It's been a long time since I've posted here. I've started a blog that I encourage you to check out. It's a work in progress... www.betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com
My reason for posting, other than to assure all of you posting here, that what you're feeling (sending zillions of e-mails, being triggered, demanding answers, etc.) are all NORMAL in the context of what you're dealing with. Finding out that everything you thought was white is black is a traumatizing experience. Your minds are simply coping the best they can. And, I'm amazed at how quickly you're all recognizing your behaviour as not serving YOU well. We can all respond in ways we're not necessarily proud of...but we can also resolve to do it differently next time. Muster your support network and draw up your plan. And stop beating yourselves up.
Finally, I noticed on amazon.com this morning that suddenly there seems to be a LOT of books dealing with sex addiction (http://www.amazon.com/Hope-After-Betrayal-Addiction-Marriage/dp/0825439353/ref=pd_sim_b_3). Scroll down and you'll see a number of new titles. I've read Mending a Shattered Heart, but don't know the others. Do any of you? Thoughts on whether they're any good?
Hang in there folks. I'm more than three years out and, I promise, life does return to a semblance of normal.
I was also quoted today in a Toronto Star article (I'm "Elle") FYI:
What the heck, if you get cheated on -- make healing from it your career!!
This is my 1st post in this forum. I'm not sure but I'm starting to think my WH is a SA. What should I be looking for? How will I know?
Any help in understanding this would be great!!!
Discovered H was having an affair with a female colleague 6 weeks ago. It had been going on for awhile and seems serious. I found emails talikng about engagement rings, trips to europe together and how much in love they are. I thought this was the worst of my problems.
A week ago, I discovered all the AFF activity and secret yahoo accounts with very graphic chats with various women, men, cross dressers, trannies. From the content I beleive he has hooked up with at least 2 women from the site and had an intimate encounter with one man. He is also targetting people who live in our area and his chat indicate a strong desire to meet up with most of these people...
But he is still full bent on the orginal affair partner. Texts her 100 time a day, still goes to see her, etc. I am sure that when I throw him out in the next weeks, he will go to live with her.
My question is - Do I tell his AP about all the AFF activities and other hook ups and that he is SA? I seriously doubt she has any idea what a dark mess she has fallen into. Part of me wants to do it for revenge, hoping that she will haul ass out of the A and he will be left with nothing but his sorry self, and part of me would never want any other woman (even the bitch who slept with my H) to go through this if I could help it.
Would love to get some outside perspective on this.
[This message edited by mplpmom at 3:53 PM, February 12th (Friday)]
I was concerned about how I would manage if we got a D, when I was assuming he was going to be able a hands on dad after D. The thought of going through D and having him not able to participate in their lives and help with their care is overwheling. But the alternative of having them being sexually abused is unthinkable and I could never forgive myself if I put them in danger...
Whereas SA is about an addiction
WH and I have been together 20+ years, for years if I didn't have sex with him he would say things like I'll just get it else where, we had a very active sex life right up until I caught him cheating in 07. There had been other suspicions but I could never prove any, of course these other's were always the ones chasing him
I started work in 01, when I would return from work to our children being home,wh would be at work on afternoons, he would leave porn movies on the t.v. right outside our dd bedroom she would have been 6-7years old, nasty picture box and all he did it several times and couldn't grasp the problem, it wasn't until I started throwing them away that he smartened up, I think my kids caught him being inappropriate cause they have both disliked him since 04, I think they still love their dad, but they have no respect for him, they are so happy that he lives 3500 miles away, they never contact him, I wonder about the effects of his issues on them.
I found porn in the garage barely legal some of the stuff was dated to back in 2001,our dd was only 6 I can't believe they make magazines like that,
Since he has moved in 09 I know that he has trolled the internet for men, women, trannies, he has joined more dating hook up sites and paid for them, I believe he has hooked up with at least 2 men. I know he went and spent hundreds of dollars on a bed in order to have sex with another man's with that he was chatting to on the internet.
I would be inclined to tell the OW. While it's highly likely that she'll question not only what you're saying, but your motives, too, I admire your desire to protect anyone (even HER) from the agony of this. So tell her... Think of this, too. NOT telling her is, to a certain degree, enabling him. So...that's my two cents.
I'm sorry you're here. We all know the pain, humiliation, trauma of loving a sex addict. I assume your kids are in school far away? I would recommend talking with them. I think the damage done by NOT acknowledging what they know or think they know is severe. You can certainly just feel them out and find out what they know or suspect. Confirming their own perceptions helps them trust their own guts, making it less likely that they'll go down the same path we all did.
In the meantime, I hope you'll find help for yourself. Is your husband honest about his problems? Is he doing anything to seek help. Living with an active sex addict is a recipe for pain and crazy.
Hang in there. Keep posting.
no wh is far away the kids and I are in our marital home, he wanted me to move with him back in the spring I kept saying that I couldn't move so far away for something that is broken.
He swings from knowing he needs help, but never getting it to saying that he's glad that I'm in counselling cause I really need it but he has no problem, I have never mentioned that I thought that he maybe a SA, he will laugh and say I'm crazy. There are so many other acting out things that he has done, that I'm just now realizing.
He has financially ruined himself, is just starting to pay child support, he blames me for financial ruin when he owes more than $20,000 just in child support. He spends wildly on crazy things, and blames everything on others especially me.
Might give you some idea...
My XWBF who is a SA, although he's never been formally diagnosed, but he sure quacks like a duck, etc. was with me from Friday-Monday night, claiming to want to live here, having walked out on his current GF (former OW), with no warning to her.
It was an awful experience, really, since I actually considered that maybe he could change, and told him that he could at least live her for a month, all the while inside I was screaming and freaking out. He was treating his GF just like he has treated me, and i was triggering like a keg of gunpowder in a burning house.
There was all kinds of bad happening the whole time, but one of the most intense came about because I was telling him he could not stay here - even temporarily - unless he could tell the truth. So he finally opened up about an incident his current GF is mad about. In short, it involved the GF's friend, and my X going to the friend's house, asking her if she liked to watch porn, and then going into this woman's bedroom, with the door open, and masturbating while lying on her floor.
Now, putting aside that it was his GF's friend, who she was having a huge feud with, which makes it pretty deliberate, I found the whole story deeply disturbing.
At the end he said that he told his girlfriend he didn't make a pass at this other woman. "I never touched her!"
Since I wasn't involved I got to see his rationalizations so clearly and frankly it chilled me to the bone. It still makes me sick to think of. Literally nauseated. i know he has exposed himself before, here at our house (and we live across from a Middle School, God help me - he admitted to sitting in an upstairs bedroom and looking down at the street and masturbating. He didn't admit to it, but I assume it was when the kids were getting out of school. Otherwise there's no traffic around here. Should I report this, by the way???).
Anyway, it was clear that he does not think he needs help. We've discussed this over the years, and yet he still said to me this weekend, "So you think I'm a SEX ADDICT?? Huh." Like it was brand new.
I feel lucky to have escaped with my sanity.
We had sex three times in three days all the while I know he has been trolling the internet for women, men, trannies, etc and having explicit chats with dozens of them. And you know what - it was the best sex we have had in years! PLEASE somebody hit my with a 2x4, as there is clearly somethng wrong with my judgement.
After the third day (yesterday), he became extremely hostile to me for no apparent reason and has continued to behave that way.
And when I went back on the computer, I saw that an hour after we had had sex on the second day, he was chatting it up with some random guy in our town that he found on AFF about how he loves to suck c**k and they should get together to exchange BJs.
Anyway, we have MC tomorrow and I am confronting him with what I know. I am afraid he may become violent out of fear that I may out him so I am going to drop off a complete copy of all my evidence of his online activites to my lawyer first and let him know I have done that. That way he will know that if I wind up dead in an alley (not likely) or arrested on some trumped up charge (he and the primary OW are cops) he knows there is a very big red flag pointing directly at him.
I am still not sure exactly what my goal is, but I think I am going to tell him that I am starting the separation process (takes a year in our state) and that he must leave the home. But I will offer to continue to work with him to get him well if he is willing. I just doubt he will take me up on that offer...But I need him to get well, if not for us, then for our 2 kids.
I need extra strength and courage for tomorrow, so any good mojo you can send my way will be much appreciated.
[This message edited by mplpmom at 4:28 PM, February 16th (Tuesday)]
Don't feel bad about it! Next time you can make a different decision, or not. It's ok.
His behavior is very familiar to me.
The anger is from guilt. He is unable to maintain normalcy because inside he is being torn in different directions and the call of his compulsive sexual acting out is unbearably loud.
It is common, too, for male to SA to have some sexual contact with other men. Even if they are not really gay or bi. It is about the thrill - the wrongness - and sometimes it is from being sexually abuse as boys or teens.
If he sees he has a problem and will get help willingly, that can work. If not, he will build up resentment at being forced to go for help, like any addict.
As to the confrontation, you might want to do it slowly and carefully, asking the MC for help. You can lead him slowly. Revealing the truth will cause him great anxiety. My XWBF did get very aggressive when I found things out. Even phyisical, but I'm not saying that's common. Just, it can be really intense. I don't know if you should spill it all at once.
See if the MC has ideas??
Until you know your H is NOT having any sex with people outside of the M, it is probably safest to consider him a walking-talking petri dish of STD's. Treat him accordingly, and remember condoms do not protect against HPV or herpes.
Until he is sober and in recovery, it is really hard to know that sex with you has anything to do with bonding - hysterical or otherwise - they can use us for their acting out. It probably messes with his head a little because he's likely been lying to himself (and believing it, btw) that he has to act out because you won't do it with him, don't do it for him, or whatever his lie to himself is. It wouldn't suprise me at all if that dissonance isn't what caused him to be hostile toward you at the end of the 3 day boing fest.
SA is primarily an intimacy disorder. As long as he is not sober and not in recovery, I believe it is safe to assume that you can't build anything good, for sure, and the more intimately you interact with him, the more likely you are to get hurt.
It takes 2 healthy people to have a healthy relationship. Is he healthy? How do you plan to keep yourself healthy, whether he ever gets there or not?
Take care of you. That might even mean getting a BOB
[This message edited by JustWow at 7:23 AM, February 17th (Wednesday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
But his IC is telling him he is not a SA because WH refrains from taking APs from his office or neighberhood. I'm having trouble making sense of that, given all the simultaneous APs.
But his IC is telling him he is not a SA because WH refrains from taking APs from his office or neighberhood. I'm having trouble making sense of that, given all the simultaneous APs.
Now there's a great testimony for ensuring your WS has a CSAT for IC if I ever heard one. What does your H think about his having SA? Is he open to pursuing recovery or is he clinging to keeping his addiction? Oh yeah, how did you arrive at the SA diagnosis? Believe it or not, 3 simultaneous AP's does not *necessarily* equal automatic SA, but it does, IMO, indicate something *is* seriously wrong with him.
[This message edited by JustWow at 3:34 PM, February 19th (Friday)]
I am new to this site. It has just been recent (last couple of days) that I am starting to think my husband has a sexual addiction--even though I don't really know what that is. We have been together for 28 years married for 23. He has been a habitual cheater the whole 28 years, and really even before that. I don't even know how to describe his behavior. He doesn't have romantic affairs. It is like they are more for his ego to prove he has still got it or something. He has never been honest about one of them--never. I don't know why I have stayed. Actually, I do....with the exception of his infidelity we have a great marriage. He loves me and I love him. He has been a great father and provider, but it is almost like he works very hard at being so good at everything else so that it justifies his behavior. I read a lot of articles in the healing Library tonight and I really feel like he compartimentalizes the sex as if it is no big deal. He is in Egypt right now with the military and I realized that he went prepared for a random sexual encounter. That was the straw that broke the camels back. Even though I never believed his lies I felt like something must be wrong with me and that he was finding something missing in our relationship with his co-workers, fellow students, friends. It took me 28 years but I now realize it is not about affection it is about sex and ego. I had decided to ask him for a divorce because I couldn't find any site that said anything other than once a cheater always a cheater and I am done with that. Then I found this site mentioned on AOL....and I read a lot of articles and there are people who have been habitual cheaters but have taken accountability and are trying to make their relationship work. I particularly liked Erica's stories. If my husband lies and does not take accountability for his actions our marriage is through but it would be my greatest desire that he break down, acccept responsibility, we begin counseling and can save our marriage. We are that couple that everyone thinks has the perfect marriage--except those that really know my H. like co-workers etc. I am sure they laugh about me thinking I am the stupidest person on the face of the planet. I don't want to walk away without giving counseling a chance, provided of course he is willing. I have come to realize my husband is a selfish man who thinks he is entitled to whatever he wants whenever he wants it with zero regard for who gets hurt in the process. This is only about sex. In everything else his is an upstanding, giving, impressive man. My family and friends love him and think he can do no wrong. Is there anyone out there who has a spouse like this who was truly willing and able to change or am I wasting my time? Is his behavior that of a sex addict? Part of me wants to throw up knowing that I am even considering staying, but another part of me says I have stayed 28 years I owe it to us to do the work if he is willing. Any advice??
One note he has been in the military since 2003 and has went to war and traveled a lot, but he cannot blame any of this on that. His behavior spans decades before that.
[This message edited by feelingfoolish64 at 3:12 AM, February 21st (Sunday)]
It was 9 months after D-day before my WH took recovery seriously, and only then because I was ready to D.
Not clear if my WH has an addiction, or what. We both recognized him in the SA literature, and he found Patrick Carnes' books helpful. He
attends SLAA meetings and finds
them helpful. But his IC says other models besides the addiction model might explain his behavior.
I've had to put up the fight of my life to save my home and my kid's home. And there is no guarentee I will prevail.
Have you the stomach for an epic battle?
I am still alive! My huband and I are each receiving IC once every three weeks and we have MC once every couple of months.
The reason for my "dropping off the face of the earth" is purely work-related. Because of the recession, my company had laid off a bunch of people last year. The people remaining, including yours truly, have been working like a dog. I used to post during my lunch hour, which is now taken up with work.
You are all in my thoughts daily, and I always wish the best for you.
Dear mplpmom and others,
I am sorry that you have found yourselves here.
In my view, whether your spouse's activities can be categorized as "just" infidelity or SA is irrelevant at the initial stage.
Your spouse has engaged in sexual activities that are not appropriate and not acceptable. That in itself is a problem. If your spouse refuses to admit to the activities, disagrees that the activities are inappropriate and unacceptable, or continues the activities, then it matters not one bit whether the cause of those activities are "just" cheating or are the result of SA.
It is important, in the initial stages, to look after yourself FIRST. Keep to a routine. Remember to drink lots of fluids (not alcohol), eat balanced meals (even if just salads and a ham and cheese sandwich twice a day). And please receive your own counselling. The IC is NOT about your husband and it is NOT about how to rebuild your marriage (or not). It is about you and your feelings, having been wronged and betrayed in the rawest sense.
There is no need to make any major decision in the first year. Keeping the course, looking after yourself, would be a full time job. You have earned the right to make informed decisions, which would take time because you wish to make those decisions when you have healed sufficiently.
Whether your spouse is a SA can only be diagnosed by a CSAT. There are numerous books by Dr. Carnes and on-line resources. I am a layperson, but in my non-medical view, when (i) a person engages in sexual or sexually-stimulating activities, AND (ii) the activities affect the person's daily life (e.g. skipping work, neglecting parental duties, etc.), AND (iii) the person continues to engage in those activities despite negative consequences (e.g. to his job, his family), AND (iv) the person has tried but is able to stop those activities, then the person likely has SA. Having said that, I am not a doctor nor a CSAT. Please seek help from a professional for the proper diagnosis.
But even if your spouse is determined to be a SA, you have to leave his/her recovery to him/her. You cannot make someone admit to a problem (though you can express your feelings and views to hope that he/she sees the problem). You cannot make someone want to change. You cannot make someone actually take steps to change (e.g. go to therapy, change their lifestyle, etc.). While you can be supportive in the process (should you so choose), your spouse's recovery is his/her own.
In terms of the marraige, it is unproductive to attempt to rebuild it in the initial stage. In the begining, the BS is hurt, betrayed and angry, and the WS is either in a fog, denial or crisis. You now have two people who are not "whole" in their own. Each of you have to heal and recover sufficiently before you can both re-build the relationship.
The danger is trying to control your spouse's reaction and recovery, and to obsess about the relationship. Obssessing about your spouse and the marraige takes time away from YOU, your time to heal. Whether you eventually decide to stay or leave, you need to look after yourself.
Please believe me, as someone who is almost 2-years out D-Days, I have learned a lot about myself. I would hope to be more self-aware without having to go through this gut-wrenching, god-forsaken, experience, but then, my jumping up and down and screaming will not rewrite history.
Finally, to those whose spouses are still cheating, please practise safe sex. Also, get a full set of STD tests NOW and inform your doctor that your spouse has been unfaithful (because your doctor will give you more tests than if you are in a monogamous relationsip). Please, no one, is worth getting a disease for, which may range from minor irritation to lethal! Protecting your wellbeing in the first step to your own recovery. You are worth it.
You are not alone. Your reactions are normal. And all of us here are here, ready, willing and able to support you and listen to you. You will survive this.
Once again, I am sorry I have not been prolific on this site, but I hope my 2 cents' worth will help even just one of you. You are all in my thoughts, always. This too shall pass.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 11:50 AM, February 22nd (Monday)]
We haven't even start to process a D or even talk about one. It's a scary next step for me and I think for him. Although I really still love him I realize the damage that was done is so great that I could never live that way again. Coaches and counselors alike are so right on when they say you go through the anger, sadness, depression, bargaining and finally acceptance. I'm almost to acceptance although I have my downward spiraling days.
It's sad to think I've given him half of my life, it's truly devastating to think he still doesn't get it. I even pray for him to see some kind of reality. His grown sons are hurting so bad and I have to calm them when emotions run high. I feel so bad for them.
Life goes on and sometimes I really wish we could get it together, but I really don't think he has the courage, determination and perservance to lead him on the right path. I commend the SA's on SI who have truly gotten into recovery and now appreciate what he truly wants...his marriage.
Yes, I'm more accepting and I know I'll be okay but the deadened wood inside my heart may never be the same.
It's still a roastercoaster of sorts when after all this time I still wake up crying.
Even though I'm 55 years old and look 45, I pass up dates all the time. Dating is so different than it once was...it seems like it's all about sex, then when you submit yourself they never call ya again.
I just had to vent myself out here..it's one of the safest places to do what you feel and not be victimized.
I must say that I have received one of the most important gifts I could and that is I am me, I really am, I can feel it, I can make myself happy most days. I'm so fortunate to have good friends and family. Something I put on the wayside going through the trama. I have even helped others through their trama and that is worth its weight in gold.
I've learned to defend myself in any given situation. Some days I feel like a king, others a lonely being.
Get your self worth back, trust your gut instincts, treat herself to something special and get out of the house for some fun...nobody will do this but yourself..and don't forget you are the most special person you will ever meet and YOU are the one that can truly change your life no matter way :)
Problem is, at least with me, a special love is hard to find and those we meet always have unkept promises. Love is something so unique, so special and this is so hard for me to give up on..it's something that most of us only find once in a lifetime.
I'll always remain your friend, I'll always be here for you if you need me and I'll be there.
Thanks for the vent, you are all so special to me as we can relate truly what we've encountered by our WS shortcomings.
I've decided to work the 12 steps even thought it is unclear if my WH is a SA. Perhaps his IC will know more over time.