One of the precepts of codependency is attempting to control another’s person’s life choices and/or holding yourself hostage to what another chooses. I recognize that I’ve been doing this: “I’ll do X or Y only when SAWH does A and B first.” My choices shouldn’t depend on what he does or doesn’t do. I need to work harder at changing this thinking pattern. I guess I’m recognizing that I feel trapped because of my financial dependence, as opposed to being trapped by his behavior problems.
Of course, with addiction, nothing is set in stone. I just had another DDay & the fallout has been bad. I told SAWH just last night that he has had his two strikes. One more and I’m done- I’ll leave even without financial resources if he acts out again. I told him I see his pattern: the lying, the deception, doing whatever he damn well pleases with no regard for our M or for me or for himself and damn the consequences, I told him that he needs to work harder to change it or else we won’t make it. I told him point blank, “don’t give me any of your bullshit excuses ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘it was on impulse’”- and, surprisingly, he didn’t. One conversation doesn’t make that much of a difference in the overalI scheme I guess, but I’m hopeful that I’ve been heard. It’s hard to know with an SA, but I feel better for having spoken to SAWH plainly, calmly and quietly. No more excuses or blameshifting or manipulation. I managed to have my say and I feel better.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 11:38 AM, July 14th (Thursday)]
"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 don't have much time, but wanted to give you a big HUG today! When they are that lost in the addiction they don't think about their spouses or their kids. They delude themselves into the idea that they can separate that aspect of their lives.
I wish I had better advice about how to handle the whole health care thing. I am glad your daughter is with you right now, because she probably really shouldn't be with him. JMHO.
Hope you are doing ok today.
I am sorry to hear you have had another Dday, Compartmented. I forget...is your WH working on recovery or is he denying his addiction? If he is not working his recovery, please start planning for your future and taking care of YOU. Even if he expresses an interest in recovery, you don't have to stay. There is no shame in leaving. It can be a dealbreaker.
Sabina, keep plugging away my friend. I am sorry to hear of your heartache of the other night. You can't trust him to be intimate. He can't be that for you. I know how much that hurts. I lived in that reality for 9/10 of my marriage. It is painful and lonely. Keep speaking your truth.
It seems your H needs some sort of 2X4 consequence to wake him up. Unfortunately, it may be loosing his job, loosing his family.... well, he seems to be taking lots of risks.
Is there anyway you can get in control of the money? Insist that he deposit his pay check into and account that is only yours? Cancel any credit cards in both your names..... Wipe out and make safe any money in joint accounts?
I wish there was a way I could give you a hug IRL.
Compartmened - hugs This is such hard stuff. I hope you are expressing how much pain he is inflicting on you... Recovery requires the addict to be radically honest.... we need to be honest also. And it requires that we do whatever we need to do to take care of ourselves.
It seems we are all in some very difficult places right now. But we have each other, and we understand the pain, the struggle of living with an addict.
Remember - we are NOT victims here. We are caring, smart, reasonable and thoughtful women. We are clear about our needs. We can't make them get help. But we don't need to watch them commit a slow suicide either.
My MIL just called. God, she pisses me off. She asked if my H was working yet. I told her there was a lot going on with him and if she wanted to know, she should call him any time. She's "not sure she wants to know." Her son was fired because of a sex addiction... he has gone to in patient treatment... she knows about the prosititutes.... she's afraid to talk about this stuff with him??????? For godsake, it is the silence that got him in to this mess!!! I just want to tell this 75 year old woman to freakin GROW UP!!!
Okay, I'm done and that's out of my system....
Sad. Cuz he WAS a pretty wonderful father husband for 20 years...
I am dicorcing him but must deal w/ IRS/Bankruptcy also...no $$$....
I hope that at some point you will get the bankruptcy and taxes taken care of so you can move on. It really is sad that addiction has such a stronghold on him. My H also acknowledged SA for a long time, but acknowledging isn't enough.
Hugs to you, too. Part of SA is the dysfunctional FOO and the fact that SA is the coping mechanism. I don't remember if your WH was abused, too, but most SA are. I would venture a guess that a majority of us spouses came from really dysfunctional backgrounds or even were abused, too.
That is why you frustration with your MIL is not surprising. She has no responsibility in your WH's acting out, he is an adult and makes the choice to remain sober. However, he needs to deal with the root issues of SA. My MIL was definitely abused as a child, and then married a SA who abused her and their children, along with many other children. She is very avoidant. That is her coping mechanism. She doesn't want to know about bad things. She is a rug sweeper. Since my H has entered recovery, she doesn't like the change in their dynamic. The last time we were vacationing in her state, she didn't even want us to come and see her for a day. My H was very angry and hurt. I felt bad for him, but I am estranged from my FOO, too. Right now it is the best choice for us and our children to disengage from both FOO's while we work on recovery.
OK, now I am actually going to vent. I don't really trigger very much anymore, but last night I felt very sick to my stomach. I may or may not talk to my H about this later. Really, it is not about his current behavior, so I am not sure there is any point in bringing this up to him.
Anyways, I was at work taking care of a patient, and the patient was a trigger for me. I am an ICU RN in an inner city hospital. I usually try to overlook my patient's personal lives; the noncompliant ones, the drug or alcohol addicts, the suicides, etc. But last night was tough. Without going into any details that would violate privacy laws, I took care of a prostitute. She was very washed up and looked a lot older than she was. She was not a pretty person inside or out. I really couldn't find the good in her. She was violent, dramatic, and just generally difficult to like. Usually I try really hard to be nice and to see some good in a person and make friendly chit chat, but I just couldn't. I was all business, performed my duties and I am ashamed to say, let my helper do all unskilled tasks. She was very unclean and had multiple sexually explicit tattoos. It made me feel a bit ill. Just the thought of my H being with someone like that...
I try not to think about prostitutes as gross people usually, but as people that are really messed up. I don't think anyone sets out to be one. I don't think that this one did, either. I think she grew up abused (pregnant before 15) and prostitution was a means to an end, per her statement. I know she was ashamed of her occupation, and I tried as hard as I could not to let my revulsion show.
Ugh, had to get that out somewhere. I was so glad to leave work this morning.
It has been over 5 years since I was last tested for std's. I know, I am a nurse, I should KNOW better! My H has only been sober for going on 2 years. I guess I have been avoiding it because it is unpleasant, ignorance is bliss, and I have told myself that I would know if I had one (yes, I am aware of how STUPID that sounds).
If anything, last night reminded me that I really need to do this. I am on my way to bed now, but I am going to call the health department first thing on Monday morning and schedule it.
2x4 time for me....
No 2x4s from me, tmy. You're human. It sounds like it was a massive triggerfest. It's ok to be human. My grandmother would say, "it sounds like it would try the patience of a saint!" As for the STD panel, I'd go with you if it'd make you feel better & we lived close. It's ok, honest.
Hoping you don't have to take that patient again & that you find a few peaceful moments this weekend.
-WH began online through facebook, then secret e-mail/cell phone that eventually turned into a full out physical affair with OW#2.
-During fake R, he began texting with yet another woman after agreeing to have no texting contact with her in MC. She turned his advances down and then I discovered what he was doing, which included sending a picture of the male anatomy, of all things made out of snow.
-I've now learned that throughout our married life (22years), WH has had compulsive secret masturbation(I realize for some that's not a problem), compulsive secret porn viewing (I realize for some that's not a problem), heavy flirting with scores of OW, and God knows what else.
-My WH is now seeing a CSAT and has a "sexual addiction diagnosis" and attending a 12-step group.
-I am seeing the partner of his CSAT and attending when I can S-Anon (the 12 step support group for the partners of sex addicts).
-We are in the midst of the time when SAWH carried out his, in my opinion, greatest betrayal and deception: the full out PA. Yesterday would have been our 22nd anniversary, which was a very hard and sad day for me.
Here's the info leading up to my question:
I am devastated that SAWH had sex, which included kissing, undressing her, seeing her naked, touching her, having his naked body against her, and putting his penis inside of her, and having an orgasm and ejaculating inside of OW.
SAWH is the only man that I have ever had sexual intercourse with (dated him at age 17, married at 19).
On our wedding day, we vowed our faithfulness and fidelity to each other as long as we were married.
During our false R, SAWH said to me, "Being intimate, having sex, is as close as two people can be together". (this was said when SAWH was trying to get me to have sex with him)
My personal view on sexual intercourse is that having intercourse with someone is giving of yourself to someone else, it's opening yourself up completely, physically and emotionally to someone else, it's laying it all on the line, no holding back, it's in that moment that God designed two people becoming one, it's sacred, it's private, it's in that moment when you give and ask for complete acceptance for someone else, you love someone else... It's not to be shared outside of marriage, meant only for husband and wife to enjoy each other, love each other...
For the last two years, SAWH has told me that sex was good with me and with OW. SAWH said he felt that OW was a "bonus" in his life. SAWH says, "I told you I'm sorry". SAWH has also said within the last month or so that he feels no remorse and doesn't feel any empathy or compassion towards me.
I am inwardly and outwardly devastated by his sexual encounters with OW#2.
I need to see outward signs of SAWH remorse, but there is none.
I cannot stand it knowing that SAWH had sexual intercourse with OW. He gave so freely, what should have been kept for us, and only he and I. No exceptions. None.
IC view: She told me that I'm looking at having sexual intercourse in a distorted view, that the act itself is just that, the act. She says that I am viewing sexual intercourse as a way of having intimacy and showing love, and it's not that. That having intimacy is supporting each other in becoming individuals.
She said that SAWH is "working on his own recovery which includes forgiving himself, and becoming a better man from this "day". That I may never see remorse from him because he was a different man that was "controlled by his addiction" , that maybe when he's further along in his recovery that maybe, I'll see it, but it's not guarrenteed because he'll be further along in his recovery. That I need to not look for empathy or remorse from him, that I need to look within myself to help "heal and recover" from his affairs, that if someday I finally see remorse and empathy, that it will be like a "bonus" for me, because I would have found my own way to recover from my husband having sexual intercourse with the OW. She said his "addiction" was controlling SAWH choices, that sexual addiction is a disease, and SAWH viewed things distortedly at that time in his life and that I need to see SAWH as he is now.
I do not agree with her. I told her that I feel the term of "the disease, sexual addiction" as being the reason he has "acted out" is almost being used as an excuse, that it allows SAWH not to have to deal with the devastation of all that he did to me.
She tells me that I need to "stop looking to him for comfort" that I'm staying at this stage because I am looking to SAWH for something I may never see. And if that is the case, it will get to the point that SAWH will be far along in "his recovery" and I will still be "stuck" where I am at: devastated that he had sex with someone else.
I also feel like if SAWH would know that I and my IC were at odds with this issue, he'd be insensitively over-joyed in a sick way.
I am so, so hurt that he had sex with someone else. At this point in my life, I have to say that knowing that he kissed, touched, and performed sex with the OW during our marriage, that I don't know if I can or will ever have the desire to kiss or have sex with SAWH again...
Not sure if I ever actually asked a question. I'd just like to read some feedback from others. I'm also going to post in the R forum.
In terms of wanting remorse & empathy & understanding from your SA, I personally believe that those feelings and behaviors are normal coming from the spouse, they are normal in the course of a relationship. However, SA is actually an intimacy disorder (like all addictions). That means that an addict uses his substance of choice to suppress, to hide, to bury their emotions. Sex is not necessarily an expression of authentic emotional connection, of commitment; for an SA sex with the partner can be threatening because they know ‘supposed to’ feel something they don’t. SAs are also masters as faking (mirroring) emotions they think you want to see but they don’t actually feel.
What I hear your CSAT telling you is 1) because of an SAs emotional unavailability you shouldn’t expect authentic remorse, empathy or understanding because he’s incapable of sharing those feelings with you and 2) that it’s healthiest for you to learn to fulfill your own emotional needs directly due to #1 and 3) that for your own emotional and mental health you need to focus on your recovery, your therapy & regaining your equilibrium independent of what your SA says or does. I disagree with sex being ’just an act’ particularly from your POV, but it might be true from the SA’s POV (no matter what he says). I believe that an addict is *always* responsible for the choices they make. Always. A diagnosis of addiction is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card or an ‘excuse’. Ever.
None of this is to say that your path will be easy, straight or direct. Not everyone, addict or spouse, has the strength or stamina to walk this path individually or as a couple. I highly recommend finding an S-Anon support group near you, failing that an Al-Anon group is tremendously helpful too, different addiction but similar path to spousal recovery. Continue to see your CSAT no matter what happens. Come and post here. Hugs, peace and blessings to you this Sunday morning.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 8:45 AM, July 17th (Sunday)]
It is understandable that you feel so discouraged by the things CSAT has said. Afterall, she seems to be really preparing you for the likely disturbing reality that your saWH will never give you what you desperately need for R: empathy, remorse, or even basic care. And, I believe, that is why the saWH and BW embark on individual paths toward recovery and healing. He does his thing...and you do yours. And, R the M is not a part of it...yet. It's initially about individual healing and achieving individual 'health' BEFORE even beginning to try to R the M. The M relationship gets put on the back burner for awhile. And, I believe for some couples, this could mean spending 1, 2, 3 yrs in marital limbo until the saWH reaches some degree of sobriety and mental/emotional health and is then well enough to engage and connect correctly with his BW. I would assume that this means that empathy and remorse SHOULD BE in your future after some truely effective/successful SA treatment. As he progresses, you should begin to see a change in him...including some signs of genuine remorse. But, CSAT seems to be saying that your saWH may NEVER be remorseful. As if it is unlikely he EVER will be. This makes no sense to me...unless, of course, it's a given that most saWH's don't ever really get to that mentally/emotionally healthy place that we hope and assume they will get to. Mental/emotional health SHOULD produce empathy and remorse.
In my opinion, from what you have said, the CSAT has painted a very bleak picture.
She is telling you to just accept your saWH 'as is' ~ uncaring, unremorseful, and devoid of empathy. And, in regards to the betrayal, infidelity, devistation, pain, etc...you need to just suck it up and find your own way to 'get over it' without any care or help from the man who did this to you. He is off the hook for any responsibility in helping you cope and heal. Well, that is unrealistic, in my opinion, especially if you hope to actually R the M. Over time, it will be your saWH's LACK OF CARE that will be the final demise of the M.
I understand that, in recovery, he needs to work on him...and you need to work on you...for the purpose of individual healing and growth whether the M survives or not. I get that. But, WHAT would be your motivation to participate in the recommended SA spouse treatment when you are being told that your saWH will likely never be able to do HIS part to R the M, which, to me, are most basic things like care, empathy, & remorse??
I think your CSAT is trying to give you the cold, hard facts that you need to forget about saWH...and focus on yourself and your own healing from all this. The problem is...then what are you supposed to do with the marriage in the meantime? Do you remain invested? Do you remain hopeful? Do you try to be the best 'wife' you can be? Do you treat him like a real 'husband'? It seems to me that if you did these things, it would translate into MORE pain for you.
I am sorry, I have no answers for you. I can just empathize so much with how your are feeling.
People say 'take care of YOU'...and 'focus on yourself', etc. And, that is all fine and well. BUT, it does not address HOW you are supposed to then still live in the 'marriage' with your life entangled with his. It's like you are together...yet apart. A very strange situation...and not an easy one to find your 'place' to live in it.
I guess a few more thoughts rolling around my head, FWIW.
Addicts demonstrate pretty quickly whether they want to recover or not. Honestly, 6 months is plenty of time for your husband to decide if he wants to recover.
I ask, you to consider, if any more information will change anything?
All I needed to know, to base my course of action, is that my husband is an addict.
So, how can you protect yourself from new hurts? How about doing the 180? Can you start emotionally detaching from your husband?
Are you willing to stay in a marriage with an addict not in recovery? If so, maybe it might be good to work with someone on strategies to get through it so you aren't so emotionally affected.
If you are unwilling to stay in a marriage with an addict who is not in recovery, then how about working on a plan to leave, if you cannot do so now?
I remember thinking, when I found out what was really going on, "OMG, now I now what anguish and despair *really* feel like." I remember unrelenting emotional agony, not being able to think; I remember thinking that emotional numbness was actually a blessing.
The problem is...then what are you supposed to do with the marriage in the meantime? Do you remain invested? Do you remain hopeful? Do you try to be the best 'wife' you can be? Do you treat him like a real 'husband'?
The problem is...then what are you supposed to do with the marriage in the meantime? Do you remain invested? Do you remain hopeful? Do you try to be the best 'wife' you can be? Do you treat him like a real 'husband'?
These are excellent questions. IMO- therapy is *for you* to build up your strength until you can make a decision. IMO- prioritizing yourself gives you emotional breathing space so you can make serious decisions with a clearer head than if you're in crisis mode. Work very hard at detachment- let go of him emotionally. IRN is right, but you might not be ready to face these issues right now and that's absolutely normal and expected. The spouse's overwhelmed state is a tough place to be. I've been there. Detach. detach. detach.
The whole situation sucks and is overwhelming. Take care of yourself. Take a bubble bath. Drink a glass of wine. Schedule an emergency appt. with your CSAT/IC. Post here as often as you need to.
You posted a piece of what I was thinking, but held back when replying to momoffive.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that detaching is the ONLY way that I can stay in my 'M', remain sane, and successfully carry out my Plan B (which consists of remaining the good parents that we are together, keeping the family intact, and giving our kids the best start in life...until I deem it time to D). I finally confirmed that my saWH is NOT really in recovery at all. But, what he is doing is keeping unacceptable behaviors out of our home (no cross dressing/no porn & mb at our family computer/etc). He is being 'good'. Whether it's a facade or not, he is being a good dad to our kids, treats me really well, is an excellent provider, etc. BUT, the 'M' is over...and I have (once again) detached. We have NO emotional/physical intimacy as a 'normal', healthy couple should. We interact well over common goals and interests, the kids, house stuff, etc. We are kind, respectful, and work well together in maintaining our home/family. But, like I said, the only way that I am able to stay is because I have removed my saWH from 'husband' status/category and have put him into a 'partner' category. Thus, I am not invested in him, we never talk about deep or personal/intimate things, and I have NO EXPECTATIONS of him other than continuing to be a good partner to me and a good dad to our kids. Like I said, the M is over.
IF I ever thought for a moment that 'this' was a real M relationship which I define by genuineness, honesty, faithfulness, exclusivity, oneness, trust, etc...I would plunge into depression...because it is SO FAR from how I define M.
It's sad because I actually gave my saWH ANOTHER opportunity to do things 'right' to foster marital repair, which included SA treatment and, hopefully, recovery/sobriety...so that we could then maybe begin to work on our M again. But, like you said, I got indicators which confirmed that he is not REALLY interested in recovery. Well, that's his choice and not my problem. It becomes my problem if/when his behaviors pose any kind of risk to our kids. But, today, they are not. He is good. Tomorrow, who knows?
Detaching is not an easy process... especially from a man you love. But, it can be done. It's a self-preservation move. A self-care move. And, one that protects your heart.
If you try to categorize your 'relationship' as a M with a saWH who continues to be sneaky, manipulative, deceptive, etc, you will remain in a state of utter turmoil, pain, and upset.
Momoffive, I believe that is where you are at now. And, it is hell. If you can somehow accept that there is no 'M', then live as if you are alone, get strong within and for yourself, no matter how this plays out (M or D), you will survive...feeling whole and with dignity and self-respect(regardless of what your saWH does).
I love this line from an Ingrid Michaelson song: "This is MY world. It's not 'ours' anymore." And, THAT is SO true...and at the very least, a temporary state of things while living with an addict.
[This message edited by GeniusOrAFool at 11:49 AM, July 18th (Monday)]
My SA and I are actually doing very well. We're both actively working our programs and are communicating at a level that we haven't been at in years.
I typically take on his stress -- mostly about work, where at his former workplace the whole acting out took place with a coworker, with prostitutes provided by his boss, etc. -- but I've been able to release that. I can't control him, and I can't control his work stressors. My SA has even noticed.
Also, this past week for the first time since I discovered the PA/prostitutes, I didn't think about it. I had one day where it just crossed my mind that I hadn't thought about it . . .and it's followed into a few more days. It crossed my mind, but I'm able to not dwell on it. I think that's a sign that my SA and I are both working on recovery and both trying really hard.
I see the good man I married, and I'm so grateful for that. I know that I can't predict the future, but It's nice to know that we can have this kind of marriage, this kind of intimacy again. And I'm grateful to SI and S-Anon for the support I'm getting. It's hard for people outside of the SA situation to really "get it."
Mamato: I am so happy to hear that you and your SA are doing so well. I know I wish I was there.
After 1 year of IC for SAWH; he is still in great denial. Not a bit of truth from him at all. He says he is not a SA and that the counselors tested him and they should no. Unfortunately, he lies to them too!
I have been thinking long and hard about everything. The only way I can move past what he has done is really not to think about it. I mean compartmentalize it. Really, if I simply avoid thinking about it; I can function.
He is still mean to me, emotionally not there and sleeps with a stuffed animal. I had a weak moment this past week and gave him a hug. He seemed to really, really enjoy it.
He bounces from nice guy to mean guy. He is in IC and wants me to go to MC, but when we did he blameshifted, says I can't accept the truth that he didn't go anything and walks out or avoids talking about what I know about the affair.
I wish I was like others where it was just a dealbreaker from the start. Others are angry where they would never give him a hug. I feel sorry for him. Why do I still want this guy who has called the police on me and left me to walk home!!