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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts 6
Pocketdialed
Member
Member # 31687
Default  Posted: 3:08 PM, April 17th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is my first post in this thread. Tomorrow will make 6 weeks since the call that gave me my username and today is day 4 from getting enough truth to know there is a lot more truth to be had. My WW and both are beginning to see that she has had a replacement relapse from her cocaine addiction prior to us meeting 10 yrs ago on 4/1.

I do not feel up to relating the gory details again, but they are available in JFO if anyone is interested. Suffice it to say that she became a Craigslist tramp and gaslighted, TT'ed, and outright lied for the last 6 weeks.

I am really struggling today. I have filed papers for an emergency and forthwith hearing for the appointment of a Child and Family Investigator in hopes of limiting or restricting her access to our 2 young (4&1)until her recovery is deemed sufficient to ensure that the kids are not in jeopardy of her further exposing them to potentially dangerous people through CL or STD's through her actions.

Today I am alone with the children while she works. She texted me this morning to say that she had a mandatory shop meeting that she had forgotten/was unaware of after work and asked me not to be too mad.

I responded back "tell him I said "hi"

her: Great, thanks

me: if you want me to believe you, start with being honest. If you insist on covering up your lies and keeping contact, don't expect me not to assume.

I have done a lot of reading here on SI, but as mentioned am new to ICR. The more I read in this thread, the less hopeful I am for our M. When I start thinking like that I feel like a quitter. I take my promises very seriously and value my integrity. Therefore, I am having trouble separating my desire to honor the "for better or worse" part of M and my need to to do what is right for me.

It would also be appreciated if someone who has BTDT would volunteer to coach me through this. My already traumatic realization that my WW was having multiple A's is now compounded by the unique and somehow more confusing questions raised when SA is factored into the equation.

Thanks in advance...
PD

[This message edited by Pocketdialed at 3:14 PM, April 17th (Sunday)]


Posts: 71 | Registered: Mar 2011
scaredyKat
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Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 4:38 PM, April 17th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Pocket. I have recently begun trying to post in an attempt to pay back some of the support I got from this sight. I eventually got a remorseful, recovering WH but the journey through that chasm of TT and slips was long and terrible. We are now in a good place and I believe we are well on the way to true R. I'll help where I can. My first suggestion is to learn all you can about Sex addiction. For instance, I learned that it usually has its roots in childhood, because it needs no "substance" and it is an ideal way for kids in dysfunctional families to deal with stress. I also encourage you to read as many books as you can about SA. The first page of this thread has excellent resources listed by a member. Read some of them. Unfortunately, they too often deal with male SA and female spouses, and the motivation is somewhat different sometimes, but the addiction is the same.

I also think you should get yourself to an SAnon meeting. True again, you will see mostly women, but I can assure you that you will be greeted with compassion and dignity and find help and sympathy there.

For me, once I realized there was an addiction, his attendance at a 12 step program was necessary. If he didn't, I wasn't going to stay. And there ARE female, or male only meetings. You might think about that. Both Sex Addicts Anonymous http://www.sexaa.org/ and Sexaholics Anonymous http://sa.org/have excellent websites as well as S-anon www.sanon.org...

Be well and feel free to PM me. I don't always check this forum.

There is hope in SA. But both of you have to want to work hard, and you have to have an awful lot of forgiveness in you. She will go through a REAL withdrawal, while trying to make amends to you and taking full responsibility for her destructive behavior. And make no mistake about it, this behavior eventually leads to death, just as other addictions do.


Me-BS-59
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2924 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Default  Posted: 9:34 PM, April 17th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((Pocketdialed)) It's late & I'm tired, but..welcome to our little part of SI. Congratulations on taking steps to protect your children.


First, find a certified sex addiction counselor (CSAT) for you & 1 for her. Don't share an IC. An addiction specialist at a minimum & a CSAT is best. Go to page 1 & copy down or print all of 7's advice for newbies. It's well worth the time & effort. If your wife goes to SA meetings or group therapy push hard for same gender meetings. Addicts aren't known for their strong boundaries and relapses & slips are very common.

I'm very sorry, but I'm sleepy & I'm going to bed. I'll be back in a day or so, but you can always PM me. I'm happy to answer what I can, but my SAWH isn't sober & isn't working a program so....My knowledge is limited by that.

G'nite~ Sabina


Details & story in profile

"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow

"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."

Maya Angelou


Posts: 1350 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Metro DC
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 11:06 PM, April 17th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Pocketdialed: welcome to our little corner of SI. Your wife had an addiction problem prior to your marraige? Did she/does she go to meetings? Have you ever been to meetings for yourself?

I was fortunate (yeah I know this will sound odd) to have prior experience with addiction before my husband's SA kicked into high gear. I have had multiple family members with addiction so I go to A-anon & Nar-anon. Now I ahve added CoSa to that list. I am so thankful that I already had a grounding in -anon programs because I understand dealing with addiction SO much better! I also have a lot of experience at how to stay healthy myself--dispite the addition in a loved one--and how I can avoid not contributing to the disease of addiction.

I highly recommend reading everything you can find for partners of SA and going to meetings. If you can't find a CoSa meeting, go to whatever -anon meeting you can find. Addiction is addiction no matter the substance involved.


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
alexa071
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Member # 28881
Default  Posted: 4:44 AM, April 18th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hey all,

First time posting here on the SA ICR thread. I have been reading Claudia Black "Deceived" and some things in there have been triggering some thoughts.

In reading that book she seems to make an assumption that with any addict there is a co-addict. It almost comes across like there can't be one without the other. I have a HUGE problem with taking on a label with "co" anything. To me it implies that I share a role in my WW's sexual acting out. I absolutely refuse to take any blame or responsibility for something that happened without my knowledge and I played no role in. Even if I were to accept that by taking on the caretaker or "adult" role in our relationship that allowed her the space needed to act out, I still refuse to accept that it in ANY WAY gives me a "co" or partner role in her affair. All I see from that is her taking advantage of me for being responsible and trying to provide a good life for us.

Also, I believe that my WW would have been an SA whether she and I were in a relationship or not. Are there not SA's who don't have a significant other? Who is THEIR co-addict? I don't buy it... I see the benefit of getting the BS in this SA drama out of the victim role. I can see how I need to learn to step away from that role but I refuse to say that I am somehow addicted too and that I have to work steps because of this. Are there not people who simply marry SA's and find out too late? So, I am supposed to believe that ONLY codependents or co-addicts marry SA's? Not even one slips through the cracks to marry someone who isn't a "co-addict"? The book even tries to say that I am messed up JUST THE SAME as my WW. That my "co-addiction" was created through the same processes that my WW's was. I just don't see that and it doesn't fit our situation.

Another biggie that I have a problem with is the idea that checking up on or playing detective is an activity that HAS to be stopped. So, my question to you who are dealing with SA's is this:

How do you know if the SA is NC or is in recovery or is being honest without any verification? I know mine is a master at lying... so how do I know if she is telling the truth without some means of checking up on that? Am I supposed to just let go of it all and ASSUME that everything is just fine and dandy and she is being honest? That's exactly what got me utterly blindsided the last time!

I wasn't untrusting or intrusive before D-day. If I had done some checking up during her A maybe I wouldn't have gone 3 years before I found out that she was cheating and my son wasn't mine biologically. I refuse to be blindsided again and the only way I know to alleviate that possibility is to do some checking up now and again. I understand that there is NO WAY to completely negate the chance of my WW relapsing and that isn't under my control. What I DO want to insure is that if she does that I find out as quickly as possible so I can get the hell outta dodge.

Whew... sorry... I know I'm actually venting a bit but there are some honest questions wrapped up in all of this. Thanks for reading!

Alexa


Me: BH (32)
Her: XWW/SA/Borderline PD (Betrayer47) (32)
OC: (4)

Posts: 1042 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: MN
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 7:49 AM, April 18th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alexa: I feel the same way as you do regarding the co-addict label. There is another book that talks about a trauma model, however I can't remember its title. I will accept that my naivety and my blind trust made it easier for my husband to cheat, but I do not accept ANY responsibility for his acting out or for his addiction. I may have been a bit co-dependent before marrying, but I thought I was avoiding men like my husband. I ran from guys pre-occupied with sex. I asked my husband how I missed it and he said he was a good liar and left no clues for me to find. He tricked me and admits he did just that. However, I think I dated other sex addicts, so I do wonder if there is some reason I attracted them or they attracted me. Still thinking about this.

As far as the snooping goes, I consider snooping a good thing. I snooped to protect myself. To determine if I was crazy or if my suspicions were warranted. I often found things but I believed hubs' lies because I wanted to believe I married a good man. And I did, he just had problems. When I felt the need to snoop, it was always BECAUSE hubs was acting out. I did eventually get a rush when I found something, but not because I wanted a rush, just because I found that I wasn't crazy and "fight or flight" kicked it. Now that hubs is active in recovery, I rarely feel the need to snoop, but I still do on occasion to keep myself safe. I will never stop checking up on him from time to time. Now I only do it once or twice a month. While he was acting out I did it every day at times. I see this as a sign that I am not a co-addict. I checked up on him when I needed to. Now that I don't need to, I don't.

Reading took me through a process. I went through denial, then became open to some ideas. Now I see that I may have been attracted to hubs due to his emotional disconnect...thought if we weren't too close I wouldn't get hurt (boy was that a stupid thought). I accept that I over-looked things because I didn't want them to cloud my "fairy-tale love" I wanted and thought I had. I accept that believing my husband's lies instead of demanding truth allowed the problem to go on longer and progress. However, with a "normal" husband I wouldn't have had to worry and I likely would have been a "normal" happy wife. I accept that my behaviors made it EASIER for hubs to act out...but I do not accept any responsibility for his acting out. I did not contribute to his addiction, I only made it easier. I think the trauma from being married to an addict gave me some co-dependent behaviors as well.


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
Pocketdialed
Member
Member # 31687
Default  Posted: 9:15 AM, April 18th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I found and am going to try to attend my first S-anon meeting tonight. This weekend was REALLY hard for me. It has almost been like hitting bottom for myself.

Posts: 71 | Registered: Mar 2011
oldtimer97
♀ Member
Member # 2365
Default  Posted: 10:36 AM, April 18th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

QUICK $100 FIX TO FIND PORN:

Not for entertainment purposes, rotfl, but searching on a PC. In getting the link for another post on Paraben, I came across this article.

This certainly makes the hunt easier, particularly if a user has passed the casual user status and is into heavy stuff and hiding files. We've had members in the past that I've been left with the impression their SO's were hiding serious secrets from them, be it either pedophilia, drugs or organized crime.

http://blogs.forbes.com/marcwebertobias/2011/04/07/the-100-usb-stick-your-boss-can-use-to-find-your-porn/

This should help any who are including sweeps on the computers for their SA's as part of their sobriety.


FWIW, because of brain damage, I write in storyteller form, so hardly any short posts from me & bad eyesight gives me a 50% edit rate..Apologies in advance!

Posts: 3168 | Registered: Oct 2003 | From: Sunny Arizona
IRN2006
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Member # 23717
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, April 18th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alexa-
Good to see you here.

You are correct, that not all spouses of SAs are co-addicts. I actually find it amusing that I was never in a codependant relationship with my SA husband, but completely a codep with my parents..

You asked this:

How do you know if the SA is NC or is in recovery or is being honest without any verification?

We are 4.25 years out from D-Day. My husband has been sober/in recovery all of that time. For the first 9 months, I needed verification for his sobriety. For us, though it was easy, in that we put NetNanny on the computer. We also did a few joint sessions with my husband's CSAT (who recommended polygraphs if I couldn't trust my husband). My husband had to account for his whole day. I'd ask for proof if something was remiss.

Now, at about the 9 month mark, my husband began to exhibit behaviors he had never done before. I actually began to trust him at the 18 month mark of his recovery, as he was doing these behaviors consistently for about 9 months.

My husband's behaviors included communicating, being more present, planning things, wooing me, and getting plans about improving his career. While he was acting out, he did none of this.

There's also a good bit of the physical side that's now changed. My husband acted out with porn and compulsive MB. Not for too much TMI, but his sexual bits would get scaly from acting out. Now that my husband is sober, he doesn't last at all. If my husband suddenly had increased stamina, well, I'd know that likely he was acting out again.

I'd also like to say, that for the first year, I was checking through his things every moment I could. I didn't want to miss anything. Now, it's rare that I check. When I do have the urge to check, it's more that my needs are going unmet, and I'm looking for an explanation.


Posts: 1295 | Registered: Apr 2009
alexa071
♂ Member
Member # 28881
Default  Posted: 4:35 AM, April 19th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Optimistic,

However, with a "normal" husband I wouldn't have had to worry and I likely would have been a "normal" happy wife. I accept that my behaviors made it EASIER for hubs to act out...but I do not accept any responsibility for his acting out. I did not contribute to his addiction, I only made it easier. I think the trauma from being married to an addict gave me some co-dependent behaviors as well.

This is pretty much where I'm coming from. I will admit... B47 and I were/are VERY enmeshed. We pretty much have spent every waking moment (except a few ) together. We've been dating since we were in high school. If I'm not working, I'm at home with her. We were each other's primary source of love, affection, friendship and support. I can see now that being in that type of relationship made this shock much worse on me. I don't see that relationship as BAD per se, but it set me up in a place that when she DID betray me my ENTIRE LIFE came crashing down. If I had "spread the load" across more people perhaps only a few columns would have gone down instead of the entire building. Had she NOT betrayed me I believe we'd still be happily humming along as an extremely tight married couple.

As far as the majority of the co-dependent behaviors... I think I've picked them up from the shock of the betrayal. It definitely seems a lot like post-traumatic stress disorder...

*Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again

*Recurrent distressing memories of the event

*Repeated dreams of the event

*Physical reactions to situations that remind you of the traumatic event

*Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you donít care about anything

*Feelings of detachment

*Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma

*Lack of interest in normal activities

*Less expression of moods

*Staying away from places, people, or objects that remind you of the event

*Sense of having no future

*Difficulty concentrating

*Exaggerated response to things that startle you

*Excess awareness (hypervigilance)

*Irritability or outbursts of anger

*Sleeping difficulties

I think a lot of these symptoms could very easily be seen as co-dependent behavior unless it is apparent that they started at the SAME TIME as the critical incident. Specifically, I see how the hypervigilance and irritability/outbursts of anger would be viewed as co-dependent. As far as the rest of them... well, I'm pretty sure I've experienced ALL of them. I'm in Law Enforcement and we talk a lot about PTSD and officer involved shootings. I've never been in one but I know people that have and almost died from gunshot wounds. It's tough to compare the two since I haven't been there but I get the sense that the lasting damage (emotionally) is far worse from infidelity than from an officer involved shooting.

I absolutely felt like my entire life came crashing down around me on D-day... traumatic to say the least. The trauma also wasn't a one-time event... it continued day after day for MONTHS as the TT was revealed. As a result of the trauma I am entirely incapable of allowing myself to trust my WW. The snooping and hypervigilance is my defense mechanism to prevent that shock from happening again. I refuse to allow myself to be put in such a vulnerable position again. I now know what she is capable of and I will be DAMNED if I allow myself to be duped again... at the very least I will do EVERYTHING in my power to keep my head on a swivel. I want to see that swing coming before I get knocked out.

IRN,

We also did a few joint sessions with my husband's CSAT (who recommended polygraphs if I couldn't trust my husband)

See... that sounds normal. B47's IC and my new IC in the same clinic made me sound like a controlling asshole for requesting polygraphs. I was just stunned that somehow I had become the "bad" guy and I was somehow a stumbling block to her recovery. Granted, three sounds like a LOT but the first one B47 admitted to lying her ass off and then she failed the second one as well. The third just seemed like the natural place to go. She SWORE she was telling the truth so she was given another chance to prove that she was being honest. Somehow, that got turned around that I was injuring her by "making" her take it.

I'd also like to say, that for the first year, I was checking through his things every moment I could. I didn't want to miss anything. Now, it's rare that I check. When I do have the urge to check, it's more that my needs are going unmet, and I'm looking for an explanation.

This also seems like a normal state of things for me following such immense betrayal. I can agree that it wouldn't be healthy for a marriage for one spouse to be snooping FOREVER and for no reason. On the flip side, I think it should be important that the ABILITY to verify is there whether or not it is used. In reading "Deceived" it was just put out as gospel that snooping was wrong, co-dependent and had to be curtailed immediately. My IC kept calling it "detectiving" and actually told me that it was counter-productive to building a trusting relationship. My thinking was "How am I supposed to EVER build any trust without verification?" I am incapable of trusting B47... if I don't verify I assume that she is lying. So, how do I build confidence that she is being honest by ONLY taking her word for it... her word means less than shit to me right now. I got the feeling that I was even being told that my snooping was creating a situation where B47 couldn't trust ME . What a joke!

Honestly, a big part of all the snooping is that I don't trust that I will be able to put two and two together if B47 starts acting out again. I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA it was happening the last time. Sure, there were red flags. The thing is, though, that most of them only become red flags when taken in hindsight, in context of the affair and in combination with ALL of the other signs. If it were to happen again, who knows if I'd be able to put the puzzle together as it was occurring?

The message I am getting from my IC and "deceived" is that it is all about controlling the SA. I just don't see it that way because if I wanted to CONTROL it, the snooping wouldn't be happening in the dark, right? My aim is to control MY life and ensure MY safety in this marriage. I COMPLETELY recognize that I cannot control B47... that has been made ABUNDANTLY clear since D-day. I don't feel like I'm trying to control. Here's how I look at it:

Our marriage is DEAD. Before we got married the last time we did so with a certain set of expectations... we were each meeting each other's expectations to be married so we GOT MARRIED. Now, because B47 murdered our marriage we have to start from scratch. My expectations have changed as a result of her behavior. Before I could accept laziness, half-assery and selfishness but it was weighed on a scale against promises of faithfulness and unity. Now a weight has been removed from one side of the scale (faithfulness) and it just isn't leveling out at "marriage material". I feel like she is going to have to bring more to the plate for me to want to re-enter a marriage contract with her. Now to counterbalance her horrific betrayal I expect total honesty, transparency, motivation and many other avenues of amends before I can see that scale leveling out at "marriage". These expectations, to my IC so far, have been equated with "trying to control her".

I don't know how to argue against that... I am making requests of her that she doesn't necessarily want to do. I believe that if she could she would stay the lazy, slovenly, unmotivated person she has gotten used to AND get to stay in the marriage. Like I said, I recognize that I can't MAKE her do anything she doesn't want to do. If she doesn't want to meet my expectations she is free to stay the way she is and I am free to make the decision to end the marriage. My problem is that the messages I'm getting (from B47's IC and her colleague my "new" IC) is that I either have to shut my mouth and stay in the marriage expecting nothing more of her or divorce. Why is it wrong to expect more out of B47 in the wake of the slash and burn job she has done on my life? I know this is long and doesn't seem SA related but these messages I've been getting have only been coming since we transitioned into the SA treatment side of things. When I read about infidelity in general the sharing of passwords, making amends, etc seem to be commonplace and expected.

Alexa


Me: BH (32)
Her: XWW/SA/Borderline PD (Betrayer47) (32)
OC: (4)

Posts: 1042 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: MN
Tal
♀ Member
Member # 3300
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, April 19th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You have about a hundred questions. Alex! I'm going to try to keep my answers simple. It doesn't really matter if I had co-dependant traits before marrying an addict. Even before understanding that my WS had an addiction problem, I now see that I did some things that were contributing to the problem. Primarily, I accepted some unacceptable things & this is is part of what I did that was enabling.

The bottom line is that I have many of the traits you listed--because I was profoundly affected. YES--many of those traits are also PTSD related. -anon meetings are for those who have been affected by the addition of a loved one.

For me, the checking up on (computers, phone, etc.) became an obsession. In fact, I became obsessed with everything my imagination could conjure up about what he was doing or not doing. I lost focus on living my own life. I really NEEDED to focus on my own life, because I had to take responsibility for now having been profoundly affected. I couldn't do much of my own work on myself if I was consistantly focused on the addict.

My WS has his own fixing of himself to do in recovery. I can let go of obsession/fear/control much easier because I know that.

I have learned to detach (with love) much better so that what he does or doesn't do isn't going to blow up my world or devestate me as a person.

Can a non-codie "accidently marry an addict". Sure. Their reactions aren't going to be as sick as those who are or became codies. I wonder about this subject often. I am an adult child of an alcoholic. I married a guy when we were young & he became an alcoholic. I left him. My next husband was a recovering addict--had been in the program for years & seemed stable. He later relapsed & died. The third (present) husband was someone I had already been friends with for many years. I also took my time getting involved with him. I was so terrified that I would be blindsided by addiction or some other major hidden dysfunction. It was years into our marraige that I started noticing something was "off" in the area of sex and intimacy.

I think that the answer for me is that there is something I was subconcsiously attracted to in men that have addictions. It isn't that I consciously chose partners with addiction--but the dysfunction dance between addict & codie was familiar to me.

Anyway...it doesn't really matter if the chicken or the egg came first. The bottom line is that I became affected/damaged by my husband's addiction. I don't want to remain damaged if I can help it--so I get IC and go to meetings to get healtheir.


Posts: 2145 | Registered: Jan 2004
copingwithdoubts
♀ Member
Member # 21431
Default  Posted: 2:06 PM, April 19th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alexa,

Anyway...it doesn't really matter if the chicken or the egg came first. The bottom line is that I became affected/damaged by my husband's addiction.

I am in the same mindset as Tal on this. In the end, we are all forced to deal with habits and coping mechanisms we developed as a result of the trauma of our partner's SA.

As far as the snooping ... most of us go through a phase where we constantly check to the point of obsession. But as we begin to heal, and our SA's start showing us they are solidly in recovery, it will ease up ... simply because you will feel safer and more secure. After two years of true recovery, I find I only snoop when I am feeling really insecure or over-stressed.

Part of your healing from this trauma is learning to trust yourself and your ability to honestly judge another person's behavior. You do this by critically looking back at the reality of your relationship pre-DDay. Unless your SA is also a sociopath, chances are slim you would not recognize her emotional retreat from you after such a traumatic breach of trust before.

If your SA is healing and in recovery, she will want to share with you and engage with you emotionally. If she is acting out, distant and withholding her true self from you, making you feel like an outsider, then you probably are.

As for her unwillingness to share the past honestly with you, that will come later. It is very shameful and difficult for an SA to disclose. It isn't fair, but for now you'll have to be content that she is willing to share the present. When your SA is willing to discuss and share their present struggles, they are on the path that leads to recovery.

The biggest leap in my personal recovery has been just accepting all the most horrible things I could imagine as true. In my heart I felt they most likely were anyway, and I still felt empathy and compassion. I am giving him the emotional support he needs to make ammends and heal, with the full knowledge that it is fragile and totally under his control.

It is not easy to get to this place, but I feel it has been worth the pain. I have seen him make a true effort to recover and heal himself, and that was the goal all along. With or without me, I love him and I want him to be healthy for his and my children's sake.




Posts: 349 | Registered: Oct 2008
alexa071
♂ Member
Member # 28881
Default  Posted: 4:47 AM, April 20th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Part of your healing from this trauma is learning to trust yourself and your ability to honestly judge another person's behavior. You do this by critically looking back at the reality of your relationship pre-DDay. Unless your SA is also a sociopath, chances are slim you would not recognize her emotional retreat from you after such a traumatic breach of trust before.

I suppose there is a lot of truth to this. Also, if I have to be perfectly honest, I probably also wasn't paying enough attention to my WW's level of emotional connection. I don't think I was ever neglectful of her but she just had moods that seemed to ebb and flow. She would be up and she would be down but she has NEVER exposed any of her feelings... deep down kind of stuff. She operates on the surface at all times. Because of that I think I just came to the silent belief that she was just an incredibly shallow person.

I am constantly talking about my feelings and struggles in dealing with her affair. She feels comfortable talking about MY feelings but trying to crack into HER feelings is next to impossible. I always wondered why I would drift off into my own thoughts when she was talking... I thought I just didn't pay enough attention to her. I've been focusing VERY HARD on listening to her and I now know why I can't follow her. She only talks about entirely inane things... nothing personal and nothing intimate. She will talk about her sister's problems, her Mom being mad at her Dad, what she is going to do today, what OC did yesterday, and on and on. I listen because I want to know what she is thinking about and feeling but it isn't really like it is even thoughts... she just talks to fill time. When I divert a conversation into something personal or difficult for her she quickly changes the subject to some other surface topic or shuts down and does one of two things:

1: Gets angry and starts a fight or,

2: Cries and ends the conversation in a sea of tears

Which leads perfectly to the next point...

If your SA is healing and in recovery, she will want to share with you and engage with you emotionally. If she is acting out, distant and withholding her true self from you, making you feel like an outsider

Hmmm... I don't think that she is still acting out but I'm definitely not getting a whole lot of emotional engagement. There have been VERY few times where I felt any kind of sincerity of emotion coming from her. Sometimes I see it come through in body language but when she say's she's sorry it almost always comes across as robotic. I keep telling her that she is like talking to a brick wall and I'm getting tired of hitting my head against it. She say's that she needs to "work on that" and then things continue along like usual.

I really haven't heard about any of her struggles or difficulties at all. In therapy she deals with things like writing out her cycle and listing boundaries. She also talks a lot about her group's struggles (because she doesn't have to deal with her own that way). What I realized is that she will only work on things that can be done concretely and don't require her to really examine her thoughts. She will come up with boundaries and cycle issues that affect her ACTIONS but never ones that address the feelings or thoughts she has that lead to the actions.

As for her unwillingness to share the past honestly with you

I think I have a pretty good picture of her past. It took quite a few months, a lot of digging and more than a few polygraphs but I think I have been told most of her "sexual history". I, personally, don't think that I have to be "content" with anything. If I truly still believed and had a damn good REASON to believe that she was witholding more information I would not choose to reconcile with her. SA or not, I refuse to be lied to any more. WHY I get lied to is of no concern to me... 100% honesty is a core boundary of mine and if she wasn't able to give me that, again SA or not, I would not reconcile.

I really have a problem with the "disease" mentality towards SA. I guess I'm just at the point where I don't care about WHY she would continue to act out... if she does I'm gone. To me this isn't the same as relapsing and getting drunk... one slip up in this recovery and our marriage is over.

I actually still have reservations about whether she IS an SA. In speaking with her it definitely sounds like there was a compulsion in her A. What I have difficulty with is how she just ended it and didn't act out any more. Why, for the last 1.5 years has she been able to just stop sexually acting out if she is a sex addict? Also, why wasn't there any acting out for the first 2.5 years of our marriage? Part of me thinks that there is just an addictive quality to ALL affairs. I think, sometimes, that she was just addicted to OM and the affair... not the sex. I guess I just don't know... her diagnosis is technically compulsive sexual behavior but from my understanding that is pretty much synonymous with SA.

Thanks everyone for the input... I'm finished with "deceived" and "mending a shattered heart" is in the mail. I really wish the authors of these books wouldn't directly relate to one gender for the SA's. I'm getting tired reading about how "we women" react to things

Alexa


Me: BH (32)
Her: XWW/SA/Borderline PD (Betrayer47) (32)
OC: (4)

Posts: 1042 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: MN
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 7:35 AM, April 20th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alexa: Like you, hubs and I spent most of our time together. He went out with friends on occasion, I rarely did. I thought we were close because we were always together. But I am realizing that we had a disconnected marriage. We did not feel comfortable opening up to each other because I was scared to get hurt and show my true self and he was emotionally stunted. This is how I know our relationship is improving, we are learning how to be emotionally close and we are making great progress. My husband is also horrible at putting his feelings into words. I have been talking a lot about how I feel and I think it is rubbing off on him a bit. We do deep intimate conversations via email a lot. It is easier for him to think and type to open up than to have me face to face (but I still don't get as much info on his feelings as I would like). I am glad to hear I am not the only one that could not focus on what my spouse talked about. He was always getting angry that I "forgot" something because I found conversations with him so boring I couldn't stay focused. I am working very hard on listening as well and he is becoming a bit less boring now that he can talk about feelings to a degree.

He also trickle truthed so much I don't know if I know the entire truth. I found that I was not making him feel safe to open up. I was negative and had a VERY hard time not having a tone to my voice. When I said "Hubs, I don't think you are telling me everything and it really angers me. I hope as you get further in recovery you understand the importance of telling all. How can we have true intimacy if there are secrets between us?" He then spilled the beans to my amazement. However, it is so hard to NOT have a tone to my voice when I am angry that we rarely have those talks.

We also had a counselor make me feel stupid for wanting a polygraph...it was obvious hubs didn't want one because he was still lying (and he was) but the counselor backed him up (we found a new one).

If you see a compulsion to your wife's acting out, I would focus on that. SA is so hard for a non-addict to understand. I see compulsion to what my husband did and that is why I feel he is a SA. He is even a bit confused about the whole SA thing...he feels he could have tried harder to control his actions. It also went in stages with my husband. He could be "good" for a while and then go from porn to chatting to an affair. That is one reason it is so hard to know what is going on. One thing that helped me was asking my husband why he had sex with other women. Turns out it was for the orgasm. They were nothing but objects for him to use to get his drug of choice. He also got highs off of just porn and chatting...when those highs were no longer enough, he moved on to the real deal. He did become emotionally close to one of his OW. That one really confused me, but he says she was a part of his addiction that he happened to be friends with. At the time he thought it was love but he now sees it was his addiction talking.

I feel like I am married to the male version of your wife and I am the female version of you. Know that there is hope and true intimacy can be found. I was in your state of mind a few short months ago. I am now so excited for our future I can't believe it. I feel like we have a new marriage...that used to anger me that we had to have a new one, but now I am very excited about it! We have a fresh start and a chance at true, intimate, un-guarded love! Becoming emotionally healthy together is truly an intimacy building experience. You just need the right counselor to help you on your way.


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: 8:34 AM, April 20th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Alexa-

On another board I'm a member of (support for SA), there's definately the thought that PTSD is NOT co-dep.

If you want answers for yourself, do a few things: Read Codependent no more, and see if it resonates at all with you. You could also go to COSA here and see if this resonnates at all with you.

http://www.cosa-recovery.org/behaviors.html

Over on the other board, others have suggested reading "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse." You may want to give that book a gander.

Alexa-
Have you put together a list of things YOU need to recover and presented that to your wife? SA or not, if she's not willing to meet them, well, then she's not willing to recover your marriage. I think, right now that has got to be one of your bottom lines, no?

And, on your list, if you wish to about your wife's addiction, it should be on there.

That said, you do know it takes 3-5 years to heal from SA, right? We are at the 3 year end, only because my husband didn't physcially cheat and because he worked his recovery. He also had wanted to stop actually for at least a good 5 years before I discovered his addiction. He just didn't know how.

I bring up the 3-5 year thing, because it's going to take YEARS for your wife to deal with this. When did she get her "official" diagnosis? That's when the clock starts ticking.

As I've said before, I hadn't seen marked improvement in my husband until he was in recovery for 9 months.

As for your wife going cold turkey. Well, first of all, you don't know if she's done acting out or if she's engaging in middle circle behavior. If she's engaging in middle circle behavior, she's not completely sober, yet.

Second of all, it is possible for them to go cold turkey. My husband used porn for nearly 20 years, or for about 2/3rds of his life upon d-day. He's been sober for 4 years, now, with no slips and relapses. He really defies all the numbers..(He wasn't sexually abused, had a fine childhood, etc, etc, etc.) And, well, his recovery is defying the statistics as well.

Because you don't know about your wife's acting out behavior, you don't know, for sure whether or not she was acting out when you were married, do you?

My husband's addiction did escalate. Looking back, I can see the exact points where it did. However, my husband's addiction escalated in terms of frequency in acting out...

I guess in your position, I would do the following two things. Get "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse" and ask for a full disclosure, with therapists in the room.

(I personally didn't get much out of Mending a Shattered Heart...)


Posts: 1295 | Registered: Apr 2009
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Cool  Posted: 5:20 PM, April 20th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Everyone & welcome to alexa! I'm doing ok, my general trend is upward, so I'm happy with that.

Alexa~

Most of my story is in my profile, you can read it there if you're interested. Much of your situation doesn't apply to me because my SA denies he's an addict of any stripe and is not in any form of recovery. I verify probably only once a week, but we're not sleeping together or having sex so I'm not worried about 'catching anything' so to speak. I continue to verify because doing so eases my mind. My CSAT tells us that the majority of our mental and emotional energy needs to be turned away from the SA and their addiction and back into ourselves and our healing.

As for the co-addict/codependant labels, I completely agree that much of the time they're not applicable. I too find the co-addict label offensive. However, after hours of work with my CSAT I absolutely accept that I'm probably a codependant due to serious FOO issues of my own. I refused to recognize it for a long time, until I realized that my own stubbornness was holding me back from healing and learning tools to cope with my SA's crazymaking insanity. I urge you not to get too hung up on the labels and try and learn as much as you can from supportive sources. I find trauma model very applicable; perhaps doing some research into this viewpoint might help you? Not necessarily SA related trauma books, but general books that deal with PTSD in general? Maybe a counselor who specializes in PTSD therapies would help you the most?

I believe that my WW would have been an SA whether she and I were in a relationship or not. Are there not SA's who don't have a significant other? Who is THEIR co-addict? I don't buy it..

I agree that B47 would likely be an addict of some form or another regardless of the state of your marriage. Whether or not an SA is married is irrelevant to their status as an addict, IMO. An addict doesn't need a co-addict to qualify. I'm unsure if I'm reading this properly??

l I expect total honesty, transparency, motivation and many other avenues of amends before I can see that scale leveling out at "marriage"

These are an excellent start IMO & have nothing to do with control. I find myself taking what my various therapists say with a grain of salt. I use what I can & shelve the rest for another time. Now I have to say that painful experience has shown me that most often my therapists were correct & I simply wasn't in a place to see or hear that before. So I try to remember what is said, even if I disagree at the time, 'cuz who knows? I might need those pearls of wisdom later!

I either have to shut my mouth and stay in the marriage expecting nothing more of her or divorce.

Goodness- that isn't right at all. Heaven knows my SAWH has spent nearly all of last year trying to get me to rugsweep. Much to his chagrin I have steadfastly refused.

I listen because I want to know what she is thinking about and feeling but it isn't really like it is even thoughts... she just talks to fill time. When I divert a conversation into something personal or difficult for her she quickly changes the subject to some other surface topic or shuts down and does one of two things:

1: Gets angry and starts a fight or,

2: Cries and ends the conversation in a sea of tears

My SA does this too, although # 2 should read *pouts*. It's an ugly behavior in an adult.

I really have a problem with the "disease" mentality towards SA

I thought I had this too until I realized that my issue with this is the word 'disease'. To me disease implies a medical cause & a cure. However, a 'mental illness' *to me* is something that has to be managed, but there is *no cure*. A chronic illness. I realize this is purely semantics, but thinking about SA in this way helped me. Of course, as with any disease or illness, behavior makes a difference. We each can influence our health, mental or physical.

Anyhow, Alexa, those are some of my thoughts. Take what works & leave the rest as they say. Welcome aboard!


PS- IRN is spot on with the advice to be pro-active with practicing self care.


~ Sabina

[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 5:23 PM, April 20th (Wednesday)]


Details & story in profile

"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow

"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."

Maya Angelou


Posts: 1350 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Metro DC
cheetabump
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Member # 29596
Default  Posted: 6:02 PM, April 20th (Wednesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am trying to wrap my head around all these posts!

They all seem so heavy to me and drain me, giving me headaches.

Sorry, it isn't necessary a bad thing.

I do have some questions though. I am new to this situation so bear with me.

My H and I always had a nice intimate, strong, healthy sex drive.

Approx 3 yrs (2008) years ago, while he was approaching 50, he started having ED problems.

He hinted at MLC, and I panicked when I asked him if he was "thinking" about cheating and he didn't answer that. bout a month later I found a viagra pill. I had a meltdown then but he reassured me that he didn't and that he was confused about some feelings he was having and the viagra was to help him with his ED with me.
I didn't buy the whole story but stressed that we should go to IC. He agreed.
I went, he didn't. Things were rugswept (I realize that now)

Fastforward to 8/2010, I discover phone texting to another woman, who was under a man's name in his phone. These were deleted so I never found out the nature of their relationship.

This time around I did not have a meltdown and found SI a week later after confronting about the texting.

I got the keylogger, GPS.

Within, 6 hours of the GPS I confronted him and OW (text person) in our truck on a secluded block.

Okay...I told him I was not sharing and he was free to go but if he stayed he was to IC and NC. He started IC and is still going since September

And I did not find any evidence of breaking NC, however..I discovered that he was visiting adult video shops at least 2-3 times a week.

I knew he would look at porn, mostly with magazines and an occasional video here and there.

Since, I work evenings and the kids all either were in college or on their own...we were empty nesters. He was alone alot.

I don't know but some where during this time, I realize that he turned to porn more.

With the gps, I discover just how much he is looking at this stuff.

I decided to snoop to see just what he is looking at. Most of it is the general garbage but as time is going on I see beastality, peeing (not sure what it is called bt it went by some other name, they pee on each other)

He is having trouble with ED on and off more on lately.
I found Cialis pill here and there and I know he has taken them with me ( )

No computer porn but do believe the more I read, the OW is where he might have progressed to.

Questions? How to I broach this to him? Do I just ignore it and let him do his thing and I detach?
I just don't know what to do with the information I have at this point.

Sorry for the long story before the questions but wanted to give a short version of our life and see what you think of it all.

[This message edited by cheetabump at 7:20 PM, April 20th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 638 | Registered: Sep 2010 | From: NY
GeniusOrAFool
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Member # 30940
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, April 21st (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Question:

I am assuming that the posters here have endured a combination of offenses: infideltiy and SA.

So, your saWS finally admits there is a problem, gets treatment, and goes down the path of recovery.
Great. Wonderful.

Now, what about the infidelity? My saWH engaged in a LTA which was both deeply emotional and physical for years. He adored OW. She was 'it' for him; his 'soulmate'; a perfect match in every way. He told me back in 2005 that he has never felt for anyone the way he has felt for her. SHE ended the LTA in 2004. HE spent most of that year trying to get her to resume the LTA, but she blocked him out of her life and made herself totally unavailable. At the end of 04 when he finally realized that it was really over, he went into despair and depression with suicidal thoughts. Then I discovered their LTA in 2005 by piecing together shredded love letters from our shedder trash. 'We' tried to R. One of the obstacles was that he was unable to emotionally let her go. He kept asking me to be patient while he slowly let her go as he was in such pain over the loss. I did allow him time because I knew there was no way we could R if he was still in love with her. (I did not know about the SA at the time). Time went by, and he was never able to tell me that he successfully let her go. The M was over. I stayed for the kids because he and I were able to get along quite well despite our issues. The kids were unscathed by it all.

There were a few events over the years since in which I was tipped off that he still had feelings for OW...that she was 'it' for him...the one that got away...mostly in the form of things I stumbled upon online.

Fast forward to today: saWH finally admits he is a SA and has begun treatment. He wants to R the M and is actually now trying. I suspect...and hope...that he has success. But, I believe that after all this...all his work to deal with the SA...that, in the end, we will get D'd anyway because I will NEVER beleive that his heart is 100% for me and that OW is no longer in it. I believe that he will always hold her dear in his heart, that he is with me by default, and is settling for me...because he can't have her without incurring much loss/pain for himself. So, he will R with me, his 2nd choice. NONE of this is OK with me. I will not be 2nd to any woman. He has recently tried to tell me that OW is not right for him, she is not what he wants, that the LTA was a mistake. But, it's like I can read between the lines and am hearing that he still cares about her and is protective of her. That's not going to work for me.

Is there anyone who is in a similar situation? How did you deal with this?

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
OptimisticMe
♀ Member
Member # 30658
Default  Posted: 10:44 AM, April 21st (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Genius: My husband had an emotional connection to a woman he met on a military training deployment. They started as friends but their relationship quickly became sexual. He had feelings for her "because he could talk to her about anything" and he told her he loved her when he left for home. He only knew her for 5 months at that time. He now says he loved her as a friend. So this was "minor" compared to your husband's LTA but perhaps some of the things below that helped me put things into perspective can help you as well.

Thing 1)I read the book "Porn Nation". It talks about a man's porn addiction leading to affairs, one of which was with a lady that he considered "porn in the flesh". He left his family for her and later realized she was related to his addiction, he was addicted to her because he was a sex addict...it was NOT true love. This helped me to realize that people can be part of the addiction. Feelings may feel real, but once healthy, they can readily be tied to the addiction. My husband says AT THE TIME, he thought he loved this "friend", but now he sees it was all part of his addiction and it wasn't real.

Thing 2) SA is an intimacy disorder. Your husband is not capable of having true intimacy with you until he heals from his addiction and begins to "grow up" emotionally. However, they are capable of having immediate, "false intimacy" with women that are part of their addiction. My husband could talk to this woman about everything...because he was not hiding the addictive part of himself from her...he was that addictive person when with her. He wasn't scared of her "finding out" because he had nothing to lose with her...she knew he was hung up on sex and she was ok with it (because she was just as broken as he was...yet another "commonality" to "bond" over). However, he spent a TON of effort keeping ME from seeing his "other side". He did not want me to know he was hung up on sex because he didn't want to lose me (although he may not have known that at the time). He put all of his energy into hiding that part of himself. A huge secret like that does not allow true intimacy to grow. So we did not have intimacy. He didn't open up to me for fear of revealing his true self. So he felt guarded with me, and open with her. That lead to false feelings of "love" and perhaps with your husband a false feeling of having found his "soul mate".

Why didn't he divorce you if his "soul mate" was so special? Because the part of him that was not a SA knew that he really wanted YOU. When he talks of his love for her, that is his addiction talking.

I had been going back and forth with confusion...did he really want her? Did he only stay with me out of convenience? If he could tell her everything after a few months and couldn't talk to me after years, was she really a better match for him than me? These questions ate at me and had me on a roller coaster ride from hell. I finally talked to SAWH about it when he started to get his addiction under control. He finally admitted he thought he loved her and he told me that she was a part of his addiction and he realizes if he was "healthy" he never would have had/wanted a relationship with her. Him just telling me that she was a part of his addiction helped me a lot. If she was part of his addiction, that means she was NOT his soul mate.

I hope something here can help you find peace! Feel free to PM me if you want (although I don't always see them right away).


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
Nouveau
Member
Member # 1731
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, April 21st (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm hurting here, folks. I am beginning to feel very sorry for him. I can't help him and it is just like watching him drown himself slowly while he pretends everything is wonderful. This temporary living arrangement is not helping matters any. It will be the best thing for me when he moves out. Soon, I hope.

Has anyone found themselves feeling his horrible sorrow for their SA partner? And how did you deal with it? I just feel so helpless.


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.....

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