My research says love addiction goes hand in hand with or simply is sex addiction. If approval addiction is synonymous with love addiction... you do the math.
I'd need to know a lot more details about your WH and his behaviors and habits before I could hazard a guess whether he could be SA or not.
I've never been able to make sense of it myself. He lies to women about himself to get approval & ego strokes. How can that feel good at all when you know it's fraudulent?
I'll never understand this & I don't need to. I just can't make sense of nonsense.
This was a huge component of my rSA's acting out. Very much a validation junky.
But last night's transparency kicked me in the teeth. H was being interviewed by a reporter for work. He had set it up over the phone but have never met the female reporter. So he starts out by telling me how great he did not thinking about her any sexual way at all, which is a great thing.
H - "I was worried when I set up the appt because she sounded very young on the phone".
Me - "So you are struggling more with younger women"?
H - "No, I was just saying she sounded young, not like she was 40 or 50 or anything".
I happen to be 41.
Later the conversation continues:
H - "I'm sorry I fibbed to you earlier. It was just a knee jerk reaction. It is the younger women I am struggling with".
His latest AP was 20, not even legal to drink yet. Today I am feeling very old. It hurts to know that my H's latest sexual obession is something that I can't ever be - "young". I KNOW I'm not old. I know that intellectually. I believe this is escalation of the SA because it seems to be something new for him (being attracted to the 18 - 25 year old crowd) but it sure does sting.
And even though I know I'm not old intellectually, emotionally I find myself wondering if it even is part of the SA. You see men with women half their age all the time. Maybe a 41 year old woman who is overweight and has given birth to 2 kids and has all the stretch marks to prove it just isn't attractive to him anymore.
It hurts to know that my H's latest sexual obession is something that I can't ever be
It seems that often the SA become obsessed with a type that is different or completely opposite than their partner. The pain that this creates in the partner is profound. That leaves many of us feeling inadequate, because the SA obsesses over an age/body type/etc. that we can never be.
In my case, his SA was "only porn" but it was of morbidly obese women. I am not obese. So the SA probably doesn't make a conscious choice by targeting people who fit society's ideal body image. I wonder if the SA obsesses on those that he/she sees as only "different", ...not "better."
He started an all day outpt. program on Monday through the military for PTSD and co-addictions of alcohol/porn(SA). He has been very motivated, the MC said that he is participating fully in program, really working hard.
Why can't I be hopeful? I feel like it will probably be good for awhile, then the world will explode again. Does anyone here have experience with SA caused by PTSD? I just don't know if it will get "better" when the PTSD is treated or will he always struggle with this. How do I keep myself safe from his risk taking behavior if he keeps it up without being a constant snoop- besides leaving him, which I haven't ruled out if he continues. I can't just assume he's doing what he's supposed to do.
I can't believe this is now my life- we've been happily (mostly, lol)married for almost 20yrs. I am supposed to go meet with his PTSD counselor for the first time this afternoon. I am interested to hear what she has to say.
[This message edited by out of nowhere at 8:45 AM, January 28th (Friday)]
My WS and I both were diagnosed with PTSD a long time ago. One of our sons came home from Iraq physically messed up and with a whopping case of PTSD. The symptoms for each of us differ a great deal. I know that in my WS's case there is an adrenaline junkie componant that dovetails with the SA.
The betrayal factor is one thing, but this business of lying to get approval and objectification of women are beyond my understanding.
As a Christian, I have forgiven my SA and turned the other cheek one too many times.....or have I??
Here's the story ---
"January 28, 2011
I Want to Be Just Like Jami
"So encourage each other and give each other strength" (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NCV).
Friend To Friend
When Jack joined our church youth group, I had no idea that he would evolve into one of the most abrasive people in my life. In the beginning, Jack worked hard at making friends and seemed content to go with the flow, but one day, Jack decided that the stream of life was flowing in the wrong direction and it was up to him to redirect its course. The mask came off and the façade quickly crumbled and standing before me was the real deal - a genuine, authentic sandpaper person of the coarsest grade.
It started with little things like a friendly shove or a caustic comment masquerading as sarcasm. Other youth began coming to Dan or to me, sharing their concern about Jack's antics. I talked to Jack. Dan talked to Jack. Together we prayed for Jack and urged the other youth to join us. Nothing seemed to change. As a last ditch effort, we drafted two of our most mature youth to take Jack under their wing and mentor him.
During a Monday night Bible study, Dan asked one of those mentors to sing a solo. Jami was a redheaded freckled face girl whose sparkling blue eyes and contagious dimpled grin did not convey the constant pain she suffered as a victim of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Jami never complained, always quick and eager to share her faith. When she stood to sing, Jack began laughing, pointing and whispering to the people around him. Their lack of response fueled his fire, upping the ante for Jack to win this battle and capture center stage. Jami looked at me, silently begging me to rescue her and the situation. I smiled the most encouraging smile I could muster, hoping it would be enough. It wasn't. I looked back at Jack, delivering my famous and usually feared "shape up or die" glare - all to no avail. In a firm voice, Dan asked, "Jack, are you ready to hear Jamie sing?" Well, that did it! Jack erupted into uproarious laughter, "Sing? She sounds like a frog - not to mention the fact that she walks funny!" Every ounce of oxygen was immediately sucked out of the room. Everyone froze, except Jami, who fled in tears. From the faces of those youth sitting around Jack, I could tell that revenge was close at hand as they began loading their emotional guns and sharpening their retaliation knives. I jumped to my feet, grabbed Jack and pulled him out of the room.
Reaching the foyer, I whirled Jack around to face me and with clenched teeth ground out my livid question, "Do you have any idea what you just did?" The laughter vanished as pain and harsh realization spread across his face. His response was nothing short of incredible. "Yes. I embarrassed Jami and hurt her feelings." I am not often speechless, but at that moment, words simply evaporated as I stared into the eyes of someone fully aware of the pain he had just inflicted on one of the few people who accepted and defended him. "I cannot believe you!" I growled. "Jami has always been kind to you, coming to your defense when you did not deserve to be defended or inviting you to join the group when the group did not want you anywhere around them. She has probably been the best friend you have ever had or will ever have. What is wrong with you?" I knew my response was far from what it should be, but at that moment, all I could see was the hurt on Jami's face. What I didn't see was the hurt in Jack's heart. He stood, silently accepting his rightful and, I thought, well-deserved punishment without a single word of defense.
From the corner of my eye, I saw someone approaching. I was really hoping they were bringing me some kind of rusty weapon but it was Jami - with a tremulous smile breaking through the tears cascading down her face. Jack instinctively began backing away until he saw Jami's eyes and her outstretched arms. I stood paralyzed, a witness to God's supernatural presence and the restoration power of forgiveness at work before my unbelieving eyes and my angry heart. Instantly, I became the student and Jami the teacher. Both Jack and I listened quietly as God spoke through this precious young woman, the words only she could speak. "Jack, I got to thinking about why you did what you just did, and I realized something. I love you and you know that, but you don't think you deserve that love so you tried to kill it by hurting me. It won't work. Do you know why?" I saw Jack's sandpaper world being rocked by a love he could not understand, a love that was not altered by anything he did or didn't do, a love that only God can give. In answer to Jami's question, Jack gave a quick headshake and whispered, "No. I don't know why." Jami smiled, wrapped her arms around the very one who, just moments before had viciously wounded her, and with fresh tears streaming down her face, choked out words I will never forget. "I love you with God's love, Jack. Not mine. And His love will never die. I just wanted to tell you that no matter what you say or do, I am your friend - period."
Staring into her eyes, Jack experienced, maybe for the first time, the timeless and stubborn love of God; a love that would redefine his future. With a giggle, Jami playfully grabbed Jack's hand and began happily chattering about how she needed him in the front row to encourage her while she sang. And he did!
Here's the rest of the story. From that day forward, Jack was a different person. From time to time, he would fall back into old emotional habits but when he did, Jami or someone under her direction and influence would snatch him back to the new place that Jami's words of staggering kindness and God ordained wisdom had brought him. The youth who witnessed Jami's love for this unlovable one were changed and called up higher in their obedience to God, even when it didn't make sense and was completely undeserved. Jami taught me that hurt people really do hurt people. I want to be just like Jami when I grow up."
Such a struggle. I want to be a person of love, strength, grace and forgiveness.
But I also don't want to be used, abused and hurt or a doormat to my SA. I hope through counseling, Gods word and my recovery groups I will get closer to that being that person.
Hugs to all
[This message edited by cleo at 10:17 AM, January 28th (Friday)]
This topic of forgiveness comes up a lot on the boards. Here is my take on it.
Trying to force myself to forgive my rSA and/or the women he cheated with was a burden that was causing me additional pain. Constantly hearing "You have to FORGIVE to heal." "You'll NEVER be whole unless you FORGIVE." put a huge burden on me. Being told that unless I forgave him it meant I didn't love him was hurtful. I was being asked to do something that I cannot and will never do. That was unhealthy for me and holding me back from healing and being a partner in my marriage.
It all comes down to this. My definition of what it means to forgive is the same as the dictionary.
for·give verb, -gave, -giv·en, -giv·ing.
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
The key there being the word ABSOLVE.
ab·solve verb (used with object), -solved, -solv·ing.
1. to free from guilt or blame or their consequences
For me "forgive = absolve" and because that is a deeply held belief I could NOT reconcile that to my situation with my rSA. It will NEVER be ok and I will never absolve him of his responsibility in cheating on me. SA or not, he made decisions and choose his actions.
So, I focused on what I CAN do. I can accept that it happened. I can accept that my husband is an addict. I can accept that I did not cause this. I can accept that he came to me already "broken." And because I can accept those things I can move forward. I can support his recovery. I can seek counseling for my own issues that I brought to this marriage from my past. And because I can do those things, my rSA can truly work his recovery program and rebuild the TRUST in our marriage. And because he was able to lay that foundation, I can trust him again. I never stopped loving him. I was (and still am at times) as mad as hell at him but only because I do love him. If I didn't love him, I wouldn't care what he did!
Oh and for the record, he has NEVER asked for my forgiveness and does not expect me to forgive him. All he has ever asked for is my love, acceptance of his faults and my support for his recovery.
My creedo: "I cannot forgive the unforgivable, but I can accept the unacceptable."
I'd be happy to talk with you but you'd probably get more from reading the books I recommend (cause honestly, I'm just going to quote the books) and seeing a CSAT yourself.
My belief in forgiveness is rooted in my Christian beliefs.I want to try to give grace/forgiveness to others as I realize how imperfect I am and am grateful for the grace God has given me in all the sins I have committed. For me personally I don't feel burdened about trying to forgive, it is something that will happen in its own time, and God will help me with that, I don't have to do it on my own.
As far as forgiveness of what my SA has done, it is definately not an easy thing to do, but I know I will come to it in my own time.
I am working toward forgiving him for being a weak, imperfect person, in my mind that doesn't make the things he has done ok, or any less hurtful, it just means that I realize he is weak and imperfect and dealt with his problems in an hurtful and unhealthy way.
Ultimately I realize that for myself, not coming to forgiveness at some point just eats me up from the inside out!
[This message edited by cleo at 5:23 PM, January 28th (Friday)]
I personally think that if a person feels burdened by the expectation of forgiveness, they can and should consider that it's not something they have to force themselves to do. We're dealing with enough already without that added burden, in my opinion.
I hate to intrude on your space here, but I would really appreciate it if you would take a look at my thread and share your advice with me on what to do or say to help.
Here's the link to the thread:
"When you can tell the story and it doesn't bring up any pain, you know it is healed." - Iyanla Vanzant, Broken Pieces
I have a question for those that have had to deal with SA issues & kids. How has that been addressed with them?
Have any of you found any good resources to help the kids (not just therapy, but books for example)?
Any thoughts on how to deal with minor kids having a SA dad would be greatly appreciated.
My two boys are 7 & 10. My SAWH is in denial and not working a program. I have not told them about that because it will cruch them and I don't want them to have bad feelings about their father. My daughter sees and knows what is going on. I sent her to weekly therapy which has really helped a great deal.
The little ones do not "notice" things like my daughter does and SAWH still spends good quality time with them giving them his attention. I did not feel that I needed to get into why dad is masturbating, etc. unless I saw it really, really impacted their lives. He is in enough control of himself to be decent around them. The only thing that is not is his anger when he needs a fix. When that happens, I chime right in and set him straight.
My SAWH is in fact very high up in the church and has thrown himself even more into religion and bible study; even though I believe that he is STILL sexting the OW. He wears his wedding ring and don't.
He told me today that I am still accusing him of doing something that he did not do. I hate it also that they just don't see the pain, the TT details and can't event recognize that we know what we know.
I have to hand it to all of you who are sticking this out til they "get it". I couldn't be around this angry person that blames me and still will not admit anything. I just want my old life back with him. If I were to forget all about things, gosh we would be back where were. Terrible I know.
I just don't think he loves me.
Do your kids know he has any addiction issues at all or what have you told them about dad's problems?
Our kids were all adults when DDay hit & H wasn't diagnosed as SA until 4 yrs later. It would be so much harder having to deal with SA issues & minor kids. But I'm asking for a friend who has a teen girl & smaller kids.
Thank you for answering.
How do you deal with the fact that you look like the OW? I look like her and when SAWH looks at me, I can see that I remind him of her.
How the hell do you heal from something like that? Will it always be this way?
Are any of you going thru something like this? It is pure torture.
During TT one time he even told me "it's like losing the love of your life".
[This message edited by torn2bits at 12:30 PM, January 29th (Saturday)]