I guess I have to realize that this probably isn't going to work out. Now I have to pick myself up and get me and my kids through this
I asked about the 12 step groups, but I just wonder how helpful they'd be. My H has has this problem long before he met me so I don't feel comfortable with the "co-addict" philosophy.
He goes back to see his therapist next week. He asked me if I would be open to going. I am, I don't think my H is a terrible person. I would really like to see him get help.
At the same time I want to focus on myself. I'll be honest in saying that if we did not have a child I would definitely end this marriage. I already gave him a chance and he's had several slip ups in this past year... viewing porn, which he knows bothers me. His stance is that it's "normal" for a man to view porn. Well I hope that after this he'll really understand how damaging it is.
I'm willing to try once more. Once. And I'm going to make this perfectly clear. What worries me most is that he won't be able to work through this and our child will have to have some understanding of what is going on. I know how damaging this can be. My father was an adultuer. It's so very damaging. I worry about what this will do to my child.
It is very hard. And yes, S-Anon does take the co-dep stance for spouses, which annoys me. However, just because I don't like and agree with the standard co-dep definitions and approach doesn't mean *some* of it won't apply to me. I do have some of the traits (probably most people do, SA notwithstanding LOL), enough to be concerned. So I go anyway, because I still benefit from so much that S-Anon provides. The companionship of IRL people that have been through what you are going through. Reading the same passages every week to reinforce things in your brain, and somehow getting something different from it each time anyway. Hearing other people's stories that have been mine, could have been mine, will probably be mine and seeing how they handled it. There is a lot of love and support in the room, it is powerful. It's worth going even if you don't understand or agree with all of it.
Not all CSATs take the co-dep approach in treating spouses. Mine is a big supporter of the PTSD theory, and treats spouses accordingly. If you have had a chance to read the books on that vs the standard co-dep ones, you see there is a lot of overlap in the symptoms but not in the cause/why. I have found it extremely helpful in my case to have my treatment done that way.
However, my first round of group therapy was led by a CSAT who was a die-hard of the co-dep camp, and I can say while it did bristle me on occasion, I still found the group therapy helpful. And I know quite a few spouses through group therapy and S-Anon that feel the co-dep approach is more helpful for them. So the key is finding a CSAT and a group (therapy or 12 step) that fits YOU.
Stay strong, honey. You will survive this. You will. Keep posting. We are here for you...
Because I think that's what's happened to my STBX. I talked to someone who works with him, and he told me that STBX started acting really strangely at work in Spring 2011 - right after his mother died. Everyone talked about it. He started losing clients. I knew something was very wrong around this time, but chalked it up at first to his mother's death and his conflicted feelings about it. (They were estranged.)
By summer 2011, I knew the SA had kicked in, but couldn't prove it. September was D-Day, I asked him to leave our home, and he went to live with OW. Now his firm is on its last legs, he's making hardly any money, and everyone thinks he's lost touch with reality. After all, I don't think you can spend 8 hours a day trolling CL for gay/group S&M sex, plus live with another delusional SA, plus act out these scenes during work hours instead of working, and then show up at work a few hours a week and act normally and do a decent job for your clients.
And that's where we're at. First my children will need to leave their school. And then I have to worry about putting food on the table here. I'm looking for a job after staying at home for seven years, but it's going to take a while to find one, and my earning potential is nowhere near STBX's. I have to figure out what to do about the house - and the bills. I'm going into survival mode, and would gratefully accept any advice.
I don't know where else to post these questions. My H's SA has left him insane and unable to function in the world. OR he has other problems that led to the SA, which led to this. I don't know exactly what has happened, and neither do the therapists who have seen him. I'm just desperately looking for help and advice. Also, if anyone can remember any books that cover this sort of extreme situation, would you please let me know, and I'll go back and re-read them?
Lastly, if anyone has any insight into borderline personality disorders and SA, or into perhaps bi-polar people with SA, I would gratefully accept any insight.
When you're legally D you can sign up for food stamps & other public assistance. Until then, at least in my state, your eligibility is tied to what your WH makes/made. I know it's hard to contemplate asking for assistance, but honestly, it exists for people like you, as a way to help.
Your STBX may have had some kind of psychotic break. Is that possible, do you think? Or, could he have gotten in some kind of accident & had a head trauma? A concussion can cause a change in personality (it did for my STBX, not that it excuses anything he's done because he was doing it beforehand).
Has he had a hard-core psychological evaluation? I don't mean by a junior counselor, I mean by a super-degree'd Freud or Jung type?
I've done a lot of reading about personality-disordered people. I hate HAVING to do it. I'd like to just MOVE ON! But I need to make sense of what's happened, like you. I've found some of these links below shared by the good people on SI. Maybe they can help you, too:
"onward and upward..." Santa Clause
I echo what NG said. Start looking into food assistance (food stamps, WIC, food pantries) and also welfare type assistance. You don't have to sign up for them right away if you don't want to, but you need to know what the requirements are and how long it takes to get into the system if the need arises.
I'd also check out your local crisis center/women's shelter. Even if you don't need immediate housing or protection, they will have resources you may need now, and it would be good to know what they can do if STBX becomes potentially dangerous.
Once you figure out your house/living situation, and where the kids will go to school next year, consider short term and part time employment opportunities to pay the bills over the summer. Things like working summer camps, working daycare at a gym, being a summer nanny, etc so you don't have to worry about childcare right away. Often doing those kinds of jobs make connections that lead to much better employment. Also, you don't want to be in a position where STBX can make a claim on you to pay alimony to him, or him pass less child support, etc because you may be making more than him at the time your D becomes final. You should discuss this with your lawyer too, so you don't make any decisions re: selling your house or taking a job that would negatively affect the D. Also consider doing what it takes to remove his custody rights, or at least have visits monitored by someone other than you.
The best thing you can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Think of this as an opportunity to start over fresh without his baggage. Where would you like to live, and the kids go to school, realistically? What kind of work would you enjoy short term, and what would be ideal long-term? What in your life that is in the realm of your control would you like to be different? What would it take to achieve that?
I don't have any advice specific to the disorders you mentioned. I can say you can't fight crazy with crazy. I can say you can't fight things beyond your control. It is best to remove yourself as much as you can from it. Only he can decide to help himself. All you can do is protect you and the kids from the fallout.
(((Holding you in the light)))
I have a few more sites for you to look at:
While doing some research earlier this year I read that roughly 50-67% of BPD and/or NPD people also struggle with addictions of various types. I found out some other things too- their therapy focuses on teaching them to live with their PD, and *doesn’t* focus on treating the addiction. I read quite a bit, actually, but the information was in a therapists’ reference book for treating BPD/NPD not in a book for spouses or sufferers.
I’m coming up on 2 years out from SAWH’s diagnosis. He’s in therapy for the PD he probably has, but not for the SA. He remained functional, although like your WH (& others) he was barely holding it together by DDAY; as his therapy has progressed both his work and home functioning and coping skills have improved, this last six months in particular. NatureGirl is probably right, maybe your SAWH had some type of mental breakdown? My SAWH has told me he was on the verge of one when I caught him.
I’m struggling with the finances as well. I too stayed at home for four years and had to reenter the job market. I’m only working part time, and it’s nowhere near enough to support myself let alone our youngest child too. Even if we rent rooms my take home isn’t enough. As far as food goes, try here:
Also, call local churches and shelters to see if they have a food pantry. Call Goodwill or your local social services or the Salvation Army offices to see if they have a list of nearby places where you can pick up food. Many of these organizations are helpful and friendly and have lower criteria (if any at all) than applying for formal state or federal assistance. The other idea I have is to try and find a roommate. This site was recommended to me:
As far as books go, I like:
Stop Walking on Eggshells by Kreger
But He’ll Change by Joanna V. Hunter
Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend
They’re very good & have helped me very much.
I wish I could help more.
Edited for formatting and spelling.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 8:28 AM, June 4th (Monday)]
"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."
Right now I'm trying to find ways to increase my marketability so that I can land a job. Actually I've been doing this for a year, but I'm really focused now.
I know with the chaos of everything you may not be in the best state of mind, but I would start thinking about what you can do about work. Can you take some classes that will prepare you for employment? Check out the local library, they may have some free courses and workshops.
I know everyone SA is different, and recovery may be a lifelong thing just like with other addictions. But I'm just wondering how long is long enough. I mean how much time is reasonable before I should expect to see some growth and progress?
I'm having a hard time seeing the future, and I'm at a point where I need to start making plans. I'm not in a place where I can plan for our future together because I'm really not sure whether or not he is going to do the work long term. A year ago he went to see a counselor... twice. He was probably not forth coming about what was really going on because he couldn't face the music himself. This time he sees to be remorseful. But It's only been a week so I don't really know. His actions over this past weekend is like deja vu. An exact repeat from a year ago! So with him I know I will just have to wait and see.
Did you find it helpful in moving forward to plan as if you were going to be single? When I think about plans and consider what he'll want, or how he'll contribute (not financially, just in general)it paralyzes me.
I'm not sure I'm verbalizing well what I'm thinking. I just feel stuck. I'm trying to get unstuck. I need to find a job, but I can't seem to concentrate on anything other than all of this SA drama.
How did you manage to move forward while your H was in recovery? What did you find to be helpful in caring for yourself?
So I have been a SAHM to my three kids (4/6/8) for the past seven years. The only employment I've had in that time is 4 months of part time work in the service industry, while SAWH was laid off. I moved 1000 miles from all my family and job contacts two years ago, so I have no local references or job experience. If I leave him, I can't go back to my home state with the kids without significant legal expense, legally being obligated for paying for them to visit their dad, losing every Xmas and summer, etc.
Although this is a fault state with alimony, the system they use to determine how much support I get is flawed and stacked against me because I am not from here, haven't worked in a while but did work half the marriage, we've only been married 13 years, and I have a MBA. The system thinks I can go out and land a job in the 40s-50s immediately. So NOT the case, I tell ya. If I were younger and had no education/work experience, or was older and been a SAHM longer with no education, I'd get a better settlement. But as we all know with any SA, they can go off the deep end and not generate any income at all at any time. So I have to plan for that too.
So first things first. I have a post nup in the works that grants me full custody of the kids if we divorce. This allows me to go back to my home state if I want, where I have job contacts and family to help me. But the longer we stay here, the harder that will be on the kids since this is there home now.
Also in the post nup is alimony for life for me. Not enough to live on, but combined with child support would let us live ok without me working if needed, better if I worked part time or full time of course. In the post nup he will assume all consumer debts we have.
In addition, I have a bank account he has no access to with just enough money to set up house somewhere else on the fly if needed. I also opened a credit card in my own name for emergencies only that he does not have access to. I have a safe deposit box at that bank I can put evidence in he does not have access to, and I have a post office box for correspondence with my lawyer or whatever he does not have access to. I set all this up after DDay, and it's all still there and will always be there, no matter how good things get.
I'm getting my ducks in a row, looking into part time stuff I could do once all three are in school to build experience and work contacts. I volunteer for the school on projects that make me more marketable.
We recently had to move for a variety of reasons, and because of the market here it made more sense to buy that rent to get the best schools for the kids and the best return on our investment. So we agree I will stay with the kids in this house until they graduate, and I will update the post nup to reflect that. In the event he goes off the deep end, it is possible for me to find housing in the district more affordably, and I can apply to transfer them to the best schools they will be going to now without much resistance.
I've already been educated on how public assistance works in my home state, so it would not be difficult for me to learn the system here in my new state if needed. I probably should go ahead and learn it, and get an emergency pack together so I won't have to learn it under duress, I guess.
But the hardest part you asked was about WHEN do you know enough is enough. I have to have faith I will know when I know. SAWH did not do everything I asked, or he was supposed to do in therapy. But he's not off the usual meandering path that most SAs take in their path to recovery, and there is forward progress, so I am willing to wait and see for now. It has paid off mostly thus far, because he appears to make more progress as time goes on, even if at times it is at the expense of my progress. I have said the flame in my heart for him is not out, but it is flickering. I have faith I will know if it goes out.
IDK if this ramble is helpful at all, but it was nice to get it all out. Makes me feel like I have some sort of plan. As much as you can in this circumstance, LOL.