Maybe I am the only poster who finds the number of pages - and not in recent first order- confusing /off-putting? I know I'd post and reply more - and certainly need the support!! - if there were regular posts like in "General," etc.
Folks' thoughts on this?
it's all about James Hunter, now ;)
And here's the 180 link:
should n't suprise me, I guess, but heartbreaking as he was supposedly doing this to build "final salary for retirement benefits (he is retiring this summer).
How can he deny he even has a problem. I've told him 100's of times he has a serious problem. He denies it. I've told him he is a sick individual that needs help. He tells me I'm crazy as a reply. A therapist has told him he's a SA and he thinks she is nuts.
#2. What is it going to take for him to realize he has a problem and needs professional help????
#3. How would boundaries work with him? Let's say he lies to me and I leave him. He comes back crying. Can I say to him,"Get help, get in therapy, and then we can talk about R"? How well would that work??
Any ideas you can give me would be appreciated.
1. My only role is to stand back and let him do as he pleases?? And leave when I get fed up??
While I wouldn't word it like that. Pretty much, your role is to stand back and see how your SO behaves. You can't control your SO and you can't make him recover. Yes, he has to decide for himself that he's willing to recover. If he isn't ready to recover, he won't.
#2. What is it going to take for him to realize he has a problem and needs professional help????
What ever your SO's rock bottom is. Who knows what it may be, but it's clear that he hasn't hit rock bottom yet.
Let's say he lies to me and I leave him. He comes back crying. Can I say to him,"Get help, get in therapy, and then we can talk about R"?
Boundaries are meant to keep you physically, emotionally, and mentally safe. Boundaries are not meant to punish someone else and they are not used to manipulate the behavior of others.
If my husband relapses, I file for divorce the next day. It's really that simple. If my husband relapses, it means that his addiction could escalate..he could give me an STD. He could get arrested for his behavior. He could be labeled a sex offender. Any of these things has the capacity to RUIN my life, and the life of my kids.
I have enough to deal with in life, without inviting in extra "trouble."
So, my boundary is NOT about my husband, it's about what I'm willing to live with in life.
You have all the info you need on your SO. You know your SO is an addict uninterested in recovery. Your focus should be on yourself: deciding for yourself whether or not you can be the partner of an addict.
[This message edited by IRN2006 at 11:52 PM, July 14th (Wednesday)]
And leave when I get fed up??
That was the problem I had when I realized I actually did have a boundary problem. (took me a while!)
Sometimes it seemed to me an all or nothing thing like leaving, or divorcing, etc.
For now, make it truly about you; protecting you, healing you, learning about you.
Start with little steps.
If your SAH is anything like mine, when he is not truly working at recovery, he really isn't husband material; distant, resentful, etc.
So look at it that way, as a taking care of yourself in the day to day ways that you can.
"If you are going to speak to me that way, I am done talking with you." then walk away. I have to walk. If I stay in the same room, I am done for, the discussion will continue. The very pointless circular conversation.
Ask yourself "what is at the top of my priority list to accomplish today? (or this hour, or this minute!) and do it to help you detach.
7yrs had a great list of her bottom line boundaries somewhere on this forum.
Some of them I adopted and some I took a while to be able to be strong enough to make one similar.
By detaching when they are not being honest or in recovery, you can recognize when they are.
For example, my SAH is having a hard time this week, for whatever reason, he's not shared with me.
So I am just taking care of my things, our son, our house. I am not angry with him (detaching helps with that!) but I know he isn't really "present" right now.
In the past, his withdrawal and isolation right now, would consume me.
WHy? Whatever is going on with him is his deal, his problem. I am very interested, would love to hear it, but I can't make him be vulnerable and share.
What a relief. I don't have to figure out his issues.
Just wanted to give you an idea of how boundaries, and detaching will always be something that you will need for your own healthy relationship, not just now during addiction crises.
For the 1st month, he did not touch his computer. Then he began checking his email and ebay and innocent stuff every few days and looking at movie and video sharing sites because he's a movie enthusiast (legit stuff-not porn), which is not unusual for him. We both enjoy the classic films.
Then a couple of weeks ago, he increased his computer use to daily, but still no porn at all.
Last night he came home from work while I was asleep and looked at a movie sharing site that is not one of the usual ones he'd been viewing in the past 3 months. This one offered porn as well as regular films. He didn't look at any of the porn films... just a couple of the regular ones.
But the disturbing part is he went to his "history" after and deleted his visit to that site
We've talked about how I will not tolerate secrets and sneaking... and that he needs to be totally transparent.
Should I confront him about this? I can't disclose the keylogger. Or should I shut up and see what develops from here? The anxiety has just shot up a few levels. How would you handle this?
What he is doing is (or is similar) to what my SAH calls modulation.
Basically, it's the little steps that take them down the path to acting out.
For example, for my SAH, it may be talking to people he meets on his way to cafeteria or bathroom at work. Then it may be stopping at their cubes, usually women. Then personal conversations, then "helping" them with something.... You get the picture. It's those little boundaries they nudge back a little. This happens to be an issue around here right now.
You are seeing a prime example of how an addict cannot do this on their own. What he was doing was "white knuckling." Just trying to control the addiction himself. He can't without the proper therapy and tools. The deleting the history tells you that he has some sex addiction stuff going on in his head, he just isn't talking about it.
Of course, I am just assuming he isn't going to 12 step or therapy?
One thing I have learned through this past 2 yrs is how complicated this is. The computer usage is probably just one of the things that you can see, but there are many avenues to acting out.
FOr example, shopping, like at walmart, was enough for my SAH. He could see a woman with cleavage, not even showing "too much." He would arrange to be down a same aisle, but start fantasizing that she was seeking him out. And then this whole fantasy scenario is in his head. They can have this stuff to act out on, later.
My SAH also has this thing about looking in cars as he drives, hoping to see something, preferably naughty.
All in their head, pretty scary.
Here is how I handle it. Good practice for trusting you and not needing the snoop or "proof."
I let him know that things just don't feel right. That I feel he is closed off. I don't know what that means, only he does, so I will be taking care of me, until he is able to be forthright and honest, and vulnerable.
It doesn't do much for them, especially in early recovery, but it does wonders for you.
My SAH still asks what it is he is doing that makes me feel that way. I have stopped telling him because he just tries to change his behavior to prove me wrong, rather than examine what is going on with him.
You are sending the message to him, and more importantly to yourself, that you will trust yourself, even when it is difficult.
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 12:13 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]
OH did I ask that question a thousand times.
He doesn't love himself enough, that is the problem.
I thought if I was on my SAH's side and encouraged him and recognized every effort, he would progress more. That maybe he would see that guy I see in him.
Only he can find that guy. The therapy gives him the tools and the insight, but it takes a long time.
I can see how one might stopped SA therapy. It is very very hard work.
Work on you, so that whether the miracle occurs or not, you are healthy.
Even if the spouse does start recovery, it is a long hard road for both of you.
The recovering addict is a different person in some ways, and if the spouse isn't getting to a healthy place, the marriage won't.
Just thought I'd let you all know.
I agree it would be easier if there were different topics in each of the ICR forum. THe upside, especially for us, is that we end up reading all of the posts and at some point or another it all applies!
If you could repost, Or I can go back and read your things, I would love to reply.
I am a hit and miss poster. Sometimes something someone talks about here is just what I am dealing with, or I have a few minutes to reply.
I have a 10 yr old that can read at lightning speeds. (really by the time I can close a window, he has absorbed at least a paragraph!) so I try to not to post much when he is around. He's been at camp all week, during the day, so I have had a little more freedom.
Mostly I've been posting about uncovering the SA activitie and I haven't confronted yet (can't afford to until he retires Aug 31, and that secures "my" pension so to speak - b/c he irrevocably makes the choice to share it: even if we are divorced he can't change the decision...I know for a fact if I confront now he will stay employed as employment where he is completely unsupervised and does literally almost NOTHING by act out in his SA stuff all day... when i learned about affair # 1, something didn't make sense... here we are almost 2 1/2 years later and I am finally figuring it out. It is so sickening and devastating...
Currently i am in internal debate over getting a gps real time so that I can know for myself what he is doing.. I'll make a few posts after this to share what I've "worked up to" so far...
so about "us:" we met at work and started out as friends. That relationship deepened over several years, and then we dated for a year, next he moved into my home and we lived together for a year, at the end of that year we were engaged. We were engaged for slightly over a year and then married in 2006.
Initially I was in heaven. Here was someone who seemed to adore me for just who I was. Who knew me good and bad and loved me to the core. Sex was wonderfully loving and intimate. And he was a superb kisser.
My previous marriage, to the father of my 3 children, was 17 years of hell - physical and verbal abuse, no sex, and after we separated I'd learned he'd given me an std - the kind that keeps giving and has to be constantly monitored as it is always trying to turn into cervical cancer.
Finding my current husband seemed amazing - he loved me, he loved my kids, and he embraced our life together - on top of it, sex was so loving.
Unfortunately, within two months of moving in, sex had grown to be very rare... that pattern has continued to this day, with brief spurts of interest on his part.
In the summer of 2007 I sensed something terribly wrong. Depsite my inquiries and gut feelings he gaslighted me. I uncovered his affair Jan 2008. He had started the affair only a year after our marriage. We went to multiple marriage counselors, his behavior first improved, then devolved and I threw him out, we reconciled via Retrouvaille, continued in the many months post workshops... and he moved back in... Things seemed good for about a year.
Then one night I heard him talking in his study, I walked in - which I almost NEVEr do and he freaked out and appeared to hide something on his desk (which is beyond a mess). His behavior was bizarre and so I made the effort to keep him away / out of the study until he fell asleep. Then I went in and found a trac phone...
That started my discoveries. this time, instead of confronting I've begun to protect myself - got him to get a loan for a car for me (I've been car-less for about two years), and then as each of the below discoveries have been made, I've added on a "bill" to him equal in amount to what I found he is spending on his sexual addiction...
So.. what I've learned in the past month....
.... secret credit card that he is using to go bar hopping, strip clubs, and out to dinner - at times when he has told me he is at professional meetings or visiting his elderly mother in hospital....
a secret bank account... the receipt I found lists the account as a DDA (which appears to be a direct deposit, meaning he is hiding income from a source I am unaware of).
He cashed in all of one of our retirement accounts this year - about 10 k, and if that is the $ in the above bank account, he's spent 6 of it already.
a secret apartment that he has been paying 625 a month on for 18 months - he wrote the first rent check a few days AFTER attending the retrouvaille weekend and re-committing to work on our marriage (affair recovery - and here I thot that one affair starting a year after we married was so horrible....).
withdrawing between 700 and 1500 a month cash from our joint bank account
been paying about 300 a month on the secret credit card - deducted from our bank account.
"hidden" other charges on our joint credit card.
recently moved a full suit of clothing into his work locker.
moved his personal ID folder (Passport, birth certificate, etc etc) into his apt (I have since forced him to bring it home... long story...but without revealing I realized WHERE it was...)
Again hid porn at work - after swearing off all porn a year ago. (made a big show of throwing it all out....). This means he has resumed masturbation at work - hopefully in the bathroom and not at his desk as before...
somehow managed to hide 20 - 25 k annually of his regular job income.... nearest I can figure for the past six months he has spent at LEAST 20 K on himself...
And; most recently I learned that he has NOT been working overtime at ALL since at least March - which means at least one FULL day of weekend work he has been not home and unaccountable for...
Also... fairly certain the many months of three day a week visits to his sick mother were a complete fabrication... but she is also a liar so there is no way to verify.
I've not bought a pair of jeans in two years, no shoes, no jewelry, etc etc etc - because I couldn't afford it. I got him two really nice pair hoes and an air conditioner for father's day (a week early) and then learn most of the above....
I am raising three kids - two with emotional, educational and health special needs - doing grunt work and trying to fit in time for my doctorate, and he is acting the overworked over burdened husband, while in truth he is dropping thousands on himself every month... and has since I've known him : ( And of course almost never lifts a finger at home and acts pissed off if anything is out of place or inconvenient to him...
I haven't confronted him about anything. I am still in shock.... as mentioned, bells had gone off and then I found the trac phone (and the receipt -- he bought TWO), tracked down one of the woman he is /was seeing... work, telephones, the fact she is also married... while trying to assimilate the newest affair, I learned the information. I then learned that there is at least one other OW and they clearly do not know about each other. Aside: I have to admit I am looking forward to letting each of them know about the other in September, <EVIL LAUGH>.
We've been in therapy, the catholic rescue weekend and MONTHS of following up hours long couples meetings... and he never ever shared anything like this...
Not really sure what to do....
So decided to try to work on my own healing first, and through a comment on this forum, learned about Recovery Nation, which has been a god-send.
Any comments, advice, 2x 4's or whatever are ALL appreciated!
I hear you about your reactions having no impact. I have been going to Al-anon and/or Nar-anon for many years, and the 1st Step was a doozy for me. I had to fully accept that absolutely NOTHING I did was going to stop an addict from being an addict. I could scream, cry, beg, elicit promises, confront, ignore, detach, etc. It made no difference in the progession of the addict's disease.
It took a loooong time for me to fully realize that my WS's behavior was addiction. First of all, he hides it SOOOO well. Secondly, it was easy for me to tell myself that most men view porn and many husbands cheat--so in my mind, the behavior was "somewhat normal". Thirdly, while addiction is addiction is addiction, sex addiction has some particularly severe and unique impacts on us spouses.
Like any other co-addict spouses, we often get the irrational believe that the addict's behavior means they don't love us...or that we are undesireable, unlovable, unworthy as a partner. It is easy for the addict to use those beliefs against us too. "I wouldn't need to look at porn or cheat if you were more (fill in the blank) or if you would do (fill in the blank)". All addicts try to blameshift and deflect to protect their addiction. It is important for codies to fully understand that their addiction and behavior has absolutely NOTHING to do with us. These guys usually become addicts in their early teens. They would be addicts no matter who they married. The will remain addicts whether or not we divorce them--unless they get help.
We didn't cause it, we can't cure it and we can't control it. We are utterly and completely powerless over someone else's addictions.
What you are seeing is almost EXACTLY what I am seeing. It reinforces my acceptance that it IS, in fact, ADDICTION that I am seeing. The day I confronted my WS three weeks ago, I told him that the bottom line was that he go to meetings for sex addiction--whether he believes he needs it or not. He also committed to not lying and not viewing porn (he volunteered this committment--it wasn't something I demanded).
Who was I kidding? He's not even ready to quit lying to HIMSELF! After a lifetime of secrecy & lying--and nearly a lifetime of addiction...he was going to go cold turkey to save our relationship? I dont' even think he was purposely lying about this....he probably meant it genuinly at the time. He probably made a commitment to himself at the time to stop these behaviors.
Have you ever read the AA Big Book? There is a story in there about a man who rationalizes his way into a relapse. "It's just one shot of whiskey in a glass of milk" or "it's just one beer" isn't any different than "it's just one porn video".
I also see the same ritualized secret squirrel behavior that you are describing. Even when no porn or other acting out is involved in his internet activities--he ALWAYS deletes temporary internet files, history, etc. before closing out. Personally, I think the secrecy & rituals are part of the addiction.
I see this stuff (acting out activity) blow-by-blow on the computer. It makes me so disturbed and angry that I want to throw the computer & DVD player out the window & run over it with my car. I was describing this fantasy to a COSA member yesterday and she asked me just how that was any different than the wife of an alcoholic searching the house for booze stashes & then pouring it all down the sink? DUH...I know this stuff, but I'm just only now putting it all into the perspective of addiction & codependance.
Now taking the focus off of my WS & putting it on to me...this watching his activity is about secrecy & rituals too! It's about hypervigillence & control too. Just like my WS was an addict long before I met him, I was a codie before I ever had a first date. This rang home to me yesterday when I was reading a COSA-related book. A woman was describing her desperate need for security, but that she had repeatedly chosen men who had betrayed her and violated her trust. I fit that description. I fit that description so well that I actually went overboard to choose a partner that I thought I knew WELL this time--average Joe--no great passion but good friendship. Guess what? As it turns out, I was attracted to an addict yet AGAIN!
There is obviously something broken in me to repeat these patterns even when I worked so hard not to. I can't fix my WS. The only thing I can work on changing is me.
I am so sorry. Make copies of everything and give one copy to someone you trust outside of your house.
PM me if you ever want to chat. My story is in my profile. I think I got out "early" in the process of my H's downward spiral. Or I gave up before all the details surfaced. Who really cares? He is a broken man and full of shit, and I would not buy it.
It is funny how as soon as it became clear I was not going to "wait for him" to get it together, or listen to the bullshit, he quit trying to fool me at all. The pretense dropped and the person left in front of me is scary and unrecognizable. In some ways that made emotional detachment much easier, because I don't know this man, and in no way do I like this person. But I do have to let him call my children.
I know about the Recovery Nation and signed up mistakenly as the sex addict...whoops! but havent done anything with the site. Also I have been to 3 COSLA meetings. The group is very small-only 3 ladies.
I know there is a lot of catching up to do in this forum. I had started reading in the Sex ADDicts One....but its going to take me forever if I start there.
Where would be a good place for me to go back to start reading in this forum that wont be too overwhelming.
Altho my husband is going to a CSAT and 12 steps meetings I should mention that he is not taking the work too seriously at his point.
Your post has so many similarities to my life. My SAH has not done the financial things, but being married to someone where sex was a huge issue, (XH was UNbearable if sex didn't happen at least once/24 hrs)
After my SAH and I got married sex went to every two weeks, to once a month, to maybe every 6 weeks by the time of our first anniversary. Had the usual list of excuses, so I was so devastated to learn of the affairs.
I agree with the strong suggestion to see an attorney at least for a consultation.
Learning about how to take care of you is definitely the right step.
Get to CoSA if you can. My group has had an average of 2 us for the past year. Sometimes up to 5, but that was very short term.
IC as well. Even if you are planning on a D, a spouses of Sex addicts group is so helpful. Provided it is facilitated by someone very well trained in sex addiction.
I cannot even imagine living with all of the lies about $$ and the apartment! I get angry just thinking about finding this out about my SAH!
One of the most important things I have learned is how I have something inside of me that made me drawn to this dysfunction. While I thought I had married the opposite of my XH, the foundation of the dysfunction was still there.
And one more note: YES they do thrive on the thrill of secrecy, it is most definitely a part of the addiction for many addicts.