You know, what I have discovered is that I can forgive the phone calls, the internet porn, the prostitues.... what I can not forgive is the fact that he did not reach out and grab hold of all the help that has been available to him over the years. The inpatient treatment that we paid for out of our own pocket, the hours and hours of therapy, the 12 step group, the reading, the love and support his family had for him. He squandered it all alway and has destroyed so many lives. His not being serious about his recovery is what I can not forgive.... ever.
So again, I find myself sad and scared and alone.
Hugs to you, Sager. I can relate to this. I am so very sorry. How can someone take your patience , understanding and help made available and flush it down the toliet? Only an addict can do this...It is heartbreaking.
Thinking of you today, ccg
I'm glad you've figured out your dealbreaker, and simultaneously sad that your situation has come to this point. As T2B said, his consequences have come home to roost, and you & your family will have to endure the fallout.
Thinking of you today~ Sabina
"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."
My thoughts are with you today.
I wish I had some words of wisdom, but please remember that YOU did not do this. HE did it. You've done nothing but work with him - for years- in good faith and try everything possible to heal him, starting with the inpatient treatment. You never gave up on him. He gave up on himself.
I am so sorry. I will say many prayers for you.
Sabrina, I remember when I first posted in JFO months ago, you suggested based on what I wrote, that H might be a SA. I did a little research on the subject, but felt H did not fit most of the criteria. Well, sad to say, as I've uncovered more of his dirty, secret life, my eyes have been opened -- and I think you were spot on.
He has risked his career, his
marriage and his self-respect chasing his "fix". He has lied, denied and defended his sick behavior. He firmly denies having any sexual addiction -- or any of the continued behaviors. In my gut, I know he is lying.
So, where do I go from here? I am mentally and physically exhausted from the fallout from his "mess". It has impacted every area of our life. He has been without a license for six months due to a pending DWI while out with one of his Ashley Madison whores. His career is in the toilet, as he needs to drive. We can't pay our bills and are at risk to lose everything.
He was in IC for a short time, but finds it too difficult to get there. I am feeling so hopeless right now, I need some advice and encouragement. Can this marriage be saved? Is it even worth it? Help!!!
12 steps groups. They work because they are a network of people who don't claim to be "experts." But they have been there and can share their stories. They work because they rely on the human connection that addiction wants to erase from the human soul. They work because the slogans are, not magic, but good common sense. They work when "you work it."
12 steps groups.
I don't pretend to always be a perfect 12 stepper. That's one of the slogans. Progress, not perfection. I am not traditionally religious in anyone's eyes. But for you Sager, you've tried to save a marriage by yourself, with an addict who isn't in R and for you, Ghost, just starting this journey, you aren't alone. There are far too many of us in this room. I really encourage you to try to find an IRL meeting of spouses of sex addicts. No other group can be quite as empathetic.
One day at a time.
Let go and let god.
Grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference...
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 5:23 PM, October 26th (Wednesday)]
Hang in there. You're not alone. Are you in IC yourself?
That I need to support him getting better, and to think of it like he had a heart attack and is in the hospital. I think she was referencing to me not expecting much from him and surely not asking him things.
I said but what if I am wounded too, and I also need support to heal.
She said I dont. That I might "feel bad" that myy husband had a heart attack but that doesnt mean Im in the hospital from "feeling bad".
Am I taking this too personally or am I off base here? I do realize she is saying he is sick and I am not 'sick'. But I am wounded, and I do have healing to do.
WHat do you think?
Sager, I am so sorry. Hugs and strength to you during this difficult time. I cannot imagine.
DP and Ghost, my guess, and I myself am new to the game so what do I know , is that they are taking the typical "spouse is a codependent" approach and thus:
*take the focus off the SA
*focus on yourself
*work on your healing and things in your realm of control.
*don't do the stuff co-deps do because it's not productive to either of you and could be destructive to and enabling to the addict's behavior.
Which I in theory understand and agree with all of it, even if the spouse is not co-dep. I also think you can't really do much in MC other than facilitate better communication during the initial recovery process, because in theory the addict has to focus on their initial recovery and can't do much else. So to expect much from a MC or your spouses' IC/sponsor/whatever in the way of supporting you is not going to happen, fair or not.
It sucks. We are supposed to heal ourselves, which would be greatly expedited by the spouse's remorse/transparency/support/etc but they can't do it, and in theory we are all co-deps so we are at fault for enabling it and making the addict worse. Whatever. Sounds like second helping of shit sandwich to me.
But I do agree about shifting the focus on *you* and finding an IC that helps *you* and is *your* advocate, and going to some sort of group therapy or 12 step or whatever to help *you*. Because you don't have any say it what's going on in the SA's world right now, other than your boundaries/requirements and consequences.
Hugs! I feel your pain.
Welcome to our terrible club. ScaredyKat is right on with everything she said to you. There is a post on the first page that lists resources. Read up on SA and begin to work on your own recovery. The reality of SA is that our spouses may or may not choose recovery and we have to get ourselves into a healthy place. Right now, you would be best to focus on YOU. Marriage with an active addict or one who is white knuckling is a soul draining experience. I don't recommend it to anyone. Your SAH has to want it for himself, not to save the marriage. Otherwise, recovery will not work.
The support of others, and knowing that you are NOT alone is so important. I am not a perfect 12 stepper, either...is there such a thing?...but the support of S-Anon and seeing a CSAT as my therapist has really helped move my recovery forward. Read up, find a CSAT for yourself (regular IC's do NOT understand SA), and find the IRL support of a 12 step group. You will be absolutely amazed that even though all of our experiences have variation, we all have felt those feelings of shame and horror.
Good luck as you begin your journey of recovery.
I cross posted with you. I read your post in JFO, and I am glad you had a good trip. I think that especially in the early stages of discovery/recovery, SA consumes our lives, and it is good to get outside of ourselves and our problems, even if for a few days.
You are correct in that MC is just not possible until the SA has a firm handle on recovery. My H and I are still not in MC 2 years out. We do have joint sessions with the CSAT and at times do discuss communication issues, but it is not what I would call MC. I think that while it would be ideal to be able to do both IC/MC at once, there are just too many underlying issues when dealing with SA and its affects on the family unit to work on a marriage until those issues are addressed. I know that you don't subscribe to the co-dependent idea, and I admit it made me bristle at first, too, but many spouses of SA DO fall into that category to varying degrees.
I do think that there are expectations that we should have of a SA who is actively working on recovery. I know that when my H embarked on a true course of recovery he was remorseful, transparent, motivated to do things around the house, supportive of my recovery efforts, etc. I think that little by little he began to become less selfish. I had not really realized how selfish he had become and how much time he spent on acting out until he got into recovery and had to start replacing those behaviors with healthier things. By the time of our final d-day I was pretty detached and into my own world of workaholism. I sometimes still struggle with it (logged 40 hours of OT this week...that is why I am not around much!).
I don't think you are wrong to expect him to help out around the house while you are gone (or even when you are there) or to expect him to take an active role in his recovery (if he so chooses). I am glad you have found such an awesome program to participate in. It really will move you along in recovery. You have the right mindset.
I think that you really do need to check out a CSAT. IIRC, in your post in General you said that the only CSAT's in the area are religious based? I realize that may not be ideal, but I would try one of them before I would continue with your current course of MC. MC is useless until a firm recovery takes hold. And your MC has NO understanding of SA! I don't think this is helping you at all. You DO need support! Please, try to find a CSAT and a 12 step group. You do need help. You need recovery for you. Putting all the focus on your WH, as your MC is suggesting, will not move you forward and is actually co-dependent behavior. Yuck. I am not impressed with her at all.
I am sorry that neither she nor your WH get it. Right now you are drowning, and you have to save yourself. Your WH may or may not choose recovery, but you have choices. Empower yourself! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!
I thought your story about your coworkers realizing that your SAH is an ass was great. I think that so many times we feel like WE are in the wrong and that we are going to be judged, because we have kept their secrets. But active addicts are assholes. I am not glad that his behavior was so embarrassing at your new workplace, but I am glad that you realize that others see it and can support you without even knowing all that is going on. You will be ok girl! Just keep saving those pennies, and keep working on YOU!
Absolutely heartbreaking. It is just awful how SA can manifest in so many different ways and and destroy so many people. But it was so nice to be in a room full of people that understood what you were going through and could validate your feelings.
It's an interesting format. We will have an assignment each week and have ten minutes to share our findings because there are so many of us. We are not allowed to offer tissues or hugs, because we are supposed to own our feelings and let the crying and such out. I haven't really looked at the first assignment yet because I just go back from my trip, and my kids are clamoring about their unfinished Halloween costumes, but it has something to do with the Codependent No More book. I still have a lot of issues with that book, and more with that the facilitator seems to think there is no flexibility there, ALL spouses of SAs are codeps, but I need the support of the others more than I need to fight that battle right now.
WH and I had an argument last night. Basically it comes down to I don't like the way he treats me when I go on a trip, he's a total dick and I wanted it to stop. And we went back and forth about why he does that, and he felt justified because he felt I do/say things differently when I travel, etc. But I basically laid down the law and said he needs to do it because that is the way you are supposed to treat your wife, that it was the right thing to do, and that he already obliterated his trust and love tank with me and I was at the end of my rope - why would he do any less. I didn't even get into setting examples for his kids how their spouses should treat them. After that he got a whole lot more quiet and agreeable. Maybe he's blowing smoke, maybe he sees when I speak that way the wheels are turning in my head towards D, IDK. But since this kind of stuff is my second nature, obviously I just don't see the co-dep stuff in me. Yet. I'm so freaking mad I don't see much of anything honestly, LOL.
Sounds like your intensive was very productive. Thanks for the update. It sounds like you are on the right track
I am sorry to hear of how things are going in your situation. It is true that our SA's can have all the recovery help and options available but they have to choose recovery for themselves. We can't will it on them. If they make the choice not to recover, then we have choices, too. That is why we must focus on our own recoveries. I am glad you have a support system in this difficult time. I hope your children have support, too. The affects of SA on the family system are so rough on our children. In my situation, I have felt much worse about the fact that my kids have grown up in a house of addiction than any of his acting out. I don't know if that makes sense, but my kids are so important to me that I think the biggest burden of shame I have felt throughout this ordeal is that my H and I screwed things up for them. Hugs and keep moving on.
he's a total dick and I wanted it to stop. And we went back and forth about why he does that, and he felt justified because he felt I do/say things differently when I travel, etc.
This is a prime example of an active/white-knuckling addict; the "justification", the entitlement, the asshole behavior. Your SAH is not in an active recovery yet, but you know that. He is still at the precontemplation/contemplation stage where he is thinking about recovery and bargaining. My H was very much an entitled ass in his addiction. He would keep his tally list. He deserved x because I did y or someone else did z. He has now realized that he is NOT entitled to act out or behave like an asshole just because he is disappointed or upset, that there are more constructive ways of dealing with things.
As I said in the last post, I know you don't like the idea of co-dependency, I get that. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Keep going to this class. It sounds awesome! There are things you will learn and you will grow. Take what you can and leave the rest. You had also mentioned looking into a 12 step group, right? Keep on the path. With or without your SA you will be OK!
I read your post about the restaurant incident. I have a few questions. Was he looking at them in a general interest way or a scanning way? Operating under the assumption that your SAH utilized heterosexual "normal" porn, would your SAH been interested in them and their stories or laughing if they were males or older or any other fill in the blank category other than attractive ladies (not that I know that they were attractive, lol)? I guess what I am trying to get at is your SAH struggling with scanning?
I know that you are a ways out from your SAH's recovery, but does he still see the CSAT at all? Is this something that you could discuss in that format? I know that it is just my ingrained suspicions as a spouse of a SA for so many years, but I would be nervous about scanning behaviors. My H admitted that was the hardest part of the addiction to break, and the last to go, because it is normal to look at other people. The SA's brain just takes it to another level.
This is a hard issue to deal with, and I think I would probably delve a little deeper into it, if it is triggering you. I think it is a little troubling that you state that he has always "been a discreet scanner". I don't think scanning has any place in recovery (and it is in my H's middle circle behaviors), but that is just my 2 cents.
[This message edited by TooManyYears at 8:14 AM, October 27th (Thursday)]