I know I mentioned this before... and its off topic, but... I have these really strong paranoid fears that my SAWH is going to "learn" new things or get ideas put into his head from reading more about other SA's. Part of the reason is, he is totally and completely easy to manipulate and plant ideas into. One sa example of this is his "friend" suggested one day they go to a strip club sometime. They didnt go, but it sparked an idea in his head and he looked up local strip clubs, how much they cost to get in, etc. He says until that point (and again this was earlier this year. He has been into SA stuff for 3 years) he hadnt thought about strip clubs (he hasnt really ever gone before- hes from a different country/culture). He has always been this way though, even in non SA ways. I foolishly let him know theres a show on TV that shows full nude breasts and he didnt know that till then. He admits I should not have let him know that!
Second he is/was naive (and gullible) though he "learned" quite a bit in his "research" but I still think he doesnt know about all of it. He JUST found one local prostitute webstie back in march (darn darn darn). I dont think he knows others are out there (some stupid whote pointed him to that). Im sure he could easily FIND them now, especially that he knows they exist, but honestly I dont think he realized they existed at that point. Another point... he doesnt know that sites like AM and all are actually good for meeting these 'women' using the term loosely. He thinks they are spam accounts and such. He didnt pay for the sites. But if he reads he will find out if he had only paid he may have gotten lucky.
Soooooo. How can I not be terrified about him finding out more? I feel like its similar to when people say they learned how to be better criminals in prison.
I just wondered has this SA stuff totally screwed your head like it has mine? I feel like my innocence is gone in a way. I dont like it.
Ive read his emails, and unfortunately researched them all, even ones he didnt meet, and seen c/l ads and prostitute websites, etc. I ve seen a lot of pictures now. Sometimes I think I recognize people on the street!!! Two specifically and one Im almost positive is the one in the picture (he didnt meet her- she works in a MP). In starbucks of all places. Twice! (She must live near me - great). Another was a person who cut my hair.
I am always looking out for the person he met
I cant DRIVE PAST (hence the username) certain motels, streets, parts of town that I once didnt know about, but now I do without triggering. I actually trigger when I know he is driving near them. I also wonder if cashiers at walmart or anyone has some secret evil life. Either as a hooker or a homewrecker. I think about the men too..... What they do when they are online. Have I seen their pics before? Its bad.
I even dream about things or wake up thinking about them.
Then theres the questions. The endless questions. I dont know if I should stop asking them or not.
Thats enough for now.
DO all csat follow these guidelines?
Oh one more quesiton.
Do csat allow me to sit in on the therapy session, when Im not there to participate much (basically his IC). He wants me there because he says otherwise it will feel like hes hiding something from me (whatever he would say there).
As for the 12 step programs when it mentions God it does not mean a specific God, more the concept that there is something greater than ourselves out there.
My fear about my husband going to group therapy is that he will find a female SA and that will be it. I just have to have faith that he will be serious about his recovery and learn how to use the tools they teach to be able to make the correct deciscions. If not well then I move on. I can't change him but I can change me!
First, don't believe the innocence of your H. That may sound harsh, but I doubt he is as gullible as he makes himself out to be. Addicts will find a fix one way or another... my H didn't know how to find a prostitute. No one told him how. He figured it out without any help. Sexually explicit material and information is EVERYWHERE. If he looks he will find it. Period. And there is just no way you can spend the rest of your life covering his ears and eyes. He needs to use his recovery to support his NOT LOOKING FOR THE SEX FIX.
SA does mess with your head... for as long as you let it. Any betrayal, especially infidelity, does take your innocence. I never, never would have expected my balding, overweight, short, quiet husband to cheat on me. Not in a 1,000 years. But he did. So you know what, I had to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I just could not give myself the luxury of panicking (but I did a little), or to be sad (which I still did a lot) or to get stuck. I had no choice. And i still don't have a choice. The reality is, my h is a SA. Can't change it. Can't undo it, can't change the past, can't predict the future. I only have now.
So that means you just can not drive past the places that make you feel bad. It means you can not control where your H goes or what he does. You CAN focus on getting the support you need for you. What can you do that will be just for you that will give you some peace? A massage, a walk, a visit with a friend???
In terms of the 12 step and God thing. There are many, many non-religious people that belong to 12 step groups. The term "god" has often been replace with the term "higher power". That higher power for some people is the 12 step group. For others it is an energy source greater than themselves. Your H should not let the god-thing stop him from getting involved in the fellowship.
I'm not sure I could explain how the addict is still responsible when they turn it over to a higher power. It has to do with the fact that the addict has not control over the past, no control of the urges to act out... but until they realize that, they will try to control the things they cannot change (like urges) and not take responsibility for the things they can have control over (like calling a sponsor when they have an urge).
It is also up to the CSAT to decide if and when you should attend your H's therapy sessions. But if you do, be sure you understand what the purpose of the session is before you go. Is this something you want to do? What would you hope to get out of it?
I hope I haven't been too harsh. You are strong enough and brave enough to go through this. Just keep telling your self that, because we all believe in you.
Sager, I know you are right... I cant shield him. I dont have to give him extra clues either, hehe. Kidding. I know you are saying that if he wants to/cant stop himself then nothing I do will stop him.
What can you do that will be just for you that will give you some peace? A massage, a walk, a visit with a friend???
Im not even pretending to be strong. I guess I sound pitiful and ridiculous... maybe its even hard to take me seriously. Guess I am letting everything out here, anonymously. Not always making sense.
Sager I always appreciate your replies, and you can be direct with me. talk more later hes home.
"Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal" by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means ?
But Iím not done with it. Itís very empowering for the spouse, so far. Very supportive. I donít blame you for feeling scared, though, I was really scared and in shock in the beginning too.
I have these really strong paranoid fears that my SAWH is going to "learn" new things or get ideas put into his head from reading more about other SA's.
How can I not be terrified about him finding out more?
Only through lots of therapy for you and detachment (aka doing the 180). Detach from your SA. Let go of him and his recovery. Actually the Means and Steffens book says that Ďchecking upí behaviors are the spouseís attempt to feel safer- but that we canít control them and the spouses must learn new ways to cope with how we feel. Itís really hard not to be afraid, heaven knows Iím afraid of what my SAWH is doing- on work computers no less.
I feel like my innocence is gone in a way.
Mine too. I misplaced my trust for a long time.
Is there a non religious way to get through this?
I think I remember that 7yrsbetrayed posted a secular version of the SA 12 steps somewhere in the Spouses of SAs thread #5. Maybe earlier in this thread, but Iím pretty sure it was in thread 5. Canít remember exactly. I've seen books in the recovery section with 'rational recovery' in the title, maybe those are secular? I don't know, but you could try.
Do csat allow me to sit in on the therapy session,
Mine wouldnít, but I donít know for sure. I wouldnít advise doing this even if the therapist is ok with it because your presence is likely to hinder the work the therapist tries to do with your spouse. Your SA wouldnít be able to do the deep work he needs to do to uproot the source of his addiction because he'd be likely to censor what he says. The excuse he told you is BS IMO. Therapy is difficult and scary and intense once you really get into it. I wouldnít get any deep work done if I took my SAWH with me. Besides, theyíre supposed to do a full disclosure, and he can share with you then. And Iíd ask whatever questions you need to, bottling up leads down dark paths.
Hi! Hope you're doing ok, you sound good.
"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."
Storing up grievances is more than a waste of time; it's a waste of life that could be lived to greater satisfaction. If I keep a record of oppresions and indignities, I am restoring them to painful reality. I've found they're suprisingly easy to forget, once I start using the Al-anon program each day. "The horror of that moment," the King said, "I shall never, never forget." "You will, though," said the Queen, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." (Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass)
Anyone with a SA spouse where they got to a point in the relationship where they DON'T feel the need to check up on them...? Got the trust and the love back?
Yes, trust (and love) can be re-established over time. However, it requires the SA to be in a true recovery, to continue to work their program and for the spouse to get support and probably therapy to recover from the betrayal and to reach the point of forgiveness.
It is not a straight road in the best of circumstances. You need to expect set backs and disappointments.
Keep reading and posting!
Ditto! I don't want to spend the rest of this relationship living in paranoia, checking emails and snooping in phones... It's exhausting and it makes ME feel like I'm doing something wrong, ie snooping.
On snooping.... we probably have all done it. I used to read stuff of my h that I shouldn't have. It really didn't tell me anything I didn't already know or sense and it made me feel creepy. So my advise is that if you are feeling creepy, uncomfortable, sneaky or anything else that is negative, then you need to stop immediately. Don't ever do anything that makes you feel badly. It's just not worth it.
My h and I have been doing this for so long, if I get a sense that he is acting out, then i ask him. 8 times out of 10 he comes clean at that instance. Besides, he has a "tell" when he tries to lie. When i ask him a question, if he is trying to lie there is a 2 beat hesitation before he answers. Gets him every time. I just need to be quiet and keep looking at him. He caves in an instant.
This is one of those cases that you have trust your instinct, your gut. It is only when I doubt myself (what I am sensing and feeling) about whether or not he is acting out, that I have been wrong. My first instinct has always been right.
I justed to feel badly when i doubted his recovery. Was I looking for trouble? Had I truely not forgiven him? Was i just plain paranoid? Sadly, so far, it hasn't been any of those things. It has been because i have been right. So for me, no need to snoop. I just need to assess our relationship and his behavior and I have a pretty good idea what is going on.
This is why it is so important to learn all you can about addiction and about SA. The more you know, the less possible it is for him to hide things from you. You start to know what questions to ask. you know what steps are necessary for a real recovery. You understand the danger signals.
So, the bottom line is, you don't have to live the rest of your life snooping with your h. However, you will need to spend the rest of your relationship, "checking in" with your partner and communicating clearly and regularly about the addiction.
With all of my shopping, I can honestly say it has to do with "clicking" with me. I'm not sure i can explain it. But usually within the first 10-15 minutes I just know if this is the right person for me or not. Even when the first session is more "intake" in nature, I still had a feeling that this relationship would work.
My feeling is that if you are asking the question, the person you saw was not really well suited to what you are looking for.
I'm sure that there is a website that lists the types of questions you should ask a counselor to judge the "fit" for you. It will be interesting to see how other here have found the right couselor for themselves.
Now, I don't know how to check the history on my new computer. But last night I accidently found it. Guess what??? He had continued using Monday-Thursday. I was furious!
So I have told him that he has to pick up the pace on his program (whatever that means) and if I ever see a porn site on my computer history, I would not be discussing it, he would just find himself being served with divorce papers. I saw an attorney a few years ago. Since we have not had sex since he slept with the prostitues I can get an expediated divorce (no waiting a year after a formal separation). Told him he would be out on the steet in 24 hours.
Okay, so I talk tough and he's really scared. Good! Now I'm really sad because I'm afraid he cannot get into a strong recovery and I will have to divorce him. I just feel so badly about that. I know that he is a good man with a huge sickness. 90% of the time I enjoy his company, his intellect, his compasion. The prospect of losing that is so, so, so painful.
I am saying so many prayers that he is able to find his way to the freedom that comes with recovery. It's a selfish prayer, because i really want this broken man to be healed and to stay in my life.
[This message edited by sager at 6:21 PM, August 19th (Friday)]
I know how badly you want him to change and stay straight.
I read your profile... was he completely off porn for the past 9 years? Do you know what triggered the return?
I dont know what to say, since this relapse is my worst fear.
I really hope he gets help to stay clean.