In the program my SAH is in, they have weekly group therapy. My SAH has missed only twice since he began Sept of '08. Transitioning means that they start talking about what types of "plan" they have in place as they discontinue the weekly group. I guess this is a 6-8 week time, pretty gradual. Any "plan" is just symbolic IMO, as they are already using their tools to deal with triggers etc.
After this time, he will go every other week for a month or so, and then just whenever he thinks he needs it. He will continue IC with the CSAT but going to monthly rather than every other week.
I do actually think he has made tremendous progress. He is a different man in many ways. I do not necessarily disagree that he isn't ready to "graduate" the program, but I feel that the full vulnerability and honesty that he needs to be married to me, has not developed enough. For me.
A year ago, I would have been ecstatic to be married to who he has become. I have also grown, though, and I know that I need/want complete intimacy.
I do not want someone that tells me "nothing" when I ask him what's on his mind. Then he spends a week seething, being resentful over something he wouldn't even discuss. I don't want to be married to someone that tells me as a SA that he doesn't really have any issue with "triggers" at work. This is where most of his acting out occurred.
I know he will have difficult times, I can deal with that. I know that talking about specific temptations isn't really something he needs to tell me about every time.
My issue is that he tries to act like he is "all good" with me. He wants to be "normal" and not an addict.
He is honest with group and at SAA and with his sponsor. He is very close, and emotional with them.
I am afraid I am not articulating what my issue is.
I feel as though he minimizes and rationalizes and that keeps me at risk in this marriage.
For instance, he thought that since he is "better" he can have female "friends" at work. If we had discussed it, I might be ok with it. He just doesn't talk to me, because of my "reactions." That is not true. I have never reacted in a manner in which he should be "afraid."
It is his voice that knows he is in a situation that is not good for a SA, and he calls it "my reactions" instead of his own voice inside.
Ugh it's very hard to explain because so much of it seems minor compared to the multiple affairs and acting out! But I know I cannot live with these things.
You feel he doesn't trust you enough to honestly share his struggles with you. You feel you need this to have true intimacy with him. That true intimacy is what will make you feel safe and both of you ready to trust completely.
This lack of intimacy makes you feel his sobriety is at risk, and if he does slip (however minor) he will hide it from you, starting a slide down the slope full force. That he will choose his own emotional safety over yours, taking away your choice of detaching before you are hit with a major revelation. That you will be unfairly blindsided without the ability to protect yourself or at least soften the emotional blow!
This is not about controlling his behavior. Its about having your boundaries respected and about preparing yourself for choices to be made to protect your own emotional well being.
If this is not your issue, it certainly is mine!
I'm not terribly impressed with that model. Maybe it works for some but it feels like men are being pushed out before they are ready and that's not good for a SA.
But, it is what it is. I agree with copingwithdoubts. You don't feel safe. Your husband has NOT worked to rebuild intimacy and trust in your marriage. He's focused solely on himself and his sobriety and at first that's fine but now it's time for him to focus on healing the damage he did to you.
You need to be able to articulate all your feelings to him (even the ones that scare the shit out of him) and have him absorb them and process them and state back to you what he's done to hurt you. I assume that instead he becomes very defensive and shuts down and throws it back at you. That's what my rSA did.
He needed A LOT more one on one with his CSAT and to continue going to group weekly so that his group mates could call him on his shit. If my rSA had "transitioned" like yours at this critical place we would never have made it.
My advice is that you request a session with his CSAT. Sit down with him and explain what you're feeling and that your husband may be doing great in group and IC but he is NOT doing great in rebuilding intimacy and trust with you. If the CSAT doesn't take this seriously and try to find a solution, he's an idiot. This is very, very serious. The SA and the spouse are rarely at the same place in recovery, the spouse is always behind the SA, waiting for the SA to be in a place to really, really acknowledge what their behaviors have done to the spouse. The spouse cannot move forward and heal without this. Any SA that is still minimizes and deflecting is NOT in a good place to be fully in a marriage. It's almost like white knuckling it. He thinks that he's "fine" now and he's minimizing what the aftermath is for YOU. That is not fair and it's not going to heal your marriage.
Perhaps MC with a CSAT is the answer?
I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I've been there but the difference was that my rSA didn't lessen his recovery, he increased it.
I hope I'm not scaring you, but I have to be honest, anything less is a disservice to you.
Last week IC/MC pretty much yelled at H to tell him to pick his a** off the ground. He's been in a self hate/disgust/anger stage for a couple of weeks now. She was trying to tell him he needs to put his energy into recovery. Made sense and I love that she is very direct and harsh with him. It's exactly what he needs and he actually said he looks forward to seeing her and the SA meetings.
I'm doing surprisingly well despite major setback on the family front. I've lost my main support, my mother. She let my alcoholic/verbally abusive aunt move back in with her. I just can't deal with that right now, one addict is enough for me to deal with at the moment so I've detached from mom so I can focus on ME. Recovery Nation is helping immensely.
7yrs, what did your H do to "increase" his recovery?
Well part of what you suggested, 7yrs, is actually beginning to happen.
I was joining my SAH with his CSAT once a month last year. The appts we had scheduled in advance ended in Feb and my SAH just "forgot" to make more until June. Then stalled on making another one until the end of August. (all the while saying it was due to MY obligations). During this time he asked me to go with him twice a month. I declined that type of commitment until he was on board with once a month.
I went in August, and somehow rather than another appt being made, he says the CSAT says MC is in order. He is unable to explain to me what changed.
My belief is that he is afraid that my discussing these things with his CSAT will mean he is not "better" enough. He doesn't really want me in there, because I see him more clearly than anyone else.
As I have said to him and stood by, I will not go into MC anything more than once a month right now. I truly believe he is waiting for me to make this all easier for HIM. I don't think this intimacy issue is about US but is completely about him. I don't think it is something to be addressed in MC.
So we will be seeing for MC one of the therapists (not full CSAT) that does work closely with the CSAT in this program. The facilitator of my spouse's support group strongly recommends him. I think her words were "he will eat him alive."
I, too, would like to know what you mean by increased his recovery.
ETA: I think I am going to insist on appt with him and his CSAT before our next MC (Dec6). If he doesn't make it, then I pretty much have my answer, don't I?
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 4:15 PM, November 14th (Sunday)]
I think I am going to insist on appt with him and his CSAT
During this time he asked me to go with him twice a month. I declined that type of commitment until he was on board with once a month.
I don't think this intimacy issue is about US but is completely about him. I don't think it is something to be addressed in MC.
I think I may have figured out the missing link here... have you been seeing a CSAT for IC for YOU? Have you been doing the work to find out what your issues are that you brought into the dynamic? Again, I'm not saying anything is your fault (you didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it) but I am saying that as human beings none of us are without our own issues and dynamics that brought us to the relationship. It's not about blame or co-dependency or co-addiction, I'm not saying that at all, but the spouse has to work her own recovery too. Are you doing that? I know you are/were going to a spouses support group and those can be great but what what's more important than that is IC with a CSAT for you. I thought group was great until I realized there were a lot of women who were there that were completely stuck and not moving forward and all they wanted to do was whine. I'm not saying that's you, I'm cautioning that sometimes it can fall into a bad pattern that drags everyone down, we all need to be aware and avoid that.
The facilitator of my spouse's support group strongly recommends him. I think her words were "he will eat him alive."
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 4:47 PM, November 14th (Sunday)]
I think I questioned my ability discuss it, since my SAH acts as though it makes no sense.
It seems to me this would be a priority for you to discuss in MC. If true intimacy is what you are after, it requires truth, trust and confessions from both parties. He needs to really understand what you are asking for and why you so desperately need it!
I agree with 7. If you are trying to instill his trust and confidence, why would you want a therapist who would "eat him alive"? Guide him to face the truth, yes. Get real with himself, definately. But castrate or humiliate him as that phrase suggests? That seems vengeful and counterproductive to me. At some point you have to trust that he is not some monster out to hurt you, but a very troubled person with huge trust issues ... he really doesn't even trust himself!
I had a very close friend who was a real support at the begining of my recovery. However, it became necessary to end our friendship when her bitterness over her SAH began to color my perception of my recovery.
7 is right. Some people refuse to look inward and see what part they might play in the dynamic of a relationship. Instead they tend to stagnate on their own victimization. These are not the type of people that will help you recover.
This is all very hard and seems so unjust, but I want to rise above it! If I have to swallow my pride and make a move in the right direction, I do. Someone has to. Big hugs to you today!
Our facilitator is wonderful, respectful, encouraging, hopeful, realistic, educated, and all of the other positive things I can think of.
I somehow knew you would mention IC. I know, I need to. It has been very difficult timewise. I have done a fairly good job of working through A LOT of stuff that I didn't know I even needed to. COSA and group have helped tremendously with that, in addition to all of your wisdom. But yes, definitely that does NOT make up for IC. I have FOO stuff that makes my choices in the men I have, quite clear in their origin.
I should explain what my boundaries have been about this visit to his CSAT and/or MC. The pattern in the past as well as now during recovery is one where my SAH and I will begin to connect, become closer, work on our intimacy and marriage issues. As soon as the real work begins, he closes the door. The big one last year, we had begun some exercises and visits to his CSAT and I felt we were getting closer. He freaked and contacted another woman (via email-went nowhere-he told me). So basically I was cautious but continued to participate in the visits that were already scheduled. We were beginning to address how he resents me, treats me like his mom etc. communicating with honesty. No more appts.
He asked me to start going again. I said yes. We have the first one, the end of May. After that visit, we were really doing well, he was opening up etc. He makes no more appts. Blames it on my schedule again. I don't need to go into details, but that was not a valid reason. I was quite available, and willing.
We have the appt in Aug and I was under the impression we would continue. He never made another appt.
I am unwilling to commit to twice monthly until he is able to commit to once monthly. I feel this is a boundary I must have. If I have an extra day in a month, right now, it needs to be used for my own IC. (great, that just hit me that I have no reason not to, now, do I?)
I agree with you completely about speaking my truth. I have made this a priority for myself in the past year. I will do this regardless how uncomfortable it may make me or upset the SAH. Everything I am saying here, I am saying, and have said in these words to my SAH,(for the past 9 months) and to the MC and CSAT.
I have shared the things I have learned about myself, continued to be available, but I can't take away his fear.
Just the fact that you all understood my first post, made me stop questioning if I am just being too tough on him. I have to protect myself, too.
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 7:00 PM, November 14th (Sunday)]
Something else to work through.
Part of the 12 step programs is for the sex addict to list their sexual history, correct?
As the hurt partner, did you want to know all the gory details of their addiction, right from the start?
One minute I want to know everything, the next I don't. I don't know what would be right for me right now. One thing I do want to know is whether he has told it all or not. At least the parts that involve me.
Is this a bad path to be going down? Is this something only the sex addict needs to work through, on their own?
Today keylogger showed that he was on facebook and he searched for a profile of a woman. This woman apparently was from his same hometown. I have never heard of her before now. He looked at her profile and photos for quite a while. (She is no threat, she has been happily married for over 30 years and looks very normal and in love with her H) He didn't friend request her or try to contact her.
But it hurts that he would look her up. And the pisser was that he deleted the history and the cache afterward! He promised me he would not do this shit. But then again, "Never trust someone who would lie to you."
Then he comes home from work tonight and is acting sweet and romantic, telling me how much he loves me.
I am having a hard time acting normal when I want to rip his face off and confront him about this chick. Any advice on how to NOT confront with this info will be so appreciated. I have to keep my big mouth shut and not divulge that I know. He is soooo computer savvy. I have to be so careful. Please help.
I need to get out of this mortgage and out of this relationship. But until I can, back to 180 and taking care of me. It is so hard.
[This message edited by Nouveau at 6:52 PM, November 16th (Tuesday)]
Thanks and I can relate to all of you. Although my H has left me, I am strongly and bravely working my own program of recovery so whatever happens I will be well.
I think how much you want to know is a very personal decision. For me, I had to know everything. This is my nature. He did a timeline in the beginning. It wasn't even half the story and I just knew in my gut it wasn't. For me, I couldn't even begin to think about possibly working through this unless I felt like he was being completely honest about the past.
Fast forward 6 months later and of course..........new disclosures. This time I didn't want as much detail for some reason. Numbness maybe? Most likely it was due to me being obsessed previously and realizing how it got me nowhere. Some days I wish I didn't know the details but most days I'm glad I know so that I know exactly what I'm dealing with (in my own mind anyway).
I am going to second Notasaint that it is a personal decision. I think anything that you found out down the road that would set you back needs to be on the table.I basically needed to know how many people he slept with which apparently was one. I have asked him on several different occasions if there was anyone else because if I start down the path to healing and get the scab ripped off, I will be done. I needed to know how it started, who initiated it, if a condom was used, how much they communicated afterwards and how it ended. I didn't ask more specifics. I didn't want the mind movies. I was already suffering from insomnia.
Is looking at profiles, on any site, a part of his pattern of behavior while acting out? If so, this is acting out. The photos he viewed don't have to be sexual in nature for him to have used it as a fantasy device. The fact that he tried to hide it proves that he was acting out.
You've said over and over that you're leaving him, it's just a matter of time, so why are you still pain mining? Why are you still monitoring what he does. He's a sex addict. He's not in recovery, of course he's still acting out. Why do you need to continue to torture yourself with knowing what he's doing to act out?
It's not healthy. You know he's a SA. You know he's not sober. You know he's not in recovery. You know you're leaving him. So, get on with it. Get whatever you need to get done, done, and get on with it. 180 is the tip of the iceburg, you have to completely detach from him and his SA and stop hurting yourself by spying and pain mining.
You are trending toward co-addict at this point with your compulsion to spy on him.
You didn't cause it, you can't CONTROL it, you can't cure it. Stop this self destructive behavior and MOVE FORWARD. Every time you spy and get all worked up you're moving backwards.
Comparing his behaviour from before I knew about the hooker to now, it's basically the same, giving me no reason to suspect anything, but now that I know he did what he did and there was no way I would have ever found out if he hadn't admitted it, I feel like I'm stupid if I believe him. I don't have any gut feelings about things, really, other than the knowledge that he COULD be lying, like anyone in the world COULD be lying about stuff no one else could ever find out about.
I have a question. My WS and I had our first counseling session tonight with a SA counselor. I had asked for a timeline of the most recent OWs.
Some background. In the past I had contacted one of the OW who my WS was involved with and after repeated warnings to her I contacted her BS which ended the affair.
When I received this most recent list of OW I asked for last names and my WS refused to give them to me. He wanted to think about it. I am really pissed off about this and feel it is another betrayal. I may or may not call them.....probably not since I am pretty sure these are a year old, but feel he should be giving me the info if he is truly wanting to make amends and work toward reoovery. I feel like he is still protecting them over me.
Please feel free to correct me and tell me if I am wrong. This is such a difficult and confusing time. My WS has had a year of previous regular IC and a 2 years in a church program and has recently been diagnosed SA. I feel like he is not truly repentant and does not really get it yet.
You both need to do IC with CSATs and he needs to be well into recovery and hopefully SOBER. Then you can do MC and ask for full disclosure.
I never got much of a disclosure from my husband. My husband's acting out hadn't yet escalated to physical cheating. During one of my sessions with my husband's CSAT, the CSAT confirmed this in our discussions.
Also, my husband's CSAT told me that polygraphs were completely an option if I felt that I needed them.
I didn't want to know details. I wanted to know if I needed to get tested for STDs and if my husband's behavior was enough to get him arrested if he was caught.
About a year into my husband's sobriety things, my husband's CSAT assumed I knew about the scanning, and we talked about that. Problem was, I had no idea about the scanning behavior. After getting that bit of knowledge I had pretty bad panic attacks which included dry heaves.
I did ask for specifics on how my husband was able to hide it from me. In hindsight, that was useless knowledge as well. I'm sure if my husband relapses, he'll find a different way to act out and better ways to hide things.
One of the things that gives me comfort is that the truth will always be eventually discovered. It may not happen right away (ie, the minute my husband relapses, I may not find out about it.), but I'm confident at some point, the truth will become apparent. And, honestly, I'm OK with that,as it won't take me long to follow through with my boundaries if/when I find out the real truth.