Sounds like a good problem to have in my opinion. Stay detached until your spouses recovery efforts are way more than just words.
2 12 step group
3 Fully, freely admits actions
4 Puts in the effort to control the addiction one day at a time.
I think I could tell if my wife was sincere and you can probably tell also. But sincerity of intent can easily break down battling a powerful addiction. Bringing you right back where you were. Protect yourself until correct things are happening and progress is made steadily for a good long while. Just my opinion. Good luck and congratulations on being where you are.
He is at his CSAT appointment...I really don't believe he will share with me how it went. I am assuming the CSAT will want to meet with me as well? We'll see how the night goes...
They say "Love conquers all" Well, I am afraid they are WRONG!
I'm not sure I can ever know if I am at the "right" level of detachment. I see it as one day at a time and just do the best I can. My COSA group's and my counselor's feedback are important to me otherwise I might get lost in my tendencies.
otoh I don't think I want to hold myself accountable for getting it "just right" because thats a bit codependent right there !!!
Daily reading and meditation/prayer help me and remind me of my purpose, which is to control myself and build my life not focusing on her progress or lack of it.
For me, it seemed I knew I was detached when I could clearly enforce MY boundaries without worrying what impact that could have on the M or on him. I really believe boundaries and detachment go hand in hand.
Boundaries are for keeping you safe. Being in a healthy relationship is safe, being in a twisted shit-storm with an SA is not safe. But you have to value yourself and take care of yourself first, in order to enforce your boundaries. Detaching from the disease and its side effects on you is a huge first step in self care.
If the M is ever going to be saved, what you have done to protect yourself won't cause any damage to the M. If the SA is ever going to commit to recovery, they will want to protect you, too.
To me, detachment and boundaries are so closely linked it is sometimes hard to tell them apart, but they both need to be present for good self care.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
[This message edited by 2br02b at 8:24 AM, September 25th (Friday)]
FWIW, since my husband has been in recovery, he's more supportive of me getting away. And the majority of the childcare/home caring still falls on my husband. (I work 60 hours a week.)
Could you open up a discussion with your husband? Ask him why he feels resentful or uncomfortable? I don't know you well, but I'm assuming you have boundaries for your behavior.
If my husband said that to me, I'd really wonder how much recovery work had been done. Maybe I'm reading into things, but if my husband said he was upset that he could no longer continue in behavior because of his addiction, that would be a sign that he didn't want to deal with the consequences of his addiction. Or projecting because that he may not have had boundaries, you won't either?
Is there any way you can arrange for childcare over the weekend? That's what I'd do. Honestly, validate his feelings, and tell him you've found someone to watch the kids so he doesn't feel like he's holding the bag. Then I'd go and have a good time.
ETA: About detachment
I think I'm more detached because for the most part, I really don't emotionally react to life much these days.
[This message edited by IRN2006 at 10:10 AM, September 25th (Friday)]
You've hit the nail on the head, I think. My husband hasn't been in counselling. His IC stepped back from private practice because he's setting up a lot of SA treatment programs in addiction centers. So my husband was told to find someone in the city(they'd always done it via phone because the IC lives far away). Has my husband done that??? Nooooooo. Have I asked him to? Told him he needs to? Yes!!!! We're meeting with our MC on Monday and this is something I plan to bring up.
So . . . my FWH and myself have talked about the possibility that he has had a SA. He was into porn - videos, online, online dating communities, a couple of times at a strip club (which I recently found out went further than I thought) and ultimately an A. I haven't asked the graphic details of the A, because I don't really want to know, but knowing the OW, I have no doubt that there were things involved that were never in our marriage. All of this I was unaware of except for the very tip of the iceberg until D-day. The catalyst for d-day was him looking at porn in the middle of the day with me at the kitchen table. I caught him and it went downhill from there.
We are working hard at R and he says like he has "come clean". He is doing all the right things, and I have no reason to think that anything is going on. When I ask him about anything porn related, he says he doesn't need that now, he has me.
I am hopeful, but not 100% convinced. I do think that he had a SA, and he has said maybe, but is not seeking any kind of IC. He talked to our MC a couple of times about it, but he says he can change all of that on his own.
This is my concern: In the past, I have been pretty conservative, although I tried to keep him happy. After d-day, we have been more open about our fantasies, etc. and he shared several that I really was uncomfortable with. Almost like he was wanting me to go over to that world. However, in the months that followed, he didn't say anything else about the controversial ones, so I chalked it up to part of his brief fog.
This past weekend, though, one came back up. This is graphic, so please don't be offended. He told me that he would enjoy watching me pleasure myself while I watched online porn. Honestly, this terrifies me. I really thought he had left this stuff behind, but for him to include it in one of his fantasies makes me realize that he hasn't. I'm not sure if I am overreacting or not. He is being open and wants it to be a partner thing, but I am still nervous.
I kind of see it as a step down the slippery slope again.
Please, please give some advice. I am just really nervous here.
I have read that it is fairly common for codependent partners of sex addicts to allow themselves to be drawn into sexual or other acting out situations simply to try satisfy their partner.
I don't think it matters what the behavior is, the key is whether you want to do it. If this is something you would enjoy for you- it's probably not a problem. If you are doing it justto please him but don't like it for yourself. I think you should maintain your own standards and expect him to respect your needs.
As a codependent myself, I recommend you read up some on codependency and find out if you are in "our club" if so, you can learn how to drop his own crap in his own face and live to your own standards happily. Lots of books are available on the subject and there are COSA groups in a lot of communities. Maybe you aren't codependent at all but it may be worth giving yourself the check up. Good luck and "to thine own self be true"
It is common practice for sex addicts to blame their partners. Does he do this? Are you afraid he might say well you wouldn't ...... and I need that so thats why I acted out. If you can hear him saying that he is a manipulative and I hope you won't allow that to intimidate you into somewhere you don't want to go. After all if you do go along with it, it will just be something else until he does get his "excuse"
[This message edited by Stop at 6:29 PM, September 29th (Tuesday)]
You're NOT just a fool, you're someone who trusted the person you took vows with.
Stop has given you very good advice. Regardless of whether he is SA, you need to ensure that you have clear boundaries in place about what you're comfortable doing and what you won't put up with in a marriage (ie. sex outside the marriage, sex clubs, etc.).
And regardless of whether he's SA, I wonder if he's really worked through why he went outside the marriage. Has he examined this? Do you trust that he won't do it again? What steps has he taken to ensure that he won't do it again? To say he won't turn to porn because he has "you" implies that he didn't have you before. Why does he think this?
Recovering from an affair, and/or SA can take an enormous amount of time and energy. If the time isn't spent up front, the issues will rear their heads at some point down the road.
Please keep posting. There really isn't a right or wrong way of posting a question. Just jump in and ask...
Have you tried writing down how you feel? Sometimes in the process of writing, we can "see" something that we'd overlooked or we'll get a bit of an epiphany about why we're feeling a certain way.
I often find talking over an issue with a friend is like thinking out loud and also gives me clarity that was previously lacking.
I know the feeling you describe and it can be a really uncomfortable place to be.
Obviously that doesn't work.
I do know I am doing the best I can in a very difficult situation.
WH has been going to the CSAT weekly since mid May without being diagnosed as a SA. This CSAT is supposed to be very good and is the one that trained the other 3 CSAT's in our area. He was trained in the Carnes approach. I've decided its probably not the CSAT but that my WH has not been 100% honest.
Why should I have thought any differently.
Yesterday WH had his appointment with the CSAT. Before he left I put a letter in his car that he could read before he got to his appointment and bring it in with him. The letter explained that I know about his use of internet porn every time I am out of the house or nobody is looking. I have a keylogger on our home computer but I didn't want to reveal my sources so I said I looked in the cache internet temp files. He is not computer literate enough to know. Neither am I for that matter and I wouldn't know how to do that anyway! I told WH despite the CSAT's lack of diagnosis, as someone who lives with him, I know he is a SA. I explained that I understand I can't control him but that I hope he makes the decision to get help.
I can post my letter if anyone is interested.
He was a little angry when he got home so I left him alone. I didn't push him to talk. When we were in bed we did talk a little. He got defensive and said, "so I am just a deviant!" After that outburst we talked a little and he told me the CSAT read the letter and made a copy of it.
WH said we would talk over the next few days. He needed to digest some of this on his own.
At this point my biggest concern is not for me but for our daughter. If he doesn't have help how will he ever be an engaged father? It makes me want to cry.
One other thing I am struggling with is that I never wanted to have only one child. Our daughter is 2 years old... WH and I are both getting older. There is no way I would bring another child into our current situation. I feel as though he has ruined our chances of having another child.
I am working on becomming financially independent in the event we do need to separate. I have a very good job and income but am trying to dig us out of a mountain of debt he put us in by making bad financial decisions - during his A's as well as non-A related things.
Does it ever end? Really? I am so tired.
I know it's difficult to be in this reality of yours, I just want you to know you are being heard! I have no real advice. Just a big hug for you!
My WH had his appt. with CSAT over a week ago. here's the jist of it...CSAT said he doesn't think my H is a SA, but has those tendencies. Also, he decided he needs to see my H every week at $150 a pop. We are so broke, there is NO way. Then on top of that, he kept talking about these retreats that he does out of town. I'm beginning to think he is a salesman. UGH!
I have been so good, in the past, at pushing this all to another place and pretending life is good. I just wanna run away, and pretend again. I just don't want to deal with this, I don't want this to be my life!
CSAT said he doesn't think my H is a SA, but has those tendencies.
WTF??? WH's CSAT said pretty much the same thing. And WH has been going every week since May at $195 an hour. Grrr.
CSAT might be changing his tune after I pointed out the porn usage. We shall see.
WH and I had a long talk last night way into the night. He was angry part of the talk, upset, sad, etc. We finally just stopped talking and went to bed. This morning he sent me a text message saying, "I just want you to know i am sorry about last night. I do recognize I have an addiction and I am working hard to fix it. I do thank you for your letter and I took corrective action with CSAT and myself".
This is the first time WH has admitted he has an addiction. Mabye this is progress but I'm making no assumptions.
I understand you whatnowaz. I want to run away from my life too. I wish I could leave my job for awhile, take my baby and go somewhere for an extended vacation.
[This message edited by KGT_123 at 11:23 AM, October 2nd (Friday)]
Unfortunately, it is the life you have and you both (whatnowaz and KGT) seem as if you're doing the best you can. I wonder if part of the problem is that you're trying to manage your spouse's recovery. I think it's completely fair to set boundaries around what behaviour you will and won't tolerate. However, then you have to let go. Believe me, I know how hard that can be. But I've also learned (the hard way) that my sense of well-bring and, ironically, control over my own life comes from letting my SAH control HIS own life...and his recovery.
Whether or not your husbands are text-book SA or not doesn't matter so much as the fact that they recognize that their behaviour is negatively affecting their ability to be a good husband and father. If they will acknowledge that -- and take steps (whether seeing a CSAT, 12-step group, reading books, etc.) to recognize the path they're on and stop going down that path, then I think you'll both see an improvement.
Part (much??) of the problem with SA is the stigma attached to it, making it a much harder thing to admit to. There is the notion that it's perverted or a deviant. But the more they read about it (Carnes books, if you/they haven't read them, outline SA in compassionate terms), the more they'll be able to recognize what has taken them to where they are...and how they can overcome these negative coping skills.
Hope I'm making sense. I basically just wanted to make the point that if you focus more on yourselves and less on them, I think you'll feel a bit less trapped.
I feel like when I let him manage his recovery it will either not happen or happen at a snails pace. He won't be 100% honest not because he doesn't want to be but because he doesn't know how to be (FOO issues). I feel like he needs that push. I feel like as his wife, I should be the one to give him that push.
Getting help for his "issues" is a requirement for me to stay in the marriage at this point. I guess I just haven't been specific on what that entails. I pushed the situation by spilling with the porn info. I thought that might nudge WH in the right direction with recovery. Should I not have done that?
I'm sure I have significant codependent issues... but I went on the COSA website and answered the questions and didn't answer too many of them positively. I e-mail the COSA administrator for our area and have not heard back. It hasn't been updated since 2007 so its probably not an active group.
Outside of that, I don't have the energy to get the individual help I need. Find a good therapist, spend the time and money. Besides, WH's therapy cost us $195 an hour. Truly thats all we can afford right now.
Sometimes I feel like I do okay on my own. I go to work and am functioning (not as high as I used to be) and accomplish my job, I am a good mother (I think I could be better though) and I am a good friend, daughter, etc. I am managing my life. I am not engaged with WH but I think I am still too shell shocked to be engaged with him. Also I am sitting, watching and waiting to see what he will do next.
Thats it for now. I hope everyone finds some peace this weekend.
I think that we all bristle or cringe when we hear that we may be trying to manage our partner's recovery. I used to feel the old feelings I would have when my spouse would call me "demanding" or controlling.
"Managing" their recovery doesn't feel like we are doing something wrong because we are doing it out of love. Not all love is doled out in healthy ways, for us or those we are trying to "give" to.
I have been trying to change my terminology from "I am a codependent" to "I have codependent tendencies." Codependent behavior is not, at it's most simple foundation, bad.
It is normal feelings of love and nurturing that are somehow distorted into unhealthy loss of our own self. Everyone has an ability to slip into codependent behaviors. Take parents for instance. How many times do we keep our child from learning a very simple lesson in natural consequences and "save" them? Heck I see it in many little things every day such as when mom or dad doesn't want their child to have shoes on the wrong feet. Not a horrible consequence, an easy and non emotional learning experience and still we try to save them. A bit simplistic, hopefully you get what I mean.
It isn't your problem or your work to do, to convince your SAH or his CSAT that he is an addict. EVEN if you do convince either one to go ahead and accept the label, if your SAH is not serious, it won't matter. My SAH knew he was an addict long before the diagnosis, the CSAT had no hesitation giving him the diagnosis, and yet, it still took almost 8 months of weekly Group therapy, biweekly IC, and twice weekly SAA meetings for my SAH to really start recovery.
The point is, that no one else, not CSAT, or a loving helpful wife, nor sponsor, nor fellow addicts can get your spouse to take this into his heart until he is ready.
It doesn't feel like it right now, but when you really do let go of the outcome, the peace you feel will help guide you.
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 8:06 PM, October 2nd (Friday)]