You are no less devastated or hurt than any other spouse who's SAH had physical affair(s).
Wonderful post, Tal. Thank you for this. I, and so many other partners of porn addicts, feel validated by your words.
Sometimes I just feel like there is no place left for me to fit into this world. Because it was "only porn." This really helps. Thank you.
Another big thing I have to own is that to me, a loved one having an addiction has always meant 1) I will be abandoned and 2) they will die as a result of addiction. These two beliefs keep me from being able to love freely without fear.
Now--I know that addiction isn't personal. I know that I can't cause it, control it, or cure it.
But then I read posts like G's here on this thread. I also read & hear other stories of SA's who's "intervention" was discovery by their spouse and they became very motivated not to lose their marraige.
My experience with addiction has primarily been one of losing people to addiction. Whether it was alcohol, cocaine, meth...whatever, the message I got repeatedly was that THIS substance was more important than me. It was important enough to lose family, jobs, etc.
It was a little more complicated with my second husband. He was my first love and we reunited years later when he was in recovery. I was naive about addiction and thought recovery=I would not have to deal with drugs/alcohol in my life again. After we had been together 4 1/2 years, he relapsed. I got very tough about my boundaries with him. I told him that if he didn't go to inpatient & then focus on his recovery for a year, he could not come back to live with me and my children. He went to treatment...checked out early...I had to restate my boundary several times...then he died of a self-inflicted overdose on his 40th birthday.
When one of my sons became a full-blown drug addict at a young age, I had to really struggle with my fears about setting boundaries with him. Each time I did, I had to deal with the fear that it would be the last time I saw him alive.
My current husband knows my issues with this stuff. I told him that I have never had the experience of someone I loved saying: "recovery is for ME, but part of that is that I don't want to lose you & my family".
My FOO stuff and my history of experiences with addicts definately feeds into my reactions to my current husband's SA. That stuff is MY baggage to deal with, not his.
[This message edited by Tal at 10:15 AM, August 3rd (Tuesday)]
I feel the very same! Good heavens! The anger is setting in... the future looks bleak... I don't know how much more I can take...
Interestingly enough though, my WH had no sexual or physical abuse or neglect or addictions in the family.... nothing....
After all this came out, I asked over and over and over again if he was hurt as a child or anything like that or if he was under the influence of alchol or drugs when he meet with the people and he said
"sadly enough... no... I have nothing that can justify my actions. I did it. Plain ol' me"
Of ocurse none of those things justify any behaviors, but it seems a bit easier to put the broken pieces together and try to understand a SA. But with my WH, there is nothing like that.
He came from a very clean, religious home.
And that is what I think is the problem... he's been expected to be something his whole life. He feels like he's never been able to make a choice on his own...
It's so sad.... BUT that still doesn't justify any of it. He lied, he cheated, he betrayed, he put his addiction and his selfish desires before me and Little Dude. I'm not okay with that!
My IC said wait 6 months to one year.... I'm 2 weeks out from the 6 month mark and I think I may be heading toward D.
I deserve better.
Thinking of you all...
I'm sorry any of us are here- there is nothing quite like this hell
I feel l like I've been scarred so terribly from this. I have serious trust issues and an f-ed up idea of intimacy now. I need some serious help.
I'm meeting with a different CSAT today (who doesn't know my WH)... I'm eager to meet with someone who will help me. Not us. Me.... cause I need it.
[This message edited by Lacy J at 10:31 AM, August 3rd (Tuesday)]
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'm wanting to get help for me...my WS can get help whenever he decides to, I am through waiting around on him. I need to get better.
If I go to a therapist who specializes in addictions (but is not a CSAT)...will this do any good??? Also, will my WSO ONLY benefit from a CSAT or will a regular addiction counselor do any good?? From what I've been hearing, only a CSAT will be of any benefit.
Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.
My update is my husband will be seeing someone to be put on meds next week.
The bad news. He is getting a lot of porn type freinds requests on his facebook account. He even got an email saying I saw you talking to me friend...I want to hook up with you...I dont care if you are married or not...I am gorgeous...click here to see a naked picture of me...my name is oralsex69 etc....He left it in his trash so as not to hide it but never said a word about it. My fear of course is him getting all this arousing crap.... well you guys know better than anyone.
Meanwhile the other day we tried to have sex and as is usual now he couldnt get a hard on with me and it was alls I could do not to start sobbing and sobbing. Plus, because of the recent verbal abuse of his when he was looking at my naked body alls I could hear in my head was him sreaming at me "you are fat and ugly and you'll always be alone" followed by "you're just ewwww", followed by "You just dont make me hard any more".
So....I guess his words did get to me more than I thought they did.
AND...I have to say reading on here everyone's husbands trying so hard and working there recovery and seeing my husband be what everyone says "white knuckling it....being a dry drunk"....just makes my eyes well up with tears. Not that I am not happy for everyone. Trust me I am! Its just that two years past dday and this is how far we are? No where! I was so sure WE were going to be one of the ones that made it and its looking more and more like we are NOT going to be the ones to make it and there is nothing I can do about. And tears are running down my stupid dumb hopeful face as I type this stupid dumb post wondering why not me. Why not a happy ending for me and my boy with this stupid stupid man who doesnt know what he has in me and what he has in the 3 of us as a family.
this stupid stupid man who doesnt know what he has in me and what he has in the 3 of us as a family.
Just because he is a SA or any addict for that matter, doesn't give him the right to verbally and emotionally abuse you. Unbelievable the horrible stuff he said to you!!!
I have a very clear boundary with my SA SO that there will be no verbal abuse whatsoever and he does not cross that line. Abuse is unacceptable.
You are right, he doesn't deserve a good woman like you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and plenty wrong with him!
I realized a few weeks ago in reading SA stuff that I am a COSA. I fit the descriptions very well and realize I'm doing everything my codependent mother did for my alcoholic father. I was a very good student of her methods.
So now I'm in a very angry stage because since the A's were discovered 5 1/2 years ago I have been saying he is SA. But NO ONE else would call it that. We saw at least 5 different counselors - including a sex therapist and NOT ONE would call it sexual addiction. (Look at my profile for details and see what you think!!) A couple of the therapists even said, "Well, what does it matter what you call it? He's in here getting help, right?"
Here's my answer to that:
Well if no one calls it alcoholism just "problem drinking" the alcoholic DOESN'T SEEK HELP. And neither does the spouse. I'm so mad because I feel like we could be SO much further in our healing and maybe not be separated and possibly divorcing if we had received the proper help.
I would have done all the research I'm doing now if someone had pointed me in this direction and would have come to the conclusion that I needed help, too. I could have sought it. I could have changed my behaviors. I AM JUST SO MAD!!
Anyway, I went to my first COSA meeting on Monday and I think it will be valuable. Here's the irony: I walked into the room and there were 3 women sitting around the table - and I knew one of them. I know her and her husband fairly well. It was strange and also a relief. I think she will be a big help. She asked her H and I was able to give my SAH her H's cell phone number with instructions that he can call at any time (they know each other.) My SAH just smirked and didn't say much else. He tells me he's "getting healthy" but won't say what he's doing or who he's seeing or anything, so I don't know if he's in recovery or not. And I guess I'm learning that it's NOT MY PROBLEM now...
And, BTW, don't you think that a LOT more of the people here on SI are really dealing with SA, too? I wonder how we can make more people aware???
We saw 3 counselors & they mostly dismissed my concerns about SA. The thing was--in my gut, I knew that was part of what was going on. That was 6 years ago and I bought Patrick Carnes "Out of the Shadows" and tried to get my WS to read it.
Yeah, I have also wondered many times if alot more people on SI are dealing with sex addiction but don't realize it. I particularly wonder this when I read about porn, cyber-sex infidelity, serial cheating and "obsessive"-type relationships with OPs.
My WS says they talk about "love addiction" in his meetings. That makes a lot of sense. If sex addiction & love addiction means you are mixing your own drug-coctail in your own head, that covers a lot of territory.
Look at my profile for details and see what you think!!
And, BTW, don't you think that a LOT more of the people here on SI are really dealing with SA, too? I wonder how we can make more people aware???
If you look on page 3 of this thread you'll find my advice and list of resources. Please read the books. Find a CSAT for yourself and begin your recovery.
Is your H still using porn? Looking for women online? Are you monitoring his online usage without his knowledge? While this is not a healthy thing to do long term I do feel it's important initially to determine exactly what you're dealing with. In my opinion no one should stay with a SA who is not sober and in recovery. You can't make any decisions about what you want to do until you KNOW for certain if he's still acting out.
We all recognize the dry drunk, white knuckling because most likely we have all seen it first hand.
My SAH for instance did NOT work hard at recovery for a long time.
I was so resentful of the money spent on group and IC, and he was half-assed participating. UGH I still get a little pissed off about it today. (money is an issue for me)
I can especially look back over the years and see the time periods that my SAH had tried to stop acting out on his own (before I knew of the SA).
Either he was completely disconnected from the rest of the family and seemed tightly wound, or we were having a lot of sex; NOT the norm for us.
Now with all that said, in my personal experience with my SAH, your SAH is not white knuckling it. IMO, the likelihood is that he is acting out in some manner. My experience is from the times my SAH claimed to be "sober" but was just hiding better.
Either way, your SAH's behavior should not be acceptable.
Has it really given you the fulfillment that you are looking for, especially lately?
From your statements and emotions following an attempt, I would say not.
If it hurts to think about having sex with your husband, to have sex, to talk about sex, to hear about sex (in such a horrible way) from your husband, the answer seems easy; don't do it.
Even beyond the whole SA aspect, sex should be something intimate, and by choice.
I really believed that I did not have an issue about sex. I didn't connect any worthiness or self-esteem to it. Once I realized that I was waiting for my SAH to give the go ahead for the 90 days sobriety and he stalled, it became apparent that I gave all of the choice and power of my own sexuality to someone else!
So I decided that I would not have sex until I felt that I was healthy in my attitudes toward sex. Until I felt I was choosing when/where/who/how and not trying to fill some emotional void or make someone else feel better. Or worse; to try to KEEP him.
You are repeatedly putting yourself in a position to perpetuate the hurt that sex now brings to you. Why? Sounds like a good boundary. A good place to start taking care of yourself.
Stop doing something that causes you such pain.
Now for the reality from the spouses point of view. SA is not a topic of general discussion. There is still very little acceptance in "polite society" This means the SA and the spouse will usually hide these facts from all the world.
I now realize I used all of this in subconscious ways to control my wife. She felt not thin enough, not attractive enough, not young enough....I could go on all day. I took the most important person in my life and dragged her through the dirt over and over. I own that. Yes I have a disease but as soon as I admitted I was powerless over this and much more; I had to live up to what I thought could never be, a full happy life, with a beautiful, intelligent woman and a great family. I can now walk outside and see colors I did not know existed. My life gets better every day. Am I special or different than . any other SA? Yes and no. No anyone can work the SA program. Yes I chose to try and live a better life and am holding myself accountable. I wish everyone of you had not gone through what you have gone through. Please know that I believe there is a higher power who can help with SA and once your loved ones realize they cannot do it alone they have a chance at a better life. As each of you come to the realization you can not control your SOs disease and get help you too can have a better life. If for those who want to work together after starting their own healing you can have a better partnership.
There are many caveats to these statements but they can happen. Hoping all of you see a brighter day
[This message edited by mitehvblonitpa at 3:45 PM, August 5th (Thursday)]
I am still feeling a bit shell-shocked from discovering that my WH is a SA. After D-Day (which was D-Day #2 - but I got a two for one - as he confessed an earlier affair that he had not told me about previously) WH is promising how he is dedicated to changing to be the man I deserve. Part of the changes he said he was enacting - were no drinking, no porn, seeing MC, and not masturbating. When I asked about the last one, he said that he has always "excessively" masturbated - 3-5 times daily. This is not something I had been aware of in our 15 years together. I knew there was some porn....WH is a fetishist (spanking) and all of the porn he sought out were related to that subject. I had not been overly bothered by the fact that he looked at porn occasionally (i thought.) I did resent that it came to be a substitute for intimacy in our relationship.
When I went for my first solo meeting with our MC - he told me that WH's behavior patterns made him suspect that WH was a SA. At first I had difficulty identifying my husband with that term. Admittedly I was ignorant of the complexities of Sexual Addiction - but surely the man whom I had come to believe had lowest sex drive of anyone I had ever met - could not be a SA.
When I got home I started looking up everything I could on SA - I can't believe I had been so blind to this for so long. WH's addiction covered the porn, masturbation, online chatting and PA's (three that I know of now....who the hell knows what the real truth is). When he was me...he became the Sexual Anorexic...doing everything to push me away and discourage me from confronting him about the lack of intimacy in our marriage.
I have such sadness right now....but the anger at him is starting to creep in. I let his constant rejection of me erode away at my self esteem and value for years and years.
Last night we had another argument over nothing. He had insomnia AGAIN. I think its because he is on that computer so much that he wakes himself anticipating getting back on the computer. When he gets home from work its the first thing he does. WHen he gets up its the first thing he does. He will log off and then 10 minutes later he is back on. On the computer he is on his facebook, playing computer games, and looking up information on anything. There are keyloggers on all the computers and he knows there is so there is nothing innappropriate going on. But he is on the computer all day....or I should say lap top. So yesterday he got 3 hours of sleep again and got up at noon. Spent the day on the computer then when we were all going to go to my sons swimming lesson he was going to go to take a nap saying he had had insomnia. So I said "Well why did you get up so early?" and he said "la la la la la fuck you!" He felt my comment was ultra BITCHY.
I had a fit! We fought. I left for the lesson and called him while my son swam. During the conversation I told him he was on the computer every waking moment. He felt this statement was a false one. I told him he could verify with our son. He said that was it and that he was NEVER going on the computer again as long as he was married to me and that I could delete his facebook account. I told him I would not. That was HIS responsibility to do if he felt he should do it.
His behavior today was to come home from work and start reading his 12 step book, slept 8 hours (he works the night shift) and didnt go on the computer at all. I expected the no going on the computer because he would want to prove me wrong but I was surprised that he read his book. He went to his 12 step meeting tonight too. He is so unpredictable!
I decided to send him an email and acknowledge the days effort. But the last few months I have seen and heard so much bullshit and abuse. My husband has NEVER been verbally abusive in 16 years of marriage. NEVER!! How does someone just change personalty completely? For those of you who say they wouldnt put up with it...this isnt my husband. He has never been abusive. This is NEW behavior. If this is new and here to stay then I am out of here, but I have to believe at the moment that some monster has taken posession over my husband and its temporary insanity. I dont know.
I love your advice about the sex Too Trusting. I think I need to not have sex with him. Its almost traumatic at this point. I enjoy the kissing part but the sex part has turned into a dilemna. He has turned it into a huge issue. I wonder if we will ever have normal sex again.
[This message edited by Tal at 11:51 PM, August 5th (Thursday)]
As far as the "nastiness" I would have to say that its really come to head since he has started therapy with a real qualified CSAT about 3 months ago AND also at the same time he has gone off of his anti depressants. His depression level has been off the charts. As I said before he talks about killng himself all the time. I looked up symptoms of depression and it said extremem irritability and losing ones temper easily... add in 3-4 hours of sleep a day...But...I also have thought that with this CSAT he has had to face his sex addiction status and he has not liked looking at the man in the mirror and he does not want to see the man in the mirror.
He keeps making references to me being "the perfect one" and then sarcastically will say "watch out I am a sexual deviant". So he is very bitter/angry about being seen as a "sex addict". He does NOT want to hold this title and it pisses him off that he is being "made out to be " the "bad guy" and I am the "saint". At least that is definatly the impression I am getting from his comments. That is where he is at. He will not blame his acting out on the fact that he has a sex addiction. He is still saying "I wasnt happy, the marriage wasnt satisfying to me and that is why I acted out". When I point out that he was still acting out on his OW whom he says he was madly in love with he says "she must not have been the one". So.... he is unwilling own his addiction. Its everybody else. AND he is going to do recovery "HIS WAY". He told me so. Not going to listen to his therapist, not going to listen to the 12 step group, ....I pointed out his way wasnt working because he is still miserable.
And apparantly I am not supposed to have these conversations with him anyways but I guess what I am saying is that I/WE NEED A MIRACLE!
And for the record. My last post said he had come home and made this great effort with the reading and going to the meeting. I guess I was wrong about that. He read because I told him it would help with his insomnia, not because he was putting in an effort AND I dont know which book then he read. And the meeting he came home way to early so I dont even know if he actually went. Probably not.
Detach! Detach! Detach!
During heavy porn use time, my WS would simply check out & mostly ignore me and everyone else. I've come to know that during those times he was checked out, he would be looking for & nursing resentments against me. These resentments would lead to justifying further acting out.
The only time I saw outright pissyness was during the two times he had an actual A (a PA and then an EA). That's when I'd start seeing some condesention in his attitude toward me--little things like rolling his eyes at things I said. I would also notice that he seemed to develop a list of things I was doing or not doing (the resentments).
Here's an example: The division of household labor has always been a bit of a contention between us. Basically, my husband does most of the cooking & kitchen cleaning, but not much else. When I confronted my husband about the EA, his response was that the house was always messy & I left the dishes to pile up for him. WHHHHHAAATT? Your cheating is about me not doing the one responsibility around the house that is YOURS? For all of these years, I have been the one who did everything around the house, dispite having a full-time job and raising the kids (now raising a 4-year old granddaughter).
His other big resentment is that we don't go out & do anything together. He wants to go to concerts & go out to dinner. We don't have the money to do anything like that, especially in the past 9 months since he lost his job. Not only that, but the only time we both had off to do anything--I was too busy cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and dealing with all the rest of the household stuff he doesn't help with!
I seriously get frustrated with my WS's sense of entitlement & how he nurses these various resentments toward me to build up a justification to act out. It feels like adding insult to injury.