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I Can Relate     Print Topic    
User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts 5
too trusting BW
♀ Member
Member # 15459
Default  Posted: 8:20 PM, November 4th (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How interesting that I have been meaning to ask how everyone has perceived S-anon vs Cosa if they have attended both.

I am the contact person now for our area for Cosa. The woman who was for a year before I started, just handed it over by email one day.

I have loved going to COSA even when no one else showed up, simply due to having someone else to talk to or spending time focused on my own healing.

I also see the 12 steps as something for me, not necessarily a punishment or a label saying I am or am not something.

Again, I have never been to a meeting that I wasn't at least the second longest attending member. No sponsor, no one here has actually "done the steps."
So my experience basically is limited to what I have needed it to be.

I see each of the 12 steps of really a reminder to take care of me, and specific ways to do so. I never was really codependent with my SAH, before all of this recovery stuff. Actually I would be more a codependent with my mother, and my children.

For instance, the first step accepting powerlessness to the addiction.

Not a bad thing to realize and start living. To make amends, another good way to approach life.
Lately (I do not know why) the step about Seeing my faults and promptly admitting when I was wrong, has made me behave more calmly with my kids, all 4 of them, and feel pretty proud of myself without any lingering guilt over things said or done.

I know I thought when I first went to COsa I needed no help, just my sick SAH needed fixed. Now it isn't about him, it is about me, just me.

There is something that fills your soul to share with others and see the other side. NOt to mention the admonition about not giving advice has been great practice for me as a mother of adults!

Ok so after going on about 12 step groups, I have a question.

What are the core differences between CoSA and Sanon?
In our area we have both. Our group has had two of us consistently since January. The S-anon only has 2 as well.

Back in the early days of recovery I called S-anon more than once and never heard anything back. Also my SAH attended SAA and the husband of the COsa contact at the time shared that info at each meeting so I ended up there.
Now S-anon contacted my fellow member at CoSA recently. After a long time, they called her back.
We have mentioned all of us meeting up after our meetings next week. They are actually at the same time.

I would love to have more people to share with. I am not completely attached emotionally to COSA, but do not want to necessarily drop the only COSA group we have here, since I am the contact. It feels like I am abandoning somehow...
On the other hand it would be nice to not feel like I am the responsible party, and have to show up in case a new person comes, if I know my other member isn't going to make it.

I hope this didn't seem to be babbling, but I would like any input on the advisability of just combining our groups or moving to Sanon.

[This message edited by too trusting BW at 8:46 PM, November 4th (Thursday)]


Me 39
SA-FWH 44
11yrs M
In R-maybe
3 DC from Marriage #1
1 DS together
at least 4 d-days

Posts: 1300 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Kansas
twokids
♀ Member
Member # 23266
Default  Posted: 9:17 PM, November 4th (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great advice from 7 years. It took me a number of months before I understood how and why to focus on my own recovery.

At this point my own recovery is the only thing that gives me hope. My WH is not doing his own recovery work and he continues to act out. I've lost hope in us coming thru this together.


Me: BS, 56
Him: WH, 50
5+ DDAYS; 10+ OW
Two sons, 16 & 18
M 19 yrs - detaching to divorce
In-house Separation since 7/2012

Posts: 393 | Registered: Mar 2009 | From: California
Bamboozled1
♀ Member
Member # 5764
Default  Posted: 10:24 PM, November 4th (Thursday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

not a saint,

You really should consider starting a mtg--I know it seems kind of odd to start a mtg when you have no experience, but that's how mtgs are started. Someone has to step up and be the first. You can order some literature from the S-Anon website, read it (one book even has the suggested mtg format in it). You can also call the S-Anon World Service office and they can give you the name and phone number of someone you can call to at least touch base with someone else who is dealing with this. There are also phone mtgs (again, the office can give you that info).


Posts: 1851 | Registered: Nov 2004
hoosiergirl
♀ Member
Member # 29902
Default  Posted: 4:20 AM, November 5th (Friday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Be sure to read:
"Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets" by Claudia Black PhD
and
"Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal" by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means

I have read the book by Marsha Means and felt it resonated more with me. I can see that down the line I won't care about the label if I find myself in a better place but right now I resent it.

I can see that my WH is a SA....the porn and the inability to stop, the need for female validation via text or email outside our marriage and finally, the escalation of a ONS at my FIL's house. He stayed in contact with the OW for a period of time via email exchanging lewd videos. He ended it after a month. So there is where I struggle....he made a choice to end it because he knew it was wrong. He had regret and remorse. So I struggle with where does choice come into addiction? Does this make sense?

Also, I am curious for others ahead of me in this recovery process...Did you share with anyone in your real life that your spouse is a SA?


Posts: 92 | Registered: Oct 2010
cafeaulait
♀ Member
Member # 29173
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, November 5th (Friday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What are the core differences between CoSA and Sanon?

Curious on this as well - both are based on the 12-steps of AA.
I assumed that S-Anon was the Co-dependent side of Sexaholics Anonymous while COSA was the Co-D side of Sex Addicts Anonymous.

We also do not have S-Anon in my area, but we do have a COSA group, which I have been attending.

I too understand not wanting to have a label slapped on me. When I first read Carnes book - I really enjoyed it apart from the section on the Co-Addict - which kind of pissed me off. Like how could I be a co-addict to his secret addiction? How could I be trying to "control" behaviors that I wasn't even aware of?
My CSAT therapist had me complete the co-addict checklist in Out of the Shadows. When I first started working on it - I had only checked off about 7-9 items on the list. Not much at all. At the first COSA meeting I attended (the same week) - one member was talked about her "circle" behaviors - one of which was high levels of calling SAH to check up on them. I kind of had a breakthrough in my own thoughts on Co-D - my SAH also has problems with Alcohol and Compulsive Debting/spending. When I went back and looked at my checklist - and thought about my reactions and actions in relation to the addictions I was aware of - I could see the fuller picture of my own issues with co-dependent behavior. It's not like every trait of a co-dependent applies to me...however there is enough on my checklist to indicate that it is something I need to work on. I also struggle with trying to find the separation between my co-dependent reactions -vs- the reactions of a betrayed spouse. There is so much overlap between the two.


Me- BS 40
Him- WH 45 - SA
DD1 - 4/3/09 DD2 - 7/15/10 DD3 - 8/10/10 The truth and details of his Sexual Addiction
Married 16 years 1 child - 16y.o.
Reconciled and working recovery

Posts: 65 | Registered: Jul 2010
cafeaulait
♀ Member
Member # 29173
Default  Posted: 9:45 AM, November 5th (Friday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also, I am curious for others ahead of me in this recovery process...Did you share with anyone in your real life that your spouse is a SA?

I told my mother and stepfather. My SAH told his immediate family and one of his more open-minded close friends. Everyone was supportive and pretty cool about it. My MIL though - of course - didn't think he was an addict - just that was how men were and maybe that some of his SA "was not all his fault" Gee thanks MIL!!!!


Me- BS 40
Him- WH 45 - SA
DD1 - 4/3/09 DD2 - 7/15/10 DD3 - 8/10/10 The truth and details of his Sexual Addiction
Married 16 years 1 child - 16y.o.
Reconciled and working recovery

Posts: 65 | Registered: Jul 2010
notasaint
♀ Member
Member # 28465
Default  Posted: 10:05 AM, November 5th (Friday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also, I am curious for others ahead of me in this recovery process...Did you share with anyone in your real life that your spouse is a SA?

Yes. Both WH's parents know, my mom knows, two good friends of mine know (one figured it out on her own and the other was super concerned so I told her to calm her down). I attend a local support group for betrayed spouses and the ladies there know (3 of them). I have a very dear friend I met on SI although never met in person, we talk on the phone every single day and of course she knows and reads my posts.


Me - BW 36
Him - FWH 38 SLA (newlywednupset)
M < 1 year
D-days 8/2009 and 4/2010 TT to 10/2010
3 OW over the course of 2 years, all older, one married.
* My husband was in an open relationship from day one, he just failed to tell ME this.*

Posts: 1048 | Registered: May 2010 | From: FL
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 3:02 PM, November 5th (Friday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am curious for others ahead of me in this recovery process...Did you share with anyone in your real life that your spouse is a SA?

Yes, but I wish I had been a bit more judicious. But overall it's been just fine. Helpful in fact. *I* didn't do anything wrong so I certainly have nothing to be ashamed of and now that rSA is sober he no longer needs to feel ashamed. He's worked hard to be in recovery and be sober and as long as that continues he needn't feel any shame. People who still have a problem with it and my staying can take their judgments and shove them up their ass.

7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
hoosiergirl
♀ Member
Member # 29902
Default  Posted: 6:24 AM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am wondering if a lot of sex addicts had some type of abuse in their lives. Oprah had a show on yesterday about 200 men that were sexually abused. I guess the follow up show is about the women and partners that love them and what some of the fall out can be....it sounds like addictions will be addressed.

Posts: 92 | Registered: Oct 2010
Bamboozled1
♀ Member
Member # 5764
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From Patrick Carnes' books I think the percentage of sex addicts who were molested is about 85%. I suspect it's probably higher than that.

Posts: 1851 | Registered: Nov 2004
notasaint
♀ Member
Member # 28465
Default  Posted: 12:00 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, that's a very scary statistic!!! We haven't run into this knowledge with WH yet but I actually expect it at some point. Not sure why. Maybe because I'm a a Sabuse survivor myself. Who knows.

Side note, Bamboozled I amg going to take your advice and do my very best to get a S Anon group started here. It might give me a good outlet for my feelings and I like organizing stuff like that


Me - BW 36
Him - FWH 38 SLA (newlywednupset)
M < 1 year
D-days 8/2009 and 4/2010 TT to 10/2010
3 OW over the course of 2 years, all older, one married.
* My husband was in an open relationship from day one, he just failed to tell ME this.*

Posts: 1048 | Registered: May 2010 | From: FL
hoosiergirl
♀ Member
Member # 29902
Default  Posted: 12:35 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow....that is incredibly high. Sexual abuse is in my WH's background but he has blocked a lot of it out. Its like peeling back an onion to get to the root of his behavior. On one hand, my heart hurts for him and in the next hand I'd like to beat the crap out of him for hurting me so bad.

Posts: 92 | Registered: Oct 2010
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

percentage of sex addicts who were molested is about 85%

Personally I think that data is really, really outdated. I'm not saying that there aren't SAs who were molested but I think it's trending away from being a percentage that high.

It's my personal opinion (I'm not claiming these are facts from any kind of study or anything, simply my opinion) that with the 80s came more access to porn for young boys. Cable TV and the Playboy channel that you could get if you pressed the right buttons even if your parents didn't subscribe. Cinemax and so called soft core porn. Even the influx of being able to watch R rated T and A movies on HBO and Showtime. VCRs and video porn. Boys didn't have to raid dad's closet for old copies of Playboy anymore. Then came the internet and billions of free porn images. SA is the easiest addiction to fall into now. All young people discover masturbation but those prone to compulsive behaviors have such easy access to more and more salacious materials to feed these compulsions that of course SA would bloom. Someone else said something about many of us having SA husbands in their 40s it makes sense that the first wave of the epidemic would be in their 40s.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
hoosiergirl
♀ Member
Member # 29902
Default  Posted: 12:44 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with that too. The ease of access is greater than ever....plus, I feel that their really isn't a stigma for porn. Turn on the tv and you csn find someone recommending it to spice up your sex life. I mean, I even fell into the "it's only porn" category. I had no idea that like alcohol or drugs, it could become an addiction. Silly me.

Posts: 92 | Registered: Oct 2010
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My H was sexually abused, by his father who is a convicted felon for sexually abusing multiple children, including my H's siblings, cousins, neighbors, and children of women he was having affairs with (actually he was only charged with the case of a neighbor and served minimal time).

To add to that, his father was physically abusive and his mother was very emotionally detached. She claims she did not know about the abuse. I don't know if she did and was too weak or if she was in denial. Add easy access to porn to that and it was a no-brainer that my H would turn out to be a SA.

I guess I have a lot of empathy for my H, because he was doomed from the start, IMHO. My H is actually the most functional of his siblings, and his recovery really has been amazing. I just wish it wouldn't have took so long and so much damage to get to this point. We are both broken, damaged people, but life is getting better everyday.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Too Trusting BW,

I know absolutely nothing about COSA, but I would love to get my plug in for S-Anon, although Bamboozled1 did a good job of it already. The first S-Anon meeting I attended had me in tears. I have never felt like I could talk about my situation with anyone. The readings that we do at the beginning of the meeting, such as the S-Anon problem, really blew me away. I felt everything that it said was about ME! (In fact I am going to post it in the next post.) I think attending S-Anon has been better for me than any therapy I have ever attended in my whole life.

Maybe COSA and S-Anon are a lot alike, I don't know. But we focus on ourselves, not the sexaholic. I feel like I have grown so much. I have a long way to go, but at times I am feeling those glimpses of serenity. I think combining groups could be good though. There is strength in numbers. We actually have a group of 8-10 members who attend regularly. It is so wonderful to go to the meetings and get some love from those who have BTDT.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 4:28 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The S-Anon problem, for those who are not familiar with S-Anon. I really encourage anyone who has a sexaholic in their lives to have an open mind about attending a 12 step meeting for YOU. See if you identify with this, because I cried the first time I heard it:

The S-Anon Problem (Long Version)

S-Anon members have much in common with the friends and family members of other addicted people. Most of us grew up in families with secrets, and we were not taught to think about our own needs and take positive action to meet them. As we grew up we felt more and more lonely and isolated as we chose friends and partners who could not or would not love and support us in a healthy way. We lived life from the standpoint of victims and perceived any personal criticism as a threat. For most of us, anger and depression were a way of life. We were so afraid of being left alone that anxiety and frustration were nearly constant. Whether or not we were exposed to sexaholism as children, most of us think that we acquired some unhealthy beliefs about ourselves very early in our lives - that we were not worthwhile and lovable, that we were able to control other people's behavior, and that sex was the most important sign of love.

What is different is that we have felt the additional shame of being involved with the sexaholism of a family member or friend. It does not matter a great deal whether that person was a member of our birth family, a partner, spouse, child, or someone outside the family like a friend, teacher, or boss. It does not matter whether we were willing, unwilling, or unknowing participants in the relationship - sexaholism deeply affected our lives. Our self-esteem dropped to lower and lower levels, and we doubted our attractiveness, our emotions, our sanity, and our human worth. We have felt betrayed by those we loved the most, and those of us who didn't know about the sexaholic behavior felt even more humiliated and stupid for not knowing. Many of us were sexually abused, exposed to sexually transmitted diseases and otherwise placed in physical danger. We were often afraid to trust others and reach out for help because we were afraid of what they would think of us or of the sexaholic.

Some of us minimized the importance of the sexaholism by denying its existence or minimizing its importance. We stuffed our feelings of anger and abandonment to the point that we felt emotionally numb. We told ourselves things like "Everybody does this," "This shouldn't bother me," or even "It can't be true - he wouldn't do that." Others focused on the sexaholic and the sexual behavior to the point of obsession. We tried every known method to control it. We lied and covered up, spied at doorways, listened to private conversations, checked up on the sexaholic's whereabouts, read through journals and personal papers, begged, pleaded, and threatened. Some of us participated in sexual behavior that we did not enjoy or that made us ashamed of ourselves. Many of us tried to use sex to manipulate the sexaholic, thinking that being part of the acting out would give us a little bit more control over our lives. Most of felt that we must have done something to deserve this kind of treatment, and that happiness was for others, not for us. Some of us misused drugs, alcohol, or food to numb the pain; others used activities, such as shopping, exercising or working, to keep from feeling our emotions. We often neglected our health, our jobs and our children. No matter how we tried to struggle against it, deny it or minimize its effects, the failure of our efforts to cope with sexaholism brought us to the point of despair. This is what we mean when we say in the First Step, "our lives had become unmanageable."


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
hoosiergirl
♀ Member
Member # 29902
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, November 6th (Saturday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just wanted to thank you for the recommendation to Recovery Nation. I feel like someone opened up by hesrt and put it all into words and I just started.

Posts: 92 | Registered: Oct 2010
notasaint
♀ Member
Member # 28465
Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, November 7th (Sunday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And thank you TooManyYears, that paragraph from S-Anon was very powerful.


Me - BW 36
Him - FWH 38 SLA (newlywednupset)
M < 1 year
D-days 8/2009 and 4/2010 TT to 10/2010
3 OW over the course of 2 years, all older, one married.
* My husband was in an open relationship from day one, he just failed to tell ME this.*

Posts: 1048 | Registered: May 2010 | From: FL
sawife
♀ New Member
Member # 26324
Default  Posted: 9:39 PM, November 7th (Sunday), 2010View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also, I am curious for others ahead of me in this recovery process...Did you share with anyone in your real life that your spouse is a SA?

No. Just the MC knows... I couldnt imagine how the families would deal with it and I want to shelter the kids from this as much as I can....


Me = BS 30
Him = WS 35
2 kids - 1 & 3
Feb 06 DD #1
Nov 09 DD #2

Posts: 19 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: chicago
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