sounds like you may be on the upswing. If he is being transparent and seems to be committed to R, then maybe your continued efforts should be focused onjust that. I know it isn't easy to start trusting again. Once that trust is broken, it's a bitch to try and get back. Im still not there. But, I feel positive about what you are saying. Keep pluggin along, if that is what you are wanting! I hope things have turned around for your H and he can stay in recovery! My H hasn't gotten into any SA related counseling yet, but I am hopeful.
Deleting his old email and creating maybe a joint one may be an idea for you? I know the work one is out of the question, but atleast he is willing to show you that one.....
he is willing to see a CSAT but I am the one that needs to hold his hand and make the appt.
I'm not sure about this one -- it would certainly be better if he would take the initiative and make the call himself. I printed out a list of CSATs in the area and give it to my WH; he then chose one convenient to his office and made the call himself.
Does your H say why he doesn't want to call?
I'm five months separated from my husband, after an in-house separation from January to April this year during which time he acted out with several of his many girlfriends via email and phone.
I watched this activity via keylogger, so I got a pretty good overview of his habits and behaviours in terms of his addiction.
I couldn't envision staying in the marriage after the anger phase, and he was too afraid to get counselling for SAB issues from when he was very small, so we are now living separately, and I originally intended to divorce him.
Recently I've been thinking this over, because we both still have feelings for each other, and because I have now seen enough to understand the true depth of his illness.
I'm far enough out to separate the anger from my other feelings for him, and realize that after 22 years invested, it might be worth taking a second run at this.
Seriously considering inviting him to revisit the possibility of our relationship starting again, on fresh ground.
My idea would be that he would have to quit travelling for at least a year so he could get the help he so seriously needs, and that we wouldn't live together again until he's been in therapy and detoxed for at least six months.
I would go to therapy as well, as I'm conflicted and quite destroyed by what this has done to my life.
It wouldn't be "all about him". It would have to be "all about us".
I haven't let him know yet, but I'm working on a letter of invitation.
He may or may not want to take me up on it, but he is extremely remorseful and did not want to divorce.
In the interim, though, he has acted out quite a bit with three or four other women, and is on the brink of falling in love with one of them, so I figure if I'm going to make this offer, I should probably do it before he gets immersed in a full blown rebound relationship.
Any thoughts on how to proceed? I realize I'm taking a huge risk by doing this, but the alternative is to spend the rest of my life wondering if we could have made a go of it, and I don't think I can live with that either.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 4:45 PM, September 6th (Sunday)]
Welcome to our little corner of SI. I guess I want to ask if you've read and researched all the Carnes SA stuff, and understand what you are really considering taking on? I don't say this as discouragement, I just don't know what you know.
I also think, if it were me, that unless your H was willing to see a CSAT for IC, there is no way I'd consider R'ing. And I mean truly willing - not going to the CSAT in response to your ultimatum, but going because he himself wants to be free of the addiction. CSAT, group, sponsor, actively working a recovery program and SOBER. Even those SA's who truly want to get sober have a tough road. The ones who pretend to work recovery in order to minimize their consequences leave a bloodbath in their wake.
Perhaps if you tell him what you are considering, go meet his CSAT with him, get yourself a CSAT for helping you heal, and step back. Let him have some time to work his program in earnest. Give yourself some time to do the work of healing. But keep some healthy distance and boundaries in place with regard to your M until you both are in a healthy enough place to even start the work of R. This would take a lot of time. Do you think you have it in you to wait another year or 2 while he works his program?
You are a strong and loving woman for even considering this, hun. I don't think it is impossible, but I know it will be hard.
I decided to start seeing a therapist myself, and won't do anything else until I've talked it over some more.
It's quite possible that my husband would be one of those who would be capable of working recovery to minimize the consequences.
And he's very scornful of anything that smells of 12 steps....which doesn't bode well.
He can be a real shape-shifter when he wants to be. He snow-jobbed me for 20 years after all!
It's really up to me to decide if it's even remotely healthy for me to go back there and have to deal with it all again.
This morning I'm leaning back toward the "not a chance" scenario. I've done a LOT of work on myself and am enjoying my alone time for the most part.
I should really just take advantage of all of this and MOVE ON.
I deserve so much more.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 11:07 AM, September 7th (Monday)]
Previously I have done such things as make her appointments for her and push her to comply while she resisted and lied about her commitment to recovery. Well, she is still 100% in denial but she no longer has to resist my help or interference because I am taking care of myself.
Regardless of my SO's level of committment I now believe it is important for me to totally let it go and take care of myself. I can't fix her. Only she can. She do it if and when she wants to. If she gets where she needs to be and I am still here, fine thats the time to co-operate, carefully.
A lot of smart folks in this forum have recommended some great books and some have recommended COSA or other codependent therapy. I agree with them about all of that. I bought and read the books. I have joined COSA and am working the steps. My wife is acting out (both gambling and sex) she insists there is nothing wrong with her, blames me if there is something wrong with her, lies when the truth would sound better, verbally abuses me, and is convinced she has a perfect right to any behavior she chooses.
I now agree with her. She has a right to her choices and a right to 100% of her consequences.
I am busy setting boundaries (on my own behavior and actions not hers)and protecting myself in every way I can to assure that her consequences do not become my problem.
I highly recommend COSA and 2nd the recommendations of others about the books and authors recommended in this thread.
I guess I'm rambling now and not really saying anythying that hasn't been said by others. Venting huh?
[This message edited by Stop at 12:30 PM, September 7th (Monday)]
good for you. I'm glad you're feeling good about the boundaries you're setting and feeling free of her issues.
I agree with JustWow that it seems he's not being proactive about his own recovery. Is the fact that he's close to falling in love (or thinking he is) perhaps confusing things for you? It would seem that trying to make things work with someone who's acting out so enthusiastically might be a recipe for disaster.