I have tried not to thing about the horrible things because it makes me sick to my stomach. I mean he had a ring around his mouth from putting it on her body and would come home and kiss me. Ick!!
Sorrowheart: good for you for protecting your children! You have given me new hope. I have sat here for 2 years waiting for him to get his head out of denial and into recovery. Not gonna happen! Maybe after we divorce he will see the light and stop blaming me, but from your story it doesn't look like it. The things they have put our kids thru, argh!!! Keep pushing back at him to protect yourself and those kids! You are strong; look you GOT OUT!!! Post often; we are here for you.
This story is very scary! Do you have an attorney? I would really not want my children anywhere near that person. Ick!!
How old are your children?
My youngest is still at home, and many times, I feel I am staying just for him to be able to know what's going on around him most of the time.
This is not an easy path. Keep your head up!
I could use some help with this too. I do know that DDay#3 (yesterday) didn't hit me as hard as DDay#2 partly because I'd already accepted that he was most likely SA. It still sucks and I'm still in shock though.
I only have a minute before I run out the door, but I will try to address this question as succinctly as possible.
Part of living with a SA that is not in a real recovery is waiting for the other shoe to drop. I lived that way for years. It is a disconcerting feeling that there will be more to come, and it usually gets worse, as the addiction progresses.
After a SA enters recovery with a CSAT, a full disclosure is facilitated by the CSAT after the SA is far enough along in recovery. My H's full disclosure was probably not as comprehensive as most spouses would have liked. It detailed acting out behaviors over the period of our marriage, and included acting out before as well. I did not request detailed information. My H was never in an affair, but rather acted out with others in a non-relational manner and acted out daily with porn. There were very few surprises for me at the disclosure. In fact, if anything, I was more surprised that some things were not there. I knew a lot of my H's acting out already, and the last d-day was so devastating in terms of acting out, that there wasn't much more to tell.
At this point, he will have 2 years of active recovery at the end of September. I do not fixate on past acting out. Oh, ok, once in awhile I trigger, but for the most part I do not. I own MY recovery and he owns his. Recovery is SO important for YOU irregardless of whether your SA gets into a real recovery.
Now, if at this point in the game there was a slip or relapse, I would want the details, and I would have a joint meeting with our CSAT. Part of working the steps also is acknowledging wrongs and making amends. Another reason why working the steps is important.
Bottom line, if he isn't in recovery, always expect more. Prepare for the worst, and utilize cautious optimism once the SA is in recovery. Real recovery is very difficult, and slips and relapses can occur.
RECOVERY FOR YOU!!!! Make it a priority!
I have to agree with what toomanyyears has said. You need to heal as well as the SA.
I think there may be 2 part to it. First, if you choose to stay in the relationship (and maybe even if you don't) you have to come to accept SA and all that goes with it. My recovering SAH just had a devistating relaps after many years of recovery. I knew that was a possibility when I decided to stay in the marriage. I hoped that it would never happen. But i also knew I was strong enough to handle whatever came my way. You can't live your life in fear. you can't control what your spouse chooses to do. You can't undo the past. You need to live in your present and accept.
The second part is healing from the betrayal. I think that is why I found such comfort here at SI. People here understand the betrayal, usually a betrayal from your best friend, the parent of your children, the love of your life, your life partner. To tell the truth, this is the most difficult part for me. I still can't believe the hurt he brought to our marriage (and neither can he). It was this part that brought me to my knees.
I think I have made a fairly strong recovery. But as many have said here, this betrayal has left its scars. They fade with time, but they will always be here.
If there's always more with a SA, how do you brace yourself for it? How do you come to terms with what you know, knowing that there's more down the road?
For me, bracing myself for it meant accepting that more hurt could come, either in the form of more trickle truth, or more actions My counselor helped me identify things that could help me get through the moments, and how to start to rebuild my life. I learned in S-anon and Al-anon about many “tools” to get through the horrible times. When I found myself experiencing bad times, I learned to recognize the feelings I was having and to turn to my “tools” to get through it. At first, when I heard of these things, I thought, “great, you’re telling me to try and turn back the tide with a spoon.” I wanted more. I wanted something big to insulate me, but I came to learn that there was no such thing. I have to just get through the week, or the day, or the hour, and sometimes, yes, through the minute!! It sucks, believe me!! Yet, without the tools, I wouldn’t have anything. (In the beginning, instead of turning to my “tools”, I turned and yelled at WH, thinking that I could get him to “see the light”. That was an exercise in futility!!)
My tools are things like calling someone from a 12-step group, getting to a meeting, reading and posting on SI and making sure I am doing all my “self-care” things to take care of myself.
As far as knowing that there’s more down the road, I have told my WH that I am sure he hasn’t disclosed all yet, and when he does, I want to be with a counselor so I can get through the moment. He of course says there’s nothing else.
If he cheats again, I have boundaries up now so that I know I will leave. What I do is work on making myself and my situation as strong as I can so that if I have to leave, I can. Boundary development is more complicated than I thought. There are hard core things that I know I won’t tolerate, but then there are all the “middle” things that he can do, that I need more clarification on, so I know what my choices and decisions are.
I hope some of this helps.
WH was recently diagnosed as a SA. He is currently seeing a CSAT and seemed to really be making strides, coming to realizations about his past and seemed genuinely remorseful. At the suggestion of his CSAT, he ordered "Out of the Shadows" and has been reading it.
I installed a keylogger and I've been trying not to check it obsessively like I did before. He knows one of the rules is no porn and the keylogger reveals that to replace the porn, he has been looking at pictures of girls in bathing suits/scantily clad. Including some of my friends on Facebook which makes me physically ill.
He knew he had 24 hours to tell me and he didn't. I'm heartbroken. I thought he was doing so well. I was going to try to avoid confrontation to prevent blowing my cover, but there is no way I can keep my anger bottled up.
Ugh, I hate this. How did I get here?
If I had to hazard a guess at why no one offered up any resources for teens dealing with SA, it is because most here aren't dealing with teens in their family, or aren't talking to kids about the addiction, or there just aren't any resources.
I have two teens, my youngest being the age of your daughter. We aren't utilizing any written resources. At this point, our youngest is also in IC with our CSAT. He is focusing on codependency and growing up in a family of addiction. The goal being to break the generational cycles that we (my H and I) both brought to the marriage. I think we are seeing some very positive results in our family over all. Our oldest child is not interested in IC at this point, and remains very bitter about all that has happened. I am hoping that in time, as change becomes more visible in all of our lives, that our oldest will gain interest in IC as well.
As for talking about the addiction specifically, we really do not have very specific conversations. I have never sat down with them and disclosed all my H's acting out behaviors. That is not appropriate at this point. However, they are well aware of the police investigation and details of that which occurred on the last d-day. There was no way to keep that fall out from them. I think for many years I tried erroneously to protect them, and they were so blindsided that it was a huge betrayal to them.
So, other than IC for your children (if they are open to it), I don't really have any ideas. Living in a family of addiction (even when we think we are hiding it) is very detrimental to our children. So many things I wish I would have done differently over the years.
Welcome. Sorry you are joining us. This is not a club I would wish on anyone.
Seeing a CSAT is good, but what other recovery activities is your WH engaging in? I think that in recovery, especially early in recovery when it is very difficult, the SA needs to utilize every tool in their arsenal to propel them forward. This means a lot of effort and time spent in recovery activities. Even almost 2 years out, my H spends 5-10 hours a week on recovery. That includes CSAT, a CSAT led group, 12 step group, Recovery Nation, workbooks, podcasts, etc. I know that sounds extreme, but there has to be forward momentum for change to really occur. SA is an addiction that is VERY easy to slip back into. Being vigilant and changing almost every aspect of one's life is vital, if long lasting change is to occur. Complacency will just lead back to the addiction.
Ok, why are YOU his accountability partner? I am not saying that you have no right to know that he is slipping or not in a real recovery yet, but he needs the support of others when he is struggling. He needs to phone a recovery friend or tell his CSAT that he is not doing well. I am NOT my H's babysitter or accountability partner. If he is going to slip, all the keyloggers and rules in the world aren't going to change that. Heck, he could be scanning and then going home and masturbating. I would venture a guess that almost all SA's do that. You can't control that behavior with a keylogger.
Bottom line is that a SA has to want recovery so badly that they are willing to do anything to achieve it. And even worse, they have to want it for THEMSELVES. Not to save a marriage. It won't work otherwise. Now, rock bottom to them could be the loss of their marriage, but it a SA feels that he can do the bare minimum and rationalize that he is doing enough, they will just fall back into complacency. My H whiteknuckled it at times over the years. He went to a few different IC's. It never mattered until he hit rock bottom.
Let's move on to the more important question...What are you doing for YOU? Yes, I am sounding like a broken record, but the crux of the matter is that as the spouse of a SA there are NO guarantees. I needed recovery for ME. I needed to learn how to take care of ME. I needed to work on my FOO issues that led me to feel comfortable in such a dysfunctional relationship for so long. I needed to learn to set boundaries to protect ME. Boundaries are not to punish the SA into behaving, but rather to protect me from being hurt by his bad behavior.
Are you in IC with someone at the CSAT's practice? Have you tried S-Anon (if you have one locally)? Are you reading any of the books 7 suggested in the beginning of the thread?
I realize that this is all new and overwhelming to you. It is natural to put all the focus on the SA, because we have been doing that all along. I spent YEARS obsessing over what my H was doing, and pointing the finger at him and how terrible he was. Even after he entered recovery, I spent the first 9 months feeling lost and miserable. When I started attending S-Anon, it was like a light switched on, and I understood what recovery for me meant. There has been no going back now. Even if my H were to relapse tomorrow and I were to leave him, I KNOW I WOULD BE OK. This is why I am such a strong advocate for recovery for the spouse. I know what a difference being in my own recovery has made for ME.
[This message edited by TooManyYears at 2:41 PM, June 20th (Monday)]
Thank you for your response. I know it is totally unhealthy for me to be monitoring him the way I do. We're not even two months post d-day and I have been doing somewhat better - i.e. checking up every week as opposed to multiple times a day.
I'm starting my own therapy next month when I return to work. I've read a co-dependency book and have attended a COSA phone meeting. I have not yet read the books 7 mentioned, but plan to. I will look into S-Anon meetings in my area as well - it's nice to know that they were so helpful in your own recovery.
I’m done wallowing now. I gave myself a week- which was several days too long. Even with the new discovery I can’t afford to spend more time on emotional self-indulgence. If anything what I’ve found makes it that much more urgent that I find a job ASAP. I need to move forward with my job search, which has barely begun as I’ve allowed fear and the recent DDay to stall me. I’ve been practicing self-care as much as I can and I’m working hard at refocusing on me & my plan and my kids.
I’m planning to attend a meeting tonight and to do some other self-care things today. I don’t have any advice for everyone else suffering through acting out revelations, as I’m new at this too. All I can do is offer you hugs & let you know you’re not alone.
"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."
I have no experience with polyaddiction per se (although there is a strong history of multiple addictions in my family, and at times I have tended towards workaholism and alcoholism). I just wanted you to know that you were heard.
As I have said, my H's rock bottom moment involved a police investigation. I think that up until that point in his life, he thought he could manage his addiction. It was a very shocking moment for me (and of course our kids), too. I think that when we live with an addict for so long, it becomes normalized for us to some extent. We don't expect that things could ever progress to that point where losing everything is possible. I know in my life, I just felt like there was a state of misery that I was living in until my kids were gone, and then I would leave and continue to be miserable but without him.
Whether or not this involves SA, many SA's do have other addictions (drugs, alcohol, etc.), and it is still shocking and devastating to you that he would place everything in jeopardy. I remember that feeling. At least you are taking the steps to become healthy and to remove yourself from the situation.
Use it to propel you forward. From that standpoint, this knowledge is a gift. A hideous gift that you wish you could return, but a gift nonetheless. YOU are strong. YOU are beautiful. YOU will be ok.
Hugs today. Glad you are practicing self-care.
I too had an information related shocker regarding WH and his job one week after d-day that he could have been prosecuted for. He wound up voluntarily resigning from his job to avoid that which put us in a bad financial position for a month or so before he found a new job while I was out on maternity leave. We went through a pretty good chunk of our money I worked hard to save, and he put himself in a position that could have involved prison time when he had a beautiful newborn at home. I think I'm much more angry about that than the two prostitutes he saw.
I still feel guilty because I helped "fix" the problem instead of leaving it to him to solve. But the thought of my son's father going to jail was too much for me at the time.
I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. I'm working toward focusing on self-care myself now.
It can also be found under my profile if you click recent posts. It's titled, OMG DD#3.
PS~ Thanks for the hugs and well wishes everyone.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 8:10 PM, June 21st (Tuesday)]
My SAWH is guess what? asking me to work things out and asking me if I have someone else and that is the reason why I won't work on the M!!!!! He says I am throwing away the M!
He is afraid I will blow his image! I asked to tell the kids this week that we are D.
I am holding strong because he is still messaging OW and still lies! No recovery activities for 2 years now.
My WH found the world of porn on the internet and after browsing for 3 years, hooked up with some skank 20 years his junior for sex. Best I can tell they saw each other for 2 years until guilt affected his ability to get an erection and he had to stop seeing her.
Then he went back to the net to look at porn and continued until I caught him red handed. It wasn't until he thought I would leave that he stopped.
Is he a sex addict?
Your H may be a sex addict. Some signs are:
1. He promises to stop, but he can't.
2. his behavior esculates over time (porn to chat lines, to sex with strangers, etc.)
3. he takes risks regardless of what may happen(loss of job, loss of marriage, death, disease)
It's like any addiction.... with many of the same consequences. The best book that I know of on SA is "Out of the Shadows" by patrick Carnes. Toomanytimes also knows of lots of good resources.