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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts 6
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 2:13 AM, March 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

PS- the "we" in the above post was my sweet daughter and I, NOT WS and I.


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
Nouveau
Member
Member # 1731
Default  Posted: 5:49 AM, March 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thinking more about the "just porn"... I haven't seen this discussed on this forum, but it probably has.

I think it may be "just porn" with him. He's been into porn for at least 15 years that I can verify. I suspect compulsive masturbation that has left him with ED. Someone can't abuse a part of their body over and over for a long time without there being some physical damage. I now believe that there is actual damage. In my naive days, I thought he was just "born that way."

Wondering if others here have seen or suspected actual physical damage that the SA has done to themselves.

[This message edited by Nouveau at 9:23 AM, March 15th (Tuesday)]


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
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 7:24 AM, March 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nearly a month ago I found WH slipped and masterbated to porn. He had been doing his "recovery" on his own "for us" because he had never finished anything in his life. I translated that to "You have always half assed everything your entire life and now you want to half ass your recovery by not getting the help you need". I set the ultimatum that he had to make a counseling appt for him with a CSAT and one for his daughter with a different counselor by March 19th or I would file for legal separation and he would have to leave. He did some online searches but no appt. A couple days ago I asked him if I would be filing and he said he was looking but didn't want to rush finding the right CSAT. Of course that was to make me think he needed more time but I stayed strong and the next day wrote him an email that he had time to play the playstation so he had time to make a couple appts. And I sent him some links describing a legal separation. A few hours later they both had appts! His guy is only through module 2 of Patrick Carnes 4 module workshop (which concerns me a bit) but I really like what he wrote online and I feel he might be a good fit. He is 2 hours away so WH is hoping he can help WH find someone closer to home (the website 7 posted has only 4 or 5 in our state, all far away). I really think he will go, just not sure what I will do if he doesn't want to follow through and continue counseling (I didn't set an ultimatum to continue...yet).

One thing that keeps confusing me is that codependents try to control things and we need to get away from that...yet to stay with our SA, we need to set boundaries and consequences...isn't that a bit like controlling him? He has a choice but I still feel a bit manipulative. I don't feel bad about it because he has manipulated me for years. Sometimes I just feel like what I have to do to protect me goes against some of the codependent behaviors I am trying to avoid. It also makes me feel like his mother which I really hate. I feel like I am telling the little boy "if you don't clean your room you don't get to play."

A little OT but I could use some advice: I see myself trying to control my step-daughter but I don't know how much is normal parent stuff and how much is too much. I am strict about modesty and won't let her watch TV shows with sex or read magazines about good kissing techniques, even if they say they are ok for her age (she is 11). If she does a chore inefficiently, I make her re-do it. Isn't this normal parent stuff? I feel controlling with her but when I stop and look I don't see it. Her mom was very promiscuous and abandoned her and her dad is a SA, so I am naturally concerned she is going to be the same way (and her abandonment issues will help her along). She already gets in trouble at school for inappropriately touching boys. I have a problem with her because we are so different (and she physically hurts my bio kids but that is a dif story). I am very moral (WH is my only sex partner) and I don't think she wants to share those morals with me. It freaks me out! I don't want her to have a baby! Raising one that isn't my own is ENOUGH!


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
IRN2006
♀ Member
Member # 23717
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, March 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Optimistic-

You may find it helpful to read the book "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend.

Boundaries are not meant to control the other person. They are meant to keep YOU emotionally, mentally, and physically safe.

Boundaries aren't about punishing the other person.

When we view boundaries as punishing the other person, then I think we get into a parent/child relationship with a partner.

I also think, as partners, we have to be careful as to how we set up our boundaries. I don't think it's our job to micromanage our partner's recovery. THere are a ton of recovery tools available to both ourselves and the addict. Not every tool works in the same way for every person. I think, in part, because SA does not manifest itself the same way for every person.


I can't answer your issues with regards to your SD. I understand your desire to instill morals. My oldest is not as old as yours, but we try to have a modest household as well. That said, my oldest child is NOTHING like me. He has some of my facial features, and that's it. I don't believe it is fair for me to insist that my child have my personality and my likes and dislikes. Because my child is not me. I feel like I have two choices. I can either send my oldest the message that he's "wrong" and I'm "right" (ie, invalidate him) or I can embrace his differences and work with them on them, and have as many "teachable moments." as I can.

I've personally chosen to validate him. I grew up with parents who chose to completely invalidate me, actually, even as an adult. I personally did not find it pleasant and have chosen to not do that to my children.

What reasons has your SD given for her behavior? If there's issues that need to be "fixed", how are you helping her do that?

[This message edited by IRN2006 at 8:55 AM, March 15th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 1295 | Registered: Apr 2009
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, March 15th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks IRN. SD doesn't give reasons for her behavior. She can't manage to be nice to her 3 yr old sister or 9 month old brother (they both hate her bc she doesn't want to spend time with them and she is mean to 3 YO.) I had much younger siblings at her age and we loved each other...I wish they could have the same bond. I think her problems are bc her mom abandoned her and her dad has been too wrapped up in his addiction to give her attention (he left her alone to have sex with the neighbor downstairs when he was away for military training...and I thought sending her with him would make him behave, HA! It only gave her more issues). I think she resents that my kids have a good mom and that her only good parent isn't a bio parent. I think she is screaming out for attention. But what do you do when your mother instinct to protect your bio child makes your skin crawl when the SD comes around? I loved her unconditionally until she started abusing my kids...now I don't like her and I hate that about myself and try to change it...but it is so hard. Her dad has talked about spending more one on one time with her...I think that would help her more than anything...I hope it happens. She also is going to start counseling again...hopefully WH keeps her in it this time. I am too worn out to manage her on my own like I used to...I have turned her over to him.

The validation thing is good. I always praise her for good behavior and positive things I see...but they are few and far between. I guess this is another consequence of having a SAWH :( Sorry for the vent, this is just a big concern in my life right now.


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
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, March 17th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lots of questions, and looking for your wisdom this morning......

My WS has made an appt. with a counselor for March 30. But, she is not a certified CSAT. When asked about her credentials, she said she has specialized in SA and was trained under Al Cooper for a number of years before he died. Her name is Marylynn Duhammel. Does anyone know Al Cooper? The thing is that she is local, and the only CSAT in our area is too far away for his vehicle to make it. Is this better than nothing?

When we first started talking about a CSAT, I told him that, from what I understood, counseling with someone not trained in SA could do more harm than good. He replied, "I think you have just gotten this in your head and are stuck on it" Well, this counselor agreed with me! Two points for me, and I guess I'll take 'em where I can get 'em these days.

The counselor has said she is willing to meet with me to discuss any matter including her credentials. What do you guys think? What would I ask about her credentials?

On another note, he has given me access to his bank accounts and some of his porn sites...at my request. All of this is so overwhelming. ....and gross. I feel like such a pollyana looking through what he has done. It is just unreal to me that this sick world is at anyone's fingertips at any time. Anyone else feel that way?

A friend took my sweet daughter for me for the day yesterday because I just knew I could not be a good mom. I don't know that I have ever felt such guilt. I know it was the right decision for us both, but I really hate that this has impacted my ability to live a normal life.

He has seen the hurt in my face, and offered yesterday to send our daughter and I to Disneyland to "help your heart". Should I take him up on it, or is that against the 180?

How do our WS find the energy to lead these double lives? Just being on the periphery of it throws my world out of orbit.


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, March 17th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Are you sure you want to spend time looking through his porn sites? For me, it's a fine line between wanting information to process trauma--and becoming obsessed myself.

Because I used a screenshot capture program to find out what was going on with my husband--I saw how bad his porn addiction had become. I'm glad for that because it led to a confrontation/intervention.

Unfortunately--that also gave me mental images burned into my memory that I'm better off not having. I have also spent time going over & over details--something that is often called "pain shopping".

Letting the sex addiction become an obsession for me is just like the addict's brain hijacked by their addiction. I'm trying to redirect myself into healthier thoughts & activities these days.

As I recall, your SAWS has multiple addiction problems. Aside from saying he's willing to see a CSAT, is he addressing any of that? Treatment? Meetings?


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, March 17th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tal, thank you. And yes, I tend towards OCD behaviors, and have posted before that I was worried I would get addicted to his addiction. It is a fine line that I know I cross sometimes.

On the other hand, I gave birth without drugs and wanted to watch the contraction monitor- I can deal with pain...I cannot deal with not knowing what I am dealing with.

At this point, I would rather have the sick images in my head than him in my bed....knowledge will keep me from falling for his snow job attempts at R.

As to his other addictions, I don't know what he is doing. He is adverse to 12 step programs, and I am staying out of how he deals with those things for now.

I am at a coffee shop typing, exhausted, and just waiting for counseling today. At least I have showered and left the house...progress from yesterday.


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
MoreThanMe
♀ Member
Member # 25451
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, March 17th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The number one mistake I made post-d-day-was not INSIST on a CSAT. And a CSAT only.

My WH went to a SA "specialist....." who did nothing but delay his receovery. Or, really gave him en excuse to white knuckle. My WH freely admits as much.

CSAT.
CSAT only.
Only a CSAT.


Brevity, typos & misspellings provided by my ipad and fatigue.
It's been 4 years, SA husband sober. We're doing okay. Today.

fWH had ONS with High School Principal he met on Ashley.com. 08/25/2009


Posts: 694 | Registered: Sep 2009
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 9:23 PM, March 17th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Still trying to comprehend the guy living in my house who emails & calls his sponsor everyday & seems to LIKE going to meetings.

He's not isolating. He's helping around the house (cheerfully ) talking about thinks he learned in meetings & how they apply to him.

I'm not hearing selfk-pity, resentments, justifications, minimizations, blame-shifting or any of that other crap.

In fact, I've heard several apologies for having done some of that stuff in the first place.

I never thought I'd see this--NEVER!

I hope I'm not getting unrealistic expectations here. It's just....so weird.


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
dazdandconfuzed
Member
Member # 11692
Default  Posted: 5:16 AM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hope I'm not getting unrealistic expectations here. It's just....so weird.

It is weird, it can be almost as scary when they start to "get it". I have seen a lot of amazing changes in my H lately. He is very attentive to me and my emotional needs lately. We are able to have physical contact without it being all about sex - hugs and cuddling and such. He's doing some great work with his CSAT and exploring things that he refused to ever look at before (like his FOO). We've been doing some really great work in MC. It's like he's a different, much improved verion of himself.

About 2 months ago we took the kids to play laser tag. The place was FULL of teenage girls - almost every employee was a teenage girl. He couldn't keep his eyes off them, even after I brought it up. We went again last weekend and I didn't catch him staring at one the whole time we were there.

But it is still scary as hell. How long will this last? Is he going to pull the rug out from under me, AGAIN? It can be very scary to allow yourself to hope.


Me - BW
Him - WH

Posts: 6618 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: Massachusetts
KickedintheGut
♀ Member
Member # 30086
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've got 2 questions today that I hope y'all can help with.

I know everyone says nothing but a CSAT, but what if there is not a CSAT to be found? We have one group in our city that has CSAT's and it just isn't an option right now due to distance and their availability. The therapist WH is going to now is an addiction specialist and when I hear about what he's being told to examine and look through, it all sounds/feels right. Since he's started going, I've noticed significant positive changes and reflections that weren't there before or even after he started going to SAA meetings. Does anyone have any things to look for in a therapist that isn't a CSAT if that's your only option?

2nd question - at his SAA meeting this week, they discussed the 4th step. He asked them if he should be telling me what he finds in his digging and the overwhelming answer was no. This made him uncomfortable, like it was keeping secrets. So he shared that and one of the vets told him that if he wanted to share what he found that we should do it with a therapist present. When he had his therapist appt this week, he discussed it with him and the therapist told him that we should discuss it and that he should let his conscience be his guide on this one. We discussed it this morning and it's really a tricky area. If it's info that really wouldn't affect me, like thoughts he has had, then no, I don't really need to know that. But if it's actions that were taken during the marriage, then yes, I should know that. Then I go back and forth on well, wouldn't I want to know how his brain works and how he thinks so I can see the difference between then and now? It's all a big confusing ball.

Also, this whole discussion started my head spinning on the "what else is there? what else could I not know?" He says there is nothing more than what he's told me, but that in his group they say that more will come up when he digs. What does that mean?

Any advice?

Thanks!


Me - BW (38) Him (calcitro) - SAWH (38)
2 Kids Working on R
DDay#1 - 11/9/10 - 2 year EA/PA
DDay #2 - 12/9/10
Disclosure - 4/8/11
Timeline - 5/9/11

Posts: 492 | Registered: Nov 2010
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 9:32 AM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know that I would want all of the details of my husband's 4th step. On the other hand, I do want full disclosure of the things that are important for me to know in order to go forward. I guess I see those as two different things. Maybe he could discuss how to handle that with his sponsor & find a way to achieve both.

Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am having trouble with an issue that maybe some of you have dealt with.

My SAWS has very low self esteem and seems to need external validation in a big way. Tell im he's a superstar & he'll follow you anywhere...basically.

The relationships he's had with other women (a PA, an EA & whatever else I don't know about) were all about external validation. His MO was to embellish the truth or lie about himself (profession, hobbies, age) and turn on the charm. In response, he'd hear all about what a great, wonderful guy he waas & how sad it was that his wife didn't appreciate him like they did

This stuff is like a drug to him.

While I am proud of him for facing his demons in recovery, I just can't bring myself to compliment or show much appreciation. I feel like I shouldn't need to blow happy sunshine up his butt for figuring out how to remain faithful. I feel like I don't want to have to show appreciation when he doesn't lie. I can't even get into telling him what a wonderful, terrific guy he is like the other women he found would do.

I know that part of the problem is that I'm still working through lots of anger. Maybe if he were just an ordinary cheater and we were reconciling, I would feel differently about showing lots of appreciation. Given that my husband is an SA complicates things. I don't want to feed his constant need for external validation. I don't want to provide the "drug of choice" so he doesn't seek it from others.

Maybe I'm seeing this subject in a screwed up way--if I am, please tell me what you see.


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 12:20 PM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just feel so sorry this morning that so many of us are here, and am thrilled to hear some WS seem to be moving in the right direction....truly sending best wishes to those on the path of recovery!

I am consistently amazed at how often my WS does exactly what folks on this site talk about.

After "coming clean" when confronted, he has just gone underground.

How is it I can still continue to be blown over by this mess?


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
dazdandconfuzed
Member
Member # 11692
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tal - I can tell you I have idea how to deal with that. I struggle with it, too.


Me - BW
Him - WH

Posts: 6618 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: Massachusetts
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 8:39 PM, March 18th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Shout out to "7"- Hope you are feeling better. You are missed. Take care of yourself.


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
copingwithdoubts
♀ Member
Member # 21431
Default  Posted: 5:45 PM, March 19th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@Tal
My husband is/was a validation seeker as well, and I struggled terribly with these same issues. His attempts to get attention were overt and verged on embarrassing at times. My approach was/is to simply state my appreciation for his appropriate behavior matter of factly, and discuss with him how it feels to live with such positive choices. I do not lavish praise on him for simply doing what is right, but I do try to reinforce how his choices make him feel.

I can say that as time has passed he has been finding a true validation of his own. His self-esteem is growing as he sees that he is living a sincere, honest life. He knows that he is capable and worthy of good decisions and it makes him feel really good about himself.

I have noticed this particularly since we have been working closely together for the last two years, as exhibitors at industry shows and conventions. His whole sales approach is so different than even a year ago. His has continued to implement personal boundaries and I've watched flirtation morph into friendly banter, and a much more self-assured business style has developed. His career has never been better and he knows there is a correlation.

I guess my point is that if he is in true recovery, he will start to look inward for validation, and be much less likely to seek it from you or elsewhere.




Posts: 349 | Registered: Oct 2008
FmrLIer
♀ Member
Member # 29784
Default  Posted: 6:31 PM, March 19th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nouveau,

I think it may be "just porn" with him. He's been into porn for at least 15 years that I can verify. I suspect compulsive masturbation that has left him with ED. Someone can't abuse a part of their body over and over for a long time without there being some physical damage. I now believe that there is actual damage. In my naive days, I thought he was just "born that way."

I think you're on the right track. From what we're learning, there can be temporary damage done to the nerve endings (?); also, they can become so used to a certain type of touch, in a certain, very specific spot, that anything else won't work. On a possible TMI side, when my SA was acting out uncontrollably, on a daily basis MB, he had gotten to a point where ED had become a problem for him to and he had to stop. Now, he says he is getting the sensations back again.


Me (BS)
Him (fSAH)
OA/PA

Ignorance was bliss but it wasn't the reality of my marriage...


Posts: 427 | Registered: Oct 2010
FmrLIer
♀ Member
Member # 29784
Default  Posted: 6:44 PM, March 19th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tal,

I could have written some of your posts from the other day. I've been dealing with some rough stuff in my world and I want to think about what you said before I respond. But the whole SA needing validation by OW rings eerily and painfully true (to read his emails to them, I was just awful); also while he's not working the steps - the "sharing" just isn't happening.

I'll share more later if you want it, or I'll just let you know, you're not alone.


Me (BS)
Him (fSAH)
OA/PA

Ignorance was bliss but it wasn't the reality of my marriage...


Posts: 427 | Registered: Oct 2010
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