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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts 5
unicornsearcher
♀ Member
Member # 912
Cool  Posted: 12:52 AM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would suggest that if you've never been to a mtg that you go with an open mind and give it several mtgs to see if anything clicks for you. It's not for everyone. It's a simple program that requires a lot of work. Some of the steps may seem impossible, and unecessary, but they really can be an amazing way to live with dignity and serenity. The healing I have rec'd has been priceless, and the changes in myself has improved every relationship in my life. I don't "have" to go for the rest of my life b/c I'm just that screwy, I keep going back to give back to the newcomers what was so freely given to me.

I went well over a year to 12 step meetings early on when we could use every bit of help we could get. And it did help, & there are definitely some extremely cool people as well.

But I remember one lovely couple that had been going to a total of at least 3 meetings a week & had for nearly 15 years. And yes, they did reach out to newcomers.

They had cheated with each other & gotten divorces to later marry. I forget which particular addictions they had, but they went to one individual meeting then a joint one.

And that was a condition of them remaining married. They said if one of them decided they didn't want to go to their individual meeting the other would file for divorce & they meant it.

Not just to help the newcomers but because they believe their sobriety depends on doing that after all those years. And they aren't the only ones that do think that.

He was my H's sponser for a while & told me I was a co-dependent, co-addict by virtue of my being married to someone who had major issues.

Not all meetings are run the same & may focus on different aspects of the 12 step program. I was grateful to have the ones available to us that we used.

Well, obviously since I'm SI member 912, I've been here a very long time & its great that there are oldtimers that help with the newly hurting cuz there is a never ending stream. And there is no end of the learning on SI or any other suppport system as well as sharing experiences.

What I'm trying to say is that I believe its not as effective to only have an emphasis on the negative & the issues instead of looking at some of the great positive stuff, which I think is greatly neglected particularly in dealing with compulsive / addictive behaviors.

For example, the topic of "learned optimism" let's say.

Here's a link that gives a good basic explanation:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me9TI9JhvZw&feature=more_related

Review of Learned Optimisism

Part 1 Excerpted from Learned Optimism; How to Change Your Mind and Your Life By Martin E. Seligman, Ph.D.

Known as the father of the new science of positive psychology, Martin E.P. Seligman draws on more than 20 years of clinical research to demonstrate how optimism enchances the quality of life, & how anyone can learn to practice it.

Offering many simple techniques, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an "I-give-up" habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, & experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue.

These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, & make you happier.

With generous additional advice on how to encourage optimistic behavior at school, at work & in children, Learned Optimism is both profound & practical-& valuable for every phase of life.

Chapter 1

Two Ways of Looking at Life

THE FATHER is looking down into the crib at his sleeping newborn daughter, just home from the hospital. His heart is overflowing with awe & gratitude for the beauty of her, the perfection.

The baby opens her eyes & stares straight up.

The father calls her name, expecting that she will turn her head & look at him. Her eyes don't move.

He picks up a furry little toy attached to the rail of the bassinet & shakes it, ringing the bell it contains. The baby's eyes don't move.

His heart has begun to beat rapidly. He finds his wife in their bedroom and tells her what just happened. "She doesn't seem to respond to noise at all," he says. "It's as if she can't hear."

"I'm sure she's all right," the wife says, pulling her dressing gown around her. Together they go into the nursery.

She calls the baby's name, jingles the bell, claps her hands. Then she picks up the baby, who immediately perks up, wiggling & cooing.

"My God," the father says. "She's deaf."

"No she's not," the mother says. "I mean, it's too soon to say a thing like that. Look, she's brand-new. Her eyes don't even focus yet."

"But there wasn't the slightest movement, even when you clapped as hard as you could."

The mother takes a book from the shelf. "Let's read what's in the baby book," she says. She looks up "hearing" & reads out loud:

"'Don't be alarmed if your newborn fails to startle at loud noises or fails to orient toward sound. The startle reflex and attention to sound often take some time to develop. Your pediatrician can test your child's hearing neurologically.'

"There," the mother says. Doesn't that make you feel better?"

Not much," the father says. "It doesn't even mention the other possibility, that the baby is deaf. And all I know is that my baby doesn't hear a thing. I've got the worst feeling about this.

Maybe it's because my grandfather was deaf. If that beautiful baby is deaf and it's my fault, I'll never forgive myself."

'Hey, wait a minute," says the wife. 'You're going off the deep end. We'll call the pediatrician first thing Monday.

In the meantime, cheer up. Here, hold the baby while I fix her blanket. It's all pulled out."

The father takes the baby but gives her back to his wife as soon as he can. All weekend he finds himself unable to open his briefcase & prepare for next week's work. He follows his wife around the house, ruminating about the baby's hearing & about the way deafness would ruin her life.

He imagines only the worst: no hearing, no development of language, his beautiful child cut off from the social world, locked in soundless isolation. By Sunday night he has sunk into despair.

The mother leaves a message with the pediatrician's answering service asking for an early appointment Monday. She spends the weekend doing her exercises, reading, & trying to calm her husband.

The pediatrician's tests are reassuring, but the father's spirits remain low. Not until a week later, when the baby shows her first startle, to the backfire of a passing truck, does he begin to recover & enjoy his new daughter again.

THIS FATHER & mother have two different ways of looking at the world. Whenever something bad happens to him—a tax audit, a marital squabble, even a frown from his employer—he imagines the worst:

bankruptcy & jail, divorce, dismissal. He is prone to depression; he has long bouts of listlessness; his health suffers.

She, on the other hand, sees bad events in their least threatening light. To her, they are temporary & surmountable, challenges to be overcome.

After a reversal, she comes back quickly, soon regaining her energy. Her health is excellent.

The optimists and the pessimists: I have been studying them for the past 25 years.

The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do & are their own fault.

The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way.

They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case. The optimists believe defeat is not their fault:

Circumstances, bad luck, or other people brought it about. Such people are unfazed by defeat.

Confronted by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge & try harder.

These two habits of thinking about causes have consequences.

Literally hundreds of studies show that pessimists give up more easily & get depressed more often.

These experiments also show that optimists do much better in school & college, at work & on the playing field. They regularly exceed the predictions of aptitude tests. When optimists run for office, they are more apt to be elected than pessimists are.

Their health is unusually good. They age well, much freer than most of us from the usual physical ills of middle age. Evidence suggests they may even live longer.

I have seen that, in tests of hundreds of thousands of people, a surprisingly large number will be found to be deep-dyed pessimists & another large portion will have serious, debilitating tendencies toward pessimism.

I have learned that it is not always easy to know if you are a pessimist, & that far more people than realize it are living in this shadow.

Tests reveal traces of pessimism in the speech of people who would never think of themselves as pessimists; they also show that these traces are sensed by others, who react negatively to the speakers.

A pessimistic attitude may seem so deeply rooted as to be permanent.

I have found, however, that pessimism is escapable.

Pessimists can in fact learn to be optimists, & not through mindless devices like whistling a happy tune or mouthing platitudes ("Every day, in every way, I'm getting better & better"), but by learning a new set of cognitive skills.

Far from being the creations of boosters or of the popular media, these skills were discovered in the laboratories & clinics of leading psychologists & psychiatrists & then rigorously validated.

This book will help you discover your own pessimistic tendencies, if you have them, or those of people you care for.

It will also introduce you to the techniques that have helped thousands of people undo lifelong habits of pessimism & its extension, depression.

It will give you the choice of looking at your setbacks in a new light.

The Unclaimed Territory

AT THE CORE of the phenomenon of pessimism is another phenomenon— that of helplessness.

Helplessness is the state of affairs in which nothing you choose to do affects what happens to you.

For example, if I promise you one thousand dollars to turn to page 104, you will probably choose to do so, & you will succeed.

If, however, I promise you one thousand dollars to contract the pupil of your eye, using only willpower, you may choose to do it, but that won't matter.

You are helpless to contract your pupil. Page turning is under your voluntary control; the muscles that change your pupillary size are not.

Life begins in utter helplessness.

The newborn infant cannot help himself, for he* is almost entirely a creature of reflex. When he cries, his mother comes, although this does not mean that he controls his mother's coming.

His crying is a mere reflex reaction to pain & discomfort. He has no choice about whether he cries. Only one set of muscles in the newborn seems to be under even the barest voluntary control: the set involved in sucking.

The last years of a normal life are sometimes ones of sinking back into helplessness. We may lose the ability to walk. Sadly, we may lose the mastery over our bowels & bladder that we won in our second year of life.

We may lose our ability to find the word we want. Then we may lose speech itself, & even the ability to direct our thoughts.

The long period between infancy & our last years is a process of emerging from helplessness & gaining personal control.

Personal control means the ability to change things by one's voluntary actions; it is the opposite of helplessness. In the first 3 or 4 months of an infant's life some rudimentary arm & leg motions come under voluntary control.

The flailing of his arms refines into reaching. Then, to his parents' dismay, crying becomes voluntary: The infant can now bawl whenever he wants his mother.

He badly overuses this new power, until it stops working. The first year ends with two miracles of voluntary control: the first steps & the first words.

If all goes well, if the growing child's mental & physical needs are at least minimally met, the years that follow are ones of diminishing helplessness & of growing personal control.

Many things in life are beyond our control— our eye color, our race, the drought in the Midwest. But there is a vast, unclaimed territory of actions over which we can take control— or cede control to others or to fate.

These actions involve the way we lead our lives, how we deal with other people, how we earn our living—all the aspects of existence in which we normally have some degree of choice.

The way we think about this realm of life can actually diminish or enlarge the control we have over it. Our thoughts are not merely reactions to events; they change what ensues.

For example, if we think we are helpless to make a difference in what our children become, we will be paralyzed when dealing with this facet of our lives.

The very thought "Nothing I do matters" prevents us from acting.

And so we cede control to our children's peers & teachers, & to circumstance. When we overestimate our helplessness, other forces will take control & shape our children's future.

Later in this book we will see that judiciously employed, mild pessimism has its uses.

But 25 years of study has convinced me that if we habitually believe, as does the pessimist, that misfortune is our fault, is enduring, & will undermine everything we do, more of it will befall us than if we believe otherwise.

I am also convinced that if we are in the grip of this view, we will get depressed easily, we will accomplish less than our potential, & we will even get physically sick more often.

Pessimistic prophecies are self-fulfilling.

A poignant example is the case of a young woman I knew, a student at a university where I once taught. For 3 years her advisor, a professor of English literature, had been extremely helpful, almost affectionate. His backing, along with her high grades, had won her a scholarship to study at Oxford for her junior year.

When she returned from England, her main interest had shifted from Dickens, her advisor's specialty, to earlier British novelists, particularly lane Austen, the specialty of one of his colleagues. Her advisor tried to persuade her to do her senior paper on Dickens, but seemed to accept without resentment her decision to work on Austen & agreed to continue as her co-advisor.

Three days before her oral examination, the original advisor sent a note to the examining committee accusing the young woman of plagiarism in her senior thesis. Her crime, he said, was failing to give credit to two scholarly sources for her statements about Jane Austen's adolescence, in effect taking credit for those perceptions herself.

Plagiarism is the gravest of academic sins, & the young woman's whole future— her fellowship to graduate school, even graduation itself— was threatened.

When she looked at the passages the professor said she had failed to credit, she found that both had come from the same source—the professor himself. She had gotten them during a casual conversation with him, in which he had spoken of the perceptions as just his own thoughts on the matter; he had never mentioned the published sources from which he had obtained them.

The young woman had been sandbagged by a mentor jealous of losing her.

Many people would have reacted with fury at the professor. Not Elizabeth.

Her habit of pessimistic thinking took over.

To the committee, she was certain, she would appear guilty. And, she told herself, there was no way she could prove otherwise. It would be her word against his, & he was a professor.

Instead of defending herself, she collapsed inwardly, looking at every aspect of the situation in the worst possible light. It was all her own fault, she told herself. It really didn't matter that the professor had gotten the ideas from someone else.

The main thing was that she had "stolen" the ideas, since she had failed to credit the professor.

She had cheated, she believed; she was a cheat, & she probably always had been.

It may seem incredible that she could blame herself when she was so obviously innocent.

But careful research shows that people with pessimistic habits of thinking can transform mere setbacks into disasters.

One way they do this is by converting their own innocence into guilt.

Elizabeth dredged up memories that seemed to her to confirm her extreme verdict: the time in seventh grade when she had copied test answers from another girl's paper; the time in England when she had failed to correct the misimpression of some English friends that she came from a wealthy family.

And now this act of "cheating" in the writing of her thesis. She stood silent at her hearing before the examining committee & was denied her degree.

This story does not have a happy ending. With the washout of her plans, her life was ruined.

For the past ten years she has worked as a salesgirl. She has few aspirations. She no longer writes, or even reads literature.

She is still paying for what she considered her crime.

There was no crime, only a common human frailty: a pessimistic habit of thinking. If she had said to herself, "I was robbed. The jealous bastard set me up," she would have risen to her own defense & told her story.

The professor's dismissal from an earlier teaching job for doing the same thing might have emerged.

She would have graduated with high honors— if only she had had different habits of thinking about the bad events in her life.

Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last 20 years is that individuals can choose the way they think.

http://www.stanford.edu/class/msande271/onlinetools/LearnedOpt.html

Learned Optimism Test (adapted from Dr. Martin Seligman's book, "Learned Optimism")

The Instructions:

There are forty-eight (48) questions in this evaluation test. Take as much time as you need to answer each of the questions. On average, this test takes about fifteen minutes.

There are no right or wrong answers. Do NOT read the analysis in "Learned Optimism" until after you have completed this test.

Read the description of each situation & vividly imagine it happening to you. You have probably not experienced some of the situations, but that should not matter.

Perhaps neither response will fit; bout go ahead & choose the cause likelier to apply to you.

You may not like the way some of the responses sound, but don't choose what you think you should say or what would sound right right to other people; choose the response you'd be likelier to have.

TEST AT SITE, USE LINK ABOVE


11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
runningscared
♀ New Member
Member # 30425
Default  Posted: 2:44 AM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Apologies if I'm barging in on anyone's topic - I just wanted to post something quickly and haven't had time to catch up with what you've been talking about overnight.

I just wondered how any of you are feeling physically. I understand that stress is exhausting but I've never noticed it in myself much before. Maybe I just pushed through it. But I'm on a cycling holiday this week and whilst my legs feel ok (suggesting that I haven't suddenly lost all my fitness), my body just doesn't want to do anything. It just feels very heavy and weary. As I'm used to being quite active, this isn't like me at all and makes me feel quite useless! I have been noticing it for the last few weeks but just put it down to winter and having lots to do.


Posts: 39 | Registered: Dec 2010
unicornsearcher
♀ Member
Member # 912
Cool  Posted: 7:13 AM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Your body feeling heavy like that can be a sign of a stress reaction. When your mind gets overloaded with stress, it can easily manifest as a feeling of being overtired, headaches, feeling like your sleep isn't restful, etc. And if you already have physical vulnerabilities, the stress will aggravate those as well.

Depression can act similarly as well.

Congrats on being fit enough to do a cycling holiday!


11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 4:47 PM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have not been seeing a CSAT, but have been seeing an IC. I have started attempting to have some honest communication with my
SAWS.

My goals at this point are, 1. to see if there is any possibility that this marraige can be salvaged.
2. identify patterns that I have played a part in, and
3. identify what I really want to do.

I guess really need the feedback because everytime my WS and I have any conversation beyond "what's the weather going to be tomorrow", my husband says things that really put me on edge and I want to know why.

A recent example was one I asked you guys about: the underwear manipulation accusation. It may be that I have been living with an addict for so long that I have begun to doubt my own sanity and discernment and need some outside help to see things clearly.

So far, when I relate these conversations to my IC, he tells me that I'm doing a good job of relating as an adult, but that my WS usually responds as a child who is deeply mired in self-pity. I can see that more clearly now--the score-keeping and the perception of himself as the great martyr.

The IC is basically telling me that I have enabled by having very low standard in what I asked of my husband over the years. Apparently I have contributed to the problem by allowing my WS to continue to function on the level of a irresponsible teenager while I overfunction. In the Alanon, COSA model--one whould give up on having expectations in order not to set ourselves up for resentment. According to my IC, I should have had much higher expectations and much stronger boundaries all along.

Do any of you have any thoughts on this?


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tal
Is your SAWS seeing a CSAT? Working a recovery program?

As to your ICs advice I'd say that's good advice. You do need stronger boundarie and consequences and I'm sure we are all guilty, at one time or another, of over-functioning while our SAs under-function.

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
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 6:25 PM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nope and nope. He's not doing any of that. He wants pats on the back for the things he is doing (not acting out and doing more around the house). He also states I should give kudos for him being transparent. His version of being transparent is not to spend much time away from home without a legitimate reason & calling to tell me where he is at.

Am I just being a bitch or aren't those all things he should have been doing in the first place???

I really do get weary of his tit-for-tat scorekeeping where in his version, he's always the poor martyr. For this reason, I asked him not to get me a Valentines Day card. Frankly, I'm not up for another "I bothered to do this for you and you didn't even do such and such for me" thrown in my face the next time he gets pissy.

Quite honestly, a Valentines Day card wouldn't feel very meaningful to me this year.


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
unicornsearcher
♀ Member
Member # 912
Cool  Posted: 8:46 PM, February 14th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The IC is basically telling me that I have enabled by having very low standard in what I asked of my husband over the years. Apparently I have contributed to the problem by allowing my WS to continue to function on the level of a irresponsible teenager while I overfunction. In the Alanon, COSA model--one whould give up on having expectations in order not to set ourselves up for resentment. According to my IC, I should have had much higher expectations and much stronger boundaries all along.

When I kissed my H goodbye before he went to work, I never told him "Hey hon, please try to not rob any banks or murder anyone today, have a nice day!".

There are certain things that are the reasonable, healthy & necessary elements to a partnership type marriage / relationship. And while it's good to acknowledge efforts, when the person wants credit for breathing in the same room instead of being a more active participant in their own home & marriage, that isn't going to work well. Short or long term.

So it sounds like you H needs help figuring out which parts of the package are "standard equipment" of the marriage & which are options to be negotiated jointly in advance. Not unilaterally after the fact.

Part of that standard package is honesty, transparency, accountability, etc. He should be able to give himself enough credit for those things that his need for external validation for the standard package dramatically diminishes or disappears.

I mean, how many times has he praised or thanked you for being loyal, loving & honest that day? Does he expect those things from you as part of his standard package? If he expects that from you, he needs to be able to do the same in return.

Or let you know in advance he's not interested in making the efforts. And he'd rather trade you in for a stripped down model that will probably lose the bumper or engine before it even gets out of the car lot. However, to my knowledge it seems that a high percentage of SA's do not want to be divorced even when they refuse to act married or make any healing / recovery efforts.

Maybe that is because they are accustomed to getting their own way in the marriage & think that it will return to that state again or their unwillingness to admit that they are self sabotaging, much less do something about it? I don't know.

I do know if you let a spouse do "marriage lite" while you bear the rest of the load, it will crush you sooner or later. Marriage is a load that is designed to be shared, so it is lightened instead of too burdensome & unpleasant.


11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 10:58 AM, February 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the validation, Unicornsearcher.

Last night we had one our our rare conversations about the state of our marraige. I said many of the things you posted about.

I said I see a pattern that really disturbs me:
1. he score-keeps--running a list of the things he does and another list of my "failures & shortcomings".
2. He uses this list to buy resentment & martyr chips.
3. Sooner or later he starts rationalizing bad behavior--trading in those chips in justification.


In addition, when I say something is a serious problem to me, he stonewalls me. "Your just wrong", "I don't do that". If I don't back down...he escalates to "it's over & slams out the door". To me, this insinuates both abandonment & the veiled threat of violence.

Last night, I called him on all of this crap. I told him that he can do the work now with me or he can go off and leave a string of damaged relationships in his path. If he wants to stay with me, he has a lot of work to do as I am traumatized and terrified to trust him. If he doesn't break this detructive cycle--it will keep happening and I don't think I have another Dday left in me.

He started to cry as he said all of this. He didn't say "your wrong--end of discussion". He said that he didn't realize that he did that. He said he wanted a few days to reflect on what I had said and then discuss it some more. He said he loved me and felt very sad that he had acted as though his actions didn't affect others when they clearly do. He said he wants to make amends and is ready & willing to do the work.

I don't know, guys--do I vest myself in another reconcilliation? After he has done things to ruin our finances and destroy our marraige--do I run and cut my losses? I just turned 50 and have been laid off for awhile now. I feel old and afraid for my future no matter which route I choose.

This is not a man who is purposely cruel or mean to me. In many regards he is a sweet guy with a big heart. There is this big self-pitying kid in there though that has been doing a lot of damage. I don't have a whole lot more years to be waiting for him to grow up.

[This message edited by Tal at 11:04 AM, February 15th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, February 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know, guys--do I vest myself in another reconcilliation?

Not unless he finds a CSAT and starts recovery, gets sober and stays that way.

All of his behaviors are wrapped up with his addiction and his distorted thinking. He will not change until he gets sober and really, really works at his recovery.

My rSA did/said the same things, the only reason it changed was his work with his CSAT on his recovery and then follow up with our MC.

His behaviors and distorted thinking are part and parcel of the SA.

7

[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 8:32 PM, February 15th (Tuesday)]


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
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 6:18 PM, February 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does SA make the betrayals less traumatic? Does what my WH did make him a bad person? I find myself having a hard time figuring these things out. In the past, I would have seen WH as the lowest, bottom feeding scum on the planet. I always despised men like him. But now sometimes I find myself having compassion for him. I know he wasn't powerless over his acting out and he could have chosen to stop at any point, but he also had a problem and felt all alone. So is he a victim of his problems? If a man without SA did what he did, I would be appalled, and I was when I thought he was just some sex crazed jerk. Now that I know he has SA, I sometimes see what he did merely as symptoms of his disease. I have days when I think, "how could you?" and then days that I feel sorry for him. How does everyone else view their SA spouse? Do you see what they did as them choosing to hurt you, or more so as results of the disease?

Seeing SAWH try to make things right is confusing. Why NOW can he stop but before he couldn't/wouldn't? (Probably woke up when he saw divorce papers). Was he really just a selfish ass who only cared for himself while he was acting out? So he was a pathetic excuse for a man but now he is a good man? I don't know how to look at him as a man before and now. Was he bad and is now good? Or was he always good and did bad things? Did he want to do bad things or did he feel powerless?

I think I have a hard time envisioning him as a bad man because that means I stayed with a bad man. I like to think he was a good man that was overcome with grief that caused him to do bad things.


Me: 28, BW
Him: 32, WH, Sex Addict
3 kids: 13 DD (his), 4 DD (ours), 2 DS (ours)

Married 8 years.

Hubs is firm in recovery from SA and is like a new man and husband. We are happily reconciling and making great progress...nope, ass is back


Posts: 111 | Registered: Jan 2011
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 8:54 PM, February 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does SA make the betrayals less traumatic?
No, but understanding WHY (the SA) will help you heal from the trauma.
Does what my WH did make him a bad person?
It means he's a broken person. He was broken long before you met him. I don't know if that will help you, but it helped me.
I find myself having a hard time figuring these things out. In the past, I would have seen WH as the lowest, bottom feeding scum on the planet. I always despised men like him. But now sometimes I find myself having compassion for him.
This is healthy and good (IF he's in recovery and working on his sobriety) it means that you are accepting his SA and understanding that he is broken but not irretrievably so.
I know he wasn't powerless over his acting out and he could have chosen to stop at any point,
No, this is not true. He WAS powerless AT THE TIME, that's what being a sex addict IS. He needed to hit rock bottom and ADMIT he was powerless so that he could then reclaim his power and CHOOSE to stop acting out by seeking treatment with a CSAT and fellowship with other SAs.
but he also had a problem and felt all alone.
Yes, this is one of the 4 Core Beliefs.
So is he a victim of his problems?
I don't think victim is the right word... product, maybe? He's a product of his upbringing, the messages he got and his distorted addict thinking.
If a man without SA did what he did, I would be appalled, and I was when I thought he was just some sex crazed jerk. Now that I know he has SA, I sometimes see what he did merely as symptoms of his disease.
Yes symptoms of his disease which caused him to have distorted, twisted thinking and allowed him to rationalize BAD decisions.
I have days when I think, "how could you?" and then days that I feel sorry for him.
This is normal for the spouse and it will get better with time and counseling.
How does everyone else view their SA spouse? Do you see what they did as them choosing to hurt you, or more so as results of the disease?
He did not set out to hurt me. It was not malicious. He is broken. He was broken before I met him. He did the things he did because he's a sex addict and at the time did not know what that meant or how to fix it. It took 3ish years for me to turn the corner but when I did, I suddenly looked at him and I was able to set the SA aside and see the man I love and realize he's always been that man but he had a disease that needed treatment. Once he got treatment and got sober, he was completely the man I wanted and loved. I set the SA aside and I looked at him and I knew he was the one for me. But the BIG turning point was when I mentally picked the SA up and put it back into the equation... and my feelings didn't change... he was STILL the man I wanted and loved, THAT was the moment I knew we were going to be ok.
Seeing SAWH try to make things right is confusing. Why NOW can he stop but before he couldn't/wouldn't? (Probably woke up when he saw divorce papers).
He's an addict and when in full blown acting out mode and denial mode and completely compartmentalizing his life he couldn't stop. He had to hit rock bottom, just as ALL addicts do. Perhaps the divorce papers did it. Can you understand how alcoholics can be completely out of control and then decide to change? SA is no different. Addiction is addiction.
Was he really just a selfish ass who only cared for himself while he was acting out?
He is an addict and when he was acting out, yes he was selfish. All addicts are selfish if they are not sober. Does that mean he didn't love you? No, it doesn't. It just means he was doing what addicts do. And he genuinely believed that what you didn't know couldn't hurt you. He was WRONG. But that's how addicts think. It's part of the disease.
So he was a pathetic excuse for a man but now he is a good man? I don't know how to look at him as a man before and now. Was he bad and is now good?
He is an addict who was out of control and now he's an addict seeking control and sobriety.
Or was he always good and did bad things?
This is what I think about my rSA, he's a good person whose disease helped him do bad things.
Did he want to do bad things or did he feel powerless?
I can't speak for your rSA but mine did not set out to do bad things, he was powerless until he hit rock bottom.
I think I have a hard time envisioning him as a bad man because that means I stayed with a bad man. I like to think he was a good man that was overcome with grief that caused him to do bad things.
Then you have your answer.

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
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 7:42 AM, February 16th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks 7! From the reading I have done I should know all of these answers (and I think I do), it just seems that I need to mull them over in my head multiple times like I did all of the betrayals. If I come to the same conclusion multiple times then maybe I will believe it easier.

It really helps to hear he was powerless at the time of his acting out. That is something I have struggled to understand. He said he always wanted to change so I wondered why he didn't. It appears he didn't have the tools because he didn't know where the problem was coming from.

We have a long road ahead of us. He hit rock bottom and is now seeing things clearly and reading, but still no CSAT and no group. I don't want to make that an ultimatum (if I do he will go, but I want him to choose that for himself). I am biding my time hoping he makes the right decisions. I'm also working on myself and preparing myself to make hard decisions if that time ever comes. I am excited that I am seeing an amazing man for the first time. I certainly hope he gets it right this time!

Any advice on how to encourage him to see a CSAT and get a group? We have talked about it a lot. He keeps saying he wants to do this on his own for us. I think a CSAT would be a better choice for "us" but I am trying not to be too controlling. He isn't acting out but I know he is struggling.


Me: 28, BW
Him: 32, WH, Sex Addict
3 kids: 13 DD (his), 4 DD (ours), 2 DS (ours)

Married 8 years.

Hubs is firm in recovery from SA and is like a new man and husband. We are happily reconciling and making great progress...nope, ass is back


Posts: 111 | Registered: Jan 2011
dazdandconfuzed
Member
Member # 11692
Default  Posted: 7:47 AM, February 16th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

OptimisticMe -

I think most if not all of us struggle with those type of thoughts. 7yrs compares SA to alcoholism - well my H is also an alcoholic so I know how well those analogies fit. Personally, I think of addiction as disease with CHOICES. For me, that makes it all a little more confusing. The addict can decide enough is enough and get help at any time - to a non-addict it is hard to understand why they don't seek help until they hit "rock bottom", and why that rock bottom has to be so darned low. *I* thought rock bottom was 4 years ago when I found out about the LTA, but it seems for my H that wasn't it yet. It is all really hard for us non-addicts to understand.

I can tell you that my H suffered in his addictions. He talks about knowing what he did was wrong, wanting to stop, but not being able to "help himself". For what it's worth, I do believe him. I struggle with this also - but to me the defining factor (on most days, there are definately days where I have no empathy at all) is that I know he was suffering, too. If I thought he was just partying it up - I think I would feel differently.


Me - BW
Him - WH

Posts: 6618 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: Massachusetts
Nouveau
Member
Member # 1731
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, February 16th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have days when I think, "how could you?" and then days that I feel sorry for him.

This is normal for the spouse and it will get better with time and counseling.

7's most recent post has hit the nail on the head for me. Thank you.

As the day approaches that I tell him that I know he has never been sober, has continued to act out, my anxiety level is building.

I still love him very much, of course, but I can't and won't live like this with a SA who is not in treatment and is acting out. I am going to make this perfectly clear to him.

The only way that I can allow him to remain in the house (and possibly the relationship) if if he begins treatment with a CSAT immediately and actively works his treatment. I do not think there is much of a chance he will do that, so I am preparing for the relationship to end and he to move out.

I look at him and I feel such ambivalence. I feel so sad and sorry for him and the pain that he is in, and then I have mind movies of him acting out that make me what to throw up. These have started for me lately and I am finding them so difficult to deal with.

I am not looking forward to ending the relationship and the anxiety about it is increasing daily. I can't put it off much longer. I don't know if there is a right way or a wrong way to do this. I hope I say/do the right thing.


I sing the songs of a woman who has passed through anger and outrage to a kind of stunned resignation in the face of overwhelming human folly.....

Posts: 4895 | Registered: Jul 2003 | From: The great frozen tundra
Compartmented
Member
Member # 29410
Default  Posted: 3:13 PM, February 16th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

{{{{Nouveau}}}}

Hang in there. This is not easy stuff.


Posts: 1059 | Registered: Aug 2010
Nouveau
Member
Member # 1731
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, February 17th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I saw my therapist today. As I said earlier, he is not a CSAT, but he is very knowledgeable about SA, addiction and even porn addiction.

I still have not told my SO that I discovered he is acting out. I am waiting for the checks to clear the bank and I have enough heating fuel to see me through the rest of the winter when I confront.

Today, my IT delved into my SO's past & childhood... what I know of it. He was putting it together to illustrate just how dysfunctional SO's FOO is and how tragic his childhood was.

And he pieced together my SO's former relationships and I never really saw until now how completely bat-shit his exes were.

I can now really see how damaged and broken he really is. I never saw it quite like that with all the pieces put together and right there in front of me. And now it is as clear as day.

I told him how SO blameshifts and how he did it in couples counseling with me in front of my former IT to make ME look like I was the one with OCD, addictions and internet obsession.

My IT called my SO "The Lawyer" because that's what they are expert in doing. Turning the evidence around to make plaintiff look crazy.

I will be confronting SO this coming week. I need to stay composed and focused and not let him suck me into his game. He is so expert at this. My anxiety levels are through the roof.

In the meantime, my IT said he would be locating a CSAT for my SO in the event he agrees to seek help. Not holding my breath on that one.


I sing the songs of a woman who has passed through anger and outrage to a kind of stunned resignation in the face of overwhelming human folly.....

Posts: 4895 | Registered: Jul 2003 | From: The great frozen tundra
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, February 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nouveau,

I am proud of you. Proud of you for seeking IC help (and your IC sounds good). Proud of you for recognizing the patterns in your SO's life, and the fact that he has blameshifted and gaslighted you. But most of all, I am proud of you for logically thinking this through (making sure you get the $ first) and then confronting him and making him leave. You have given him time to seek recovery, but he has not wanted it.

I understand the anxiety. Stay strong. You have all of us standing behind you, albeit virtually. You are a beautiful and intelligent woman and don't deserve any of this. Many hugs this coming week.


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
GeniusOrAFool
♀ Member
Member # 30940
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, February 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Any opinions on an in-patient treatment facility vs out-patient CSAT sessions?

Our MC really wants my WH to do in-patient as she feels it is the best and most effective method of treatment.

Any opinions or experiences appreciated.

Thanks!



I'm back together again.
I'm staring in the mirror
and it's been so long
since I've seen you my friend.

~Citizen Cope


Posts: 454 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: PA
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 5:59 PM, February 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Any opinions on an in-patient treatment facility vs out-patient CSAT sessions?

Our MC really wants my WH to do in-patient as she feels it is the best and most effective method of treatment.

Any opinions or experiences appreciated.


Honestly, I think a CSAT would need to determine if in-patient was necessary but if you're MC is really good and seems to really know about SA then I'd guess her recommendation is sound.

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
Nouveau
Member
Member # 1731
Default  Posted: 7:22 PM, February 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

he is very emphatic towards others but not me. I have seen some sides of him that truly leaves me awestruck (on both good and evil) He is one of the kindest and nicest people I know and on the other hand he is one of the evilest I know as well.
I do believe we all have good and evil in us. But he goes way out of the chart on both sides. Literally!!!!

T/J from a post I just read in General. WOW!!! This one is chilling.

My IT asked me if I thought my SO could be a narcissist. And I told him that he has a big heart. He would give me his last dollar. He buys me little thoughtful gifts often. Always has. Everyone loves him. He's so giving and kind to his family. He adores animals.

But there is a piece of him missing. A part that can empathize toward me. To show me deep caring and concern for me and my well-being. Something is missing when I am truly sick or in extreme pain.

But then again, this is the person who tucks me in when he thinks I'm asleep... brushes my hair.

But then he's the same person who doesn't even notice I'm there when we go out with friends or is around his family. I sit alone, unnoticed for hours.

Is he something even worse than a NPD... like a sociopath?


I sing the songs of a woman who has passed through anger and outrage to a kind of stunned resignation in the face of overwhelming human folly.....

Posts: 4895 | Registered: Jul 2003 | From: The great frozen tundra
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