I just wanted to post that yesterday was my rSA's sobriety date. He's been SOBER for 4 years! That's pretty amazing especially the fact that he never slipped and never had to reset his sobriety. That is very uncommon. Things are not perfect but he's sober and I'm mostly sane and we're still together. There is hope if the SA can/will get treatment and get sober.
I feel like I'm just at the beginning of recovery, even though I've been going to COSA meetings for 9 months, as soon as I figured out my WH was a SA. I pray that my SA WH and I can both recover and reconcile. We attend SAA/COSA meetings, I have IC, and we have MC. It seems to take a lot of our time and resources to meaningfully tackle our issues associated with SA.
My SO is not in treatment, denies he has SA. He's "sober" and says he doesn't need treatment.
I need to hook up with one of the online supports, since there are no COSA in my state, and I haven't been able to find any groups for the SA either.
I find the websites online so overwhelming. So much info, so much to read, so many steps. It all makes me head hurt. Is this normal to feel so overwhelmed? I just don't know where to start.
First off, it's very normal to feel overwhelmed - not just by the information itself, but what being with a SA means for us as individuals and as a couple.
I wish I could give you a definitive list of steps to take on your journey, but as you said - there is just so much information out there. I believe someone mentioned www.sexhelp.com a few posts back - the site is created by a leading expert on the subject of SA (Patrick Carnes). Both he and his wife have written books about SA and what it means for both the SA and the partner of the SA. I think www.sexhelp.com is a good first step and I would also recommend Patrick Carnes' book Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction. I'm sure people here have some other good books and suggestions that I'm very eager to see and read. (Sorry if you have already done these things and I am just repeating what you already know :))
One of the toughest things for me has been letting go - I can't control my WS's behavior, but I can control mine. I can seek help for myself, I can use the resources available to me to help myself get healthy.
Back to your question - it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed, but you don't have to force yourself into reading every day or try to figure everything out all at once. We all need a break from the crazymaking, sometimes!
There are a few 12-step groups for partners of sex addicts. Here are two. They both have face-to-face mtgs, as well as tele-mtgs (phone mtgs), and on-line mtgs.
I. COSA (co-dependents of sexual addicts)
COSA is a 12-step recovery program for men and women whose lives have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior.
Adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon, COSA is a program for our spiritual development, no matter what our religious beliefs. As we meet to share our experience, strength, and hope while working the twelve steps, we grow stronger in spirit. We begin to lead our lives more serenely and in deeper fulfillment, little by little, one day at a time. Only in this way can we be of help to others. COSA is:
An anonymous 12-step fellowship
Self-supported through the weekly voluntary contributions of members
Not affiliated with outside organizations, including treatment centers, religions, or therapy
The S-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of the relatives and friends of sexually addicted people who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Our program of recovery is adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous and is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. S-Anon's Twelve Concepts of Service provide guidance in serving each other in our business matters. There are no dues or fees for S-Anon membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
When we first went through disclosure, I attended SANON meetings. I felt so validated, so loved and felt like I had a place to go in addition to IC. When you walk in -- it is like you are looking in the mirror. All the spouses/partners are feeling EXACTLY like you, no matter what form of betrayal their partners participated in. It is just like being in a room with all of us from SI. No judgement. We are all in the same boat.
Fo me, I realized that I was not co-dependent, but suffering from PTSD, which was confirmed by my IC. Even though I do not continue to attend the mtgs, I still get DAILY emails from the organization and they are helpful.
It is really a personal choice.
There are two books that got me through the first couple of months (and I still re-read them often) are:
1. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Barbara Steffens and Marcha Means.
This book outlines the difference between being co-addict and PTSD. Very helful.
2. Mending a Shattered Heart
By Stephanie Carnes.
This book is your go-to book --sort of everything-I-need-to-know-about-sexual-addiction.
I hope this helps!
Cogratulations to your husband. Cogratulations to you for sticking by him.
It gives me hope to hear about couples who have made it, especially when I hear that he has not relapsed.
Good for you fo going to bat for your daughter. There is nothing lke a mommy warrior!!
Wow seems like a lot of you guys found out from on-line activities...
I busted my WH after following my gut feeling and checking the cell phone bill and text messages on his phone.
Addicts act out in many different ways....my H used the computer for porn - I was aware of that - just not the amount that he used it and the compulsive masturbation that went with it. I rationalized that to myself, as WH also has a fetish obsession, and the porn he viewed was all related to a certain subject matter.
But on top of the porn/masturbation, there were Affairs (3) a drunken ONS with a stripper/prostitute, cruising and seduction of strangers / acquaintances and paying strippers/prostitutes to engage in his fetish activity. In our 15 years together - I never had any real idea of what was going on.
I, too explained away a lot of unreasonable things. It was easier to believe what he told me than to accept that there was something wrong with him / and or our marriage. I would also blame his questionable actions on the drinking - which was both part of his ritualization and another coping mechanism/addiction.
Our MC recognized that WH might be a SA. We both read Patrick Carnes book "Out of the Shadows" and it was like a revelation to both of us. There is also a free online test at recoveryzone.com It is called the Sexual Addiction Screening Test.
He said he especially related to some of the things Patrick Carnes writes about. I am pleased that he reached out and found this information on his own.
Ok, one baby step. But it is the first step for him, regardless. He's stopped being defensive and no longer acts like a jerk or leaves when I cry or ask questions. He seems very sad. He quietly answers questions and reaches out to hold me now.
It's taken so long to get to this step. But such a long way to go.
My SA husband has many other personality disorders to boot, and ended up quit. counsel. when he was busted lying. We've been separated over 1 year and he still hasn't followed up on mental health help. I truly believe if he COULD stop, he would. But he's def. not willing/unable to do the major things it would take to get help.
We never could afford a CSAT, but he HAD help--a recovering SA therapist, etc. He goes to SOME SA meetings, but never really got on board by getting a sponsor, working a program, etc.
God help Us All. We have a special needs kiddo & it's killing me try. to parent her mostly alone. I can't even afford to divorce him yet...been a SAHM for 24 years...
Sorry...just really down tonight. I had so much more hope when we started this nightmare. Not now. Can't stay married to an active sex addict.
p.s. - Anyone manage to divorce out of necessity & make it on their own?
[This message edited by ScribblingMum at 1:42 AM, September 3rd (Friday)]
I'm posting everywhere tonight because I need help!!
Do I fight for sole custody here? WH has a serious addiction and had sex with random transvestites he found on Craigslist....
My parents don't know this little (HUGE) detail...
I'm concerned for my son!
What are the chances of me getting sole custody????
D-Day 2/18/10: 5+ years of porn, online dating, and cybersex and $20,000 secret cc debt to do so.
D-Day 3/24/10: 2 ONS's and EA/make out with old g/f
Filed for D 8/23/10
I can tell you are panicked right now. Please take a deep breath.
I read your post in General. I think you should tell your parents. You can't keep this to yourself. You need more support right now. You are probably feeling shame right now, so you are not disclosing, right? You did nothing wrong. Nothing. You have nothing to be ashamed about.
Second, i am wondering if you are concerned about your child being abused while in the care of husband, right? Just because he is into trannies does not make him a pedophile. It just makes him sick.
I have personal experience with this. My dad was the same. As far as I know, nothing EVER involved a child. Not me, not my sibling.
That being said, talk with both your lawyer and your therapist about it. If you have a gut feeling that your child is in danger, then don't give up seeking sole custody.
I know you are scared. It really will be OK.
You can PM me anytime about it.
Try to get some sleep tonight if you can.
But no, not panicked that WH will hurt my son in that way. I'm not concerned about that at all!
I'm concerned that WH will leave reg or shemale porn on the computer and Little Dude will see. I'm frightened that WH will bring these random strangers to his new apartment while Little Dude is there. I'm worried that WH will leave Little Dude in the night to go get his jollies taken care of because he has no control. I'm concerned that maybe he will take Little Dude with him when he goes and meets these people somewhere...
Would he? I would never ever think so, BUT, I NEVER THOUGHT HE WOULD DO ANY OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the post.
I think I may tell my parents. I am ashamed. I am humiliated. I hate my life right now.
[This message edited by Lacy J at 10:09 PM, September 6th (Monday)]
Please tell your parents. I know you are humiliated. I am too. My dad did the same thing and my husband got hand jobs from over FORTY women at Asian massage parlors. I know shame.
None of us caused this.
When I went to see a lawyer, they told me to expect joint custody, even if my husband was acting out. My husband was at one point, a SAHD. Even with a diagnosis from a CSAT.
I think you have some legitimate concerns. I've read where others in divorce situations put restrictions on overnight visits with the opposite sex as part of the custody agreement. If I were you, I'd request that you say that your husband is not to leave your child with a sitter that you don't approve of.
I'd also add that your husband isn't to engage in acting out activity (and specify each activity) when he has time with little dude.
I'd also add a request that if your son does have unsupervised visits with your husband that your husband is not to be in the presence of a computer. Or, if a computer is necessary, that there's a filter on it and a program that takes screen shots.
You may be able to get some custody leverage from your husband if you agree to keep that nature of his acting out private in exchange for giving you whatever custody you deem appropriate.
What sort of proof do you have of your husband's online activities?
Maybe it might be time for your lawyer to look up the laws in your state. Exposing kids to porn IS an offense.
I think I'm going to need to tell them... But I agree with IRN- I've been looking up laws and even if I get sole custody, there are still over nights- so the supervised visitation rights is a whole other battle.
I'm so exhausted.
Yes Knutz, he acted out when I was home. He claims I was out of town, but if it's during the time frame he says it was, I was here with Little Dude- waiting for him to come home from college. This whole mess makes me want to vomit- just thinking about it! I want to curl in a ball and just die.
WH was into heavy shemale porn, chat rooms and webcams at school and at home aswell.
The only problem I have about PROOF is that WH deleted HIS ENTIRE EMAIL ACCT the very night he got caught.
I have credit card statements that only show a mail order bride service in which he spent thousands on in a matter of months. But ALL THE OTHER MONEY WAS SPENT ON CARDS THAT HE DISCONTINUED that I don't have access to.
I have an email from CL asking to meet up with a t-girl for discreet fun. I have a convo of him on a BDSM site chatting with a woman onlu days after we separated.
I don't know if all this will be enough? He covered his tracks very well.
I HATE THIS!!!!!!!!!!
Do you have a lawyer that is knowledgeable with spouses of SAs or is used to work to dissolve marriage where addiction is present?
I would want to know, what, if anything your husband's therapist can share in a custody case.