I totally *get* feeling you have a right to know. I am still GPSing WH half the time. I use a passive logger, tho, so I'm not sitting and watching it nonstop , I have to wait and physically retrieve the unit and boot up the old secret computer to open the reports, etc so it's not as attractive to me to use it all the time. I tell myself it's because it makes me feel better to trust but verify, but then like today when it says he was down the street in a bank parking lot for 90 minutes instead of further up at his IC, it causes unnecessary doubt. I've had phone GPS trackers say he was down the street a bit when he was sitting right in front of me at home at the time, so 200 yards is really not a big issue. But the seed of doubt is planted already, so it's those times I feel it's counterproductive to my healing. But then again how will I ever *know* unless I at least randomly check on occasion, bleah.
So honestly unless it would help in evidence for divorce, or a confrontation, IDK if digging deeper will help you unless you need that closure to keep the good work and validating your detachment. Having enough to know he's blown the boundaries could certainly be proof enough for that. I'm with Sager, what do you NEED to know to heal, and know what you want?
But I read Sabina's Shamu book, LOL, and it gave me some ideas and perspective on it. Animal trainers do not reward each and every time once a behavior is learned. They do it just often enough that the animal will keep doing the behavior because it has a good enough chance of receiving said treat. Just enough for maintenance. They also do not reward with a big fish when a small chunk of fish will do. They use the smallest reward that will get the job done. Then when the job is done, they do it less frequently, like I just explained.
So what I do, is I do say thank you for some things. To be polite, and throw the small chunk of fish occasionally but not necessarily every time. I don't make a big deal out of it, and it is much like modeling manners for my children that I already do. He laps it up. He wants so badly to be perceived as progressing, but he's still got that SA filter on so he is not totally grounded in reality. It seems to be working.
I also employ the response the animal trainers do for not executing the right behavior. When presented with that, they use a neutral expression and don't give any signals at all. It's pretty compatible with detachment and everything we learn in S-Anon, as well as the 180 we speak of in SI. If they were supposed to do something else, you could ask again later for the desired behavior if needed, but if they just did a "bad" thing you mostly just walk over it and move on with your life. This of course is run of the mill bad things, not relapse type things. This has not been as effective as the other methods but it does have some impact. It works especially well on my kids, better than on him, LOL.
So that all helps me with that issue.
Thanks Hath, for helping me think this through.
"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."
In my last S-Anon meeting, without going into detail that would betray the privacy in said meeting, there was a member who shared she had doubts about her SA's new therapist from what her WH had been telling her. I shared with her later that I had a similar experience, and was disappointed to learn that a lot of what was concerning me about said therapist was stuff WH misinterpreted, left out, or minimized - all of which came out when I finally met him. While I still had concerns about the therapist after meeting him, I was more disappointed in being shown hard evidence how much that warped filter that SAs have, that I guess ALL addicts have, that allows them to do the things they do. That a similar thing may be going on in her scenario, who knows. My intent was to educate her and empower her, help her to further detach, but in truth it really served as a reminder to *me*, hey, WH still has that filter, albeit at somewhat lesser degree now and I need to remember that when *I* do the things *I* do. I don't know that that spouse knows how much she helped *me* that day.
And the same thing goes on here, every post. Every issue you have that you share, I have had it, am having it, or are worried about having it and I learn so much from it just being brought up.
So like in my WH's case, he perceived his acting out as "not that often", "not escalating", that he was not doing it at extreme financial hardship (yeah, normal people pay for sex when they are laid off, on unemployment, and borrowing money to pay the bills ). The filter becomes so bad it eventually leaks into other areas of life and they can't perceive when they cross other kinds of boundaries and such.
Does that make sense? I've had a glass of wine and I am not a drinker, so I may be rambling.
So when talking to the realtor saying we would ideally like town A, she asked if we would consider town B (because that is what most people who can't afford town A do, LOL). He told her that I would not even consider town B, that he really didn't understand why but it was off the table. WTH? I never said I would not consider town B AT ALL. I love town B and he and I actually visit their socially quite a bit, and I always say how much I love it there when we go. So now we are going to look like crazy people who can't communicate when I actually meet her and discuss things with her. Which I guess we are but she won't really know why.
To prove how quickly his obsession escalated, (I unfortunately needed to reveal my source), he read through his web history quickly and still minimized it, even when presented with the hard evidence. The next day, I discovered he deleted ALL of it, even though I asked him not to.
There is no way to communicate with him, it is all filtered through his scrambled brain. If I say the sky is blue, he'll say I called him scum. I'm not exaggerating, sadly. This is what he hears.
Like Sabrina, I'm getting my ducks in a row. His defensive, abusive behavior is not acceptable to me. I don't know if he's acting out, but he certainly isn't recovering, either. It's time to protect myself.
Thanks always for the thought-provoking discussions, Ladies. I've learned so much here...
Something else I've been wondering about - did he "know" what he was doing was "wrong" while he was doing it? Or was his logic so clouded through this "filter," that he really thought what he was doing was "okay" as long as I didn't know about it and therefore I wasn't "hurt." It's hard for me to understand - because obviously, I think, "Oh my god, how could you do this to someone you supposedly love, that you're supposedly married to?" But then I hear you speak of this "filter," and I think well...maybe he really is just mentally ill.
This is all very interesting to me. Thanks Hath.
Maybe he really hasn't been thinking...at all...will he ever be able to think again...or just think in the first place?
[This message edited by WS is an Addict at 9:07 AM, January 15th (Sunday)]
I am totally sure any sort of addiction fries the brain and they don't see reality as it is without a lot of guidance. So I am sure that is what goes on as they address their FOO and underlying issues that are so apparent to healthy people but not to them.
It is a mental illness for sure. And in theory all mental illnesses are treatable but it's very difficult to get the right mix for each individual, and for that individual to embrace treatment and get better.
Now it's his mother. He is discovering his anger and abandonment issues. And after the arrest, the abandonment of all of his siblings. Like has this guy ever taken psych 101? It's so totally furstrating.
I used to say,"Penny for your thoughts." He would say, "nothing". And I have finally come to believe that he really doesn't think of anything.
I have been thinking a lot of what has been said about our spouses ever loving us. I really, really believe that for the first 7 years of our marriage, he truly loved me. I felt intimacy and connection with him. We shared on all levels. It wasn't until the addiction came between us that I felt the distance. For a while i felt like I lived with a complete stranger.
With his latest round of addictive behavior, I feel that he no longer has the capacity to love. He was selfish in his addiction and he has been selfish in his recovery. Maybe it will bet better. I don't know. But as i have said, if I am not happily married by June 2013, I'm out of here. Fixing this marriage is in his hands. I've used up all I'm willing to spend on fixing things with him.
Okay, I guess I'm a bit pissed off tonight.... so one more thing. He was watching "Rescue Me." He shared, "It's tough to watch (the main character) engaging in all that addictive behavior." Again, another, "really?" What the hell does he think I've been doing for the last 10 years?!
I feel better now.
Him: I do love you, you know.
Me: Actions don't convince me of that.
Him: Well that was the old me, and besides, we had some good times, even when I was acting out.
Me: Really? Tell me about them.
Him: Well, you are putting me on the spot, I can't remember everything!?!?
ME: Just ONE specific tender moment between you and me.
Him: OK, you're right, we never had any good times. I am an evil addict who treated you like crap for 20 years
Me: AHA! now you get it.
But he doesn't. He doesn't remember because he wasn't present for those years. He may remember places and parties and stuff, but I remember him ignoring me sexually on romantic trips, screaming at me on the streets of SF because I didn't know which way to go (I'd never been there before, he had) and I remember him jumping into the car immediately after we'd arrive home from a trip to "take a ride" translation, go get his knob polish by the stripper of the week. He was always looking for the next fix. And through my "new" lens of knowledge, I can't look and what WERE happy times for me, and think of them as authentically happy. Because during those times, I wasn't loved, I wasn't cherished and protected and I wasn't even married. I was alone. But to him, we had so great times!
This is where you younger gals have to carefully consider what you want to do. ONLY stay because you are waiting to get your financial picture in order or unless he becomes a complete human being. Otherwise, you are far better off being alone with the one authentic person in you life-YOU
First, my husband was estranged from his hideous, verbally abusive, domineering mother. She had lung cancer, and he forgave her last spring, flew up to see her many times as she was dying. And when she died, all hell broke loose here, leading me to where I am today - living with my children while he lives with OW, the fellow sex addict.
I really, really believe that for the first 7 years of our marriage, he truly loved me. I felt intimacy and connection with him. We shared on all levels. It wasn't until the addiction came between us that I felt the distance. For a while i felt like I lived with a complete stranger.
With his latest round of addictive behavior, I feel that he no longer has the capacity to love.
With his latest round of addictive behavior, I feel that he no longer has the capacity to love.
I'm floored by this. I could have written this. I've been thinking about love since last night, and this is pretty much what I believe too. I do think that he "loves" his children, but it's not the same love that I thought he had for them.
Does SA strip people of their humanity and their capacity to love?
[This message edited by ChoosingHope at 8:46 PM, January 15th (Sunday)]
I am sad because it is sounding more and more like WS has been an addict our entire relationship - I never knew him otherwise. So what is wrong with me that I picked him out like this? That I didn't realize it? That I was attracted to this kind of person?
The relationship I'd had before also turned out to be abusive - it was a short relationship, 6 months maybe, and a year prior to meeting WS. His vice was alcohol though (whose isn't in college?), but he would yell and berate me when he was drunk, even putting holes in walls. Police were actually called once. We broke up when he graduated from college - thank God for that timing (I was a freshman).
Fast forward to fall semester of sophomore year. I was sexually assaulted by a friend.
Fast forward to spring semester, sophomore year - I meet WS. I remember one of the things I liked about WS was that I felt safe with him. He was different than the other two men (discussed above). He wasn't pushy. He wasn't physically intimidating. He was sweet, kind, shy, appreciative. He didn't say much. He just listened a lot. He told me I was smart and beautiful. He was my friend in addition to being my boyfriend.
And really, it turns out he is the worst abuser of them all. He just hid it better.
I've never really thought of myself as codependent, but maybe there is something about me that makes me vulnerable to this. Can it be a coincidence that my entire adult life has been connected to abuse by SOs?
I mean, I have a solid FOO. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, so I probably do have some abandonment issues. Father worked 80+ hours a week (ironically taking care of everyone else's problems) - don't really have many memories with him at all. I would say I have a respect for him but not necessary an intimate bond. Mom was more controlling than other friends' moms but very emotionally present. WS actually reminded me of her in a lot of ways - the way he supported me and outwardly appeared to "love" me. I thought he loved me - I really did.
I don't know if this is the appropriate place to share such personal issues, but again I am alone in a town in the middle of nowhere. Family is 3 hours away. WS is 12 hours away. Close friends are all over the country, and I'm trying to keep them out of this unless and until I decide on divorce. Neighbors all know about the scandal, forcing me to hide out in my apartment...pending legal issues force me to keep my mouth shut anyway.
But I have to wonder...am I a bigger part of this puzzle than I initially thought? What is it about me that apparently makes me a magnet for abuse? How do I stop this??? I don't want to be abused!!!
First IC tomorrow...maybe some light will be shed then. Opinions appreciated though - does anyone else have these patterns?
If it's relevant, the relationships I had in high school were not abusive in the least. Granted they were short and limited in scope (due to mother's influence), but they were healthy. Did something in my head change when I left for college? Or is that just a naturally vulnerable time in a young woman's life, and I just happened to win the unlucky lottery 3 times?
All three of them did have one thing in common - a very intense, focused, beginning - that I was the center of their universe. There might be something to that...
<fake cough while saying BULLSHIT!>
Yeah, I'm messed up. It's a relief, actually, to see how totally f-ed up I am as far as my thoughts & beliefs, because I have a direction on how to get out of this self-imposed Hell.
But that doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with us.
And most important, as Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
WS, I know your story best. My gut tells me he DID prey on you because of your weakness. But I also think, judging by his early treatment of you, he believed you to be different, better, above his baser urges. In short, I think he loved you as much as an SA can.
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 8:50 AM, January 16th (Monday)]