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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts-9
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

***(((SA Spouses)))***

There’s so much pain here, so much agony. I wish we could find a meeting point and do our own weekend ‘intensive’: to cry, to laugh, to hug each other, to bolster our spirits and to feed our souls. I feel like you guys are my buddies, I think of you daily and check on our thread even when I don’t post.

A little reflection on my part, remembering where I was and sharing where I am now. When SAWH was first diagnosed, I felt like I was ‘all in’, “we can beat this together” etc. I bought all the books, I pushed him to make & then to keep appointments, I tried to get him to share his feelings, I didn’t want to have sex with him because I was totally disgusted with his addiction related behaviors & because I was going to push him into an abstinence period whether he wanted to or not. OMG, ladies- I was SO SO codep it scares me now- and I was completely in denial about how much I was damaging myself and wasting my efforts. Because all of these behaviors originated from me, were maintained by me and motivated me to ‘help him get his $h!t straight’. Seriously.

Slowly, as my therapy progressed (I talked about this at length a few days ago), I dropped all of this. It took up too much energy that I needed to spend on myself & I reluctantly realized that I had to stop parenting SAWH & enabling his behaviors (by taking responsibility for his actions away from him & thus giving him a “reason” to continue). After much therapy and thought and reflection I set some boundaries for myself & for our M, to protect myself and perhaps give our M space to thrive. One, SAWH must continue in regular therapy; schedule TBD by him but at least twice a month. Two, no cell phone. Still fully in effect. Three, call me from work just before he leaves for home. That’s it.

Most people here know that SAWH denies he’s an SA. He’s in a specific type of therapy for a particular PD- but we’ve never talked about this directly. I’ve broached the PD issue directly, but he pushed back against me saying he doesn’t feel safe to share- which is his right, no matter how *I* feel about the lack of sharing. At this point, I can see that his therapy addresses sobriety and recovery issues no matter what SAWH says or doesn’t say about being an addict. I’ve set a couple of boundaries for myself, so I *help myself* feel safe.

One boundary is the TV & DVD porn issue & I set my own controls on the tv. Two is him not having a cell phone, although this will change soon as I’ll be working later at night and we’ll need to be in touch by cell. However, he has agreed to work with me on this because he knows how badly this triggers me. I’ve decided to upgrade my cell later in the fall & give him my old one- with certain restrictions on it. We’ll see how well this works (or doesn’t, as time goes by). Three, I monitor some of his computer usage. I won’t go into this further here, anyone interested can PM me. But that’s it. I’ve reserved the right (in my mind) to use a GPS if I’m suspicious & have proof that I’m unsafe again.

For me the key behind all of this is *my motivation* for the boundaries. I need to help myself feel safe & these things help me feel safe- as safe as I can in this situation. I *choose* to stay in the M as long as my boundaries are intact. Yes, he has slipped & relapsed & these have been devastating. These things are expected & normal both in people with a PD and people who have an addiction or in people who have both (like SAWH). I know this. I want to emphasize that the difference between codependent behavior and healthy behavior is, in part, acknowledging the three C’s and making sure the boundaries are for *me* and not to try and control SAWH. It took me a huge amount of work, but I’m unraveling my codependent ways..

Hath mentioned doing somethings out of the ordinary to change our outlook and perspective. I've started 'making an effort' with my hair and clothing choices, and today I'll be going to a big department store to the MAC counter to buy some new foundation and pressed powder. I haven't worn make-up regularly in several years & I want to begin again with some new supplies. Perhaps I'll check in again later & let you know how it went.

Hugs! Sabina



Details & story in profile

"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."

Maya Angelou


Posts: 1350 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Metro DC
scaredyKat
♀ Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 12:57 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Boundaries. I can't say, "don't have more than two drinks" I can say, "if you have more than two drinks and start getting nasty, I am going home." I CAN say, "if I suspect or find out about porn use I am sleeping elsewhere" "if there is any contact with OW I am filing" "if you aren't working your program I will pursue separation and divorce" It isn't about control, it's about keeping ME safe, about drawing that line, about saying I WILL NOT BE codep anymore.

I do the same with my alcoholic DS. He is currently still living here PT, collecting disability for another month, his licence to practice his profession is on hold and he wants to go back to school and get a PT job under strict conditions of his professional oversight organization that monitors addicts in recovery. He can live here under the condition that he work the AA program, stay sober, allow us spot checks of his room, and follow basic curtesy rules of the house.

It's also how the boundaries are presented to the addict IMHO. Anyone, especially addicts, bristly when treated like a child. But when you say "I will do this IF this occurs" places the action on YOU. They still have the choice to screw up. And you have the power to do something else. And you have to follow through.

My SAfWHs continuing to checkin with my and his continuing to relinquish control of the money is now his idea. His goal is to make me feel safe. But it has been a long time coming. As a matter of fact, he originally placed the GPS on his phone (mind you HE did it) and promptly drove to his favorite strip club, thinking the bag for the EZ pass transponder would keep me from knowing where he was. He's not the most technology adept. He also has been known to hand me the computer, encouraging me to check it, immediately after surfing for porn WITHOUT clearing history. IDK what he does now, I hardly ever check, mostly because it IS up to him, and I just don't want the trauma.

It's a balancing act this boundaries vs controling. There is no blueprint.

********(((((((Spouses)))))))******


Me-BS-59
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2921 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 1:27 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's also how the boundaries are presented to the addict IMHO. Anyone, especially addicts, bristly when treated like a child. But when you say "I will do this IF this occurs" places the action on YOU. They still have the choice to screw up. And you have the power to do something else. And you have to follow through.

This is key. Us spouses of SA's absolutely MUST establish boundaries. They are for OUR protection. They are not for controlling the SA. Think of them as "If/Then" declarations. IF you do this, THEN I will do that. This allows the addict the freedom to make their choices, and lets them know what YOU will do if your boundary, your perimeter, is breached.

You have the right to a porn-free marriage. You have the right to a husband who does not go to strip clubs, meet Craigslist strangers for blow-jobs after work, or cheat on you. You must accept, though, that your SA husband also has the right to be at a strip club so much they name the VIP room after him. He has the right to a different CL encounter every day. He has the right to cheat on you. He's an adult, and as such he has these rights.

It is up to YOU to keep yourself safe.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8783 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
beautifulmess7
♀ Member
Member # 35259
Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

hath - I really like your idea about changing routines up. It is such a simple idea, but I think it could make a difference. I am SUCH a creature of habit. To the point where it borders on OCD. I take the same route to every place I go, down to when I change lanes. Yes – that specific.

Sabina - I wish we could do our own meetings, too. It would be so nice to have all of this support IRL. I have my SA group and a few women in the area that I talk to about this, but the more support the better.

Kat & Sabina - I agree with you two 100% about boundaries being a lot about your motivations. They are free to screw up, to make poor choices, but then we are free to say that is not acceptable in our lives and to respond (not react) accordingly. It's a fine line that has to be approached the right way.


Posts: 242 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
ChoosingHope
♀ Member
Member # 33606
Default  Posted: 2:57 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A little reflection on my part, remembering where I was and sharing where I am now. When SAWH was first diagnosed, I felt like I was ‘all in’, “we can beat this together” etc. I bought all the books, I pushed him to make & then to keep appointments, I tried to get him to share his feelings, I didn’t want to have sex with him because I was totally disgusted with his addiction related behaviors & because I was going to push him into an abstinence period whether he wanted to or not. OMG, ladies- I was SO SO codep it scares me now- and I was completely in denial about how much I was damaging myself and wasting my efforts. Because all of these behaviors originated from me, were maintained by me and motivated me to ‘help him get his $h!t straight’. Seriously.

Me too. I thought, "WE can fix this!"

When I went back to look at the Claudia Black book for Bene today, I read these words:

"Many cosas live their lives in response to their partner's behaviors. You have this insatiable need to know what your partner is doing, thinking and feeling. . . You want to know, but at the same time you don't want to know. You want validation, or you want invalidation. Preoccupation is a major codependent virtue.

and

"Preoccupation with the addict's problems frequently leads to controlling behavior on your part. Controlling behavior is the manipulation of people. . . . [it] imparts a sense of power at a time in your life when you are overwhelmed with fear and helplessness. It it a false, hollow power. . . .

and my favorite:

"Controlling and enabling behaviors rest on the assumption that you, the coaddict, have power over the addict. . . . "


Posts: 1433 | Registered: Oct 2011
ChoosingHope
♀ Member
Member # 33606
Default  Posted: 2:59 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You have the right to a porn-free marriage. You have the right to a husband who does not go to strip clubs, meet Craigslist strangers for blow-jobs after work, or cheat on you. You must accept, though, that your SA husband also has the right to be at a strip club so much they name the VIP room after him. He has the right to a different CL encounter every day. He has the right to cheat on you. He's an adult, and as such he has these rights.

It is up to YOU to keep yourself safe.

+1
And to keep our children safe.

xo,
Hope


Posts: 1433 | Registered: Oct 2011
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 3:20 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I need to read that Claudia Black book.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8783 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I will be glad to finally be free of STBX and the shitstorm of addiction, confusion, co-dependency, PTSD. I will be glad when he no longer occupies a place in my thoughts on a daily basis. I will be glad when the only manifestation of him in my life is the presence of my three beautiful children. I will be glad when I finally feel safe again.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8783 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Ghostwalker
♀ Member
Member # 31991
Default  Posted: 9:37 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Amen, Nature Girl! I'm right there with you. Love to you....


This is the Hour of Lead --
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow --
First -- Chill -- then Stupor -- then the letting go --

Posts: 1089 | Registered: Apr 2011
ChoosingHope
♀ Member
Member # 33606
Default  Posted: 9:42 PM, July 25th (Wednesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Amen, Nature Girl! I'm right there with you. Love to you....

Me too, my friends. We've got this - we can do it.


Posts: 1433 | Registered: Oct 2011
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Default  Posted: 8:31 AM, July 26th (Thursday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hugs to all this morning. I too need to find the Claudia Black book and reread it. I'm still guilty of preoccupation.

FYI- I've decided to 'name' SAWH Nathan when talking about him. Giving H a name here helps make things more personal, less clinical and removed from me. So "Nathan" isn't some new guy I found, . Like I want *another* man to deal with.

Yesterday DS#2 & I had a good conversation about my planning & how I feel about his desire to remain here in our apt. with Nathan so DS#2 can finish high school. I'm still processing this & haven't really changed my timeline, but I think I feel better knowing that if I decide to leave sooner rather than later, then DS#2 & I have started talking about all of it.

I never made it to the MAC counter, I ran into a GF I hadn't seen in a while & we had a late lunch & chatted for a long time.


Hugs~ Sabina


Details & story in profile

"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."

Maya Angelou


Posts: 1350 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Metro DC
scaredyKat
♀ Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 4:27 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am dealing with the continuing fall out of living my entire married life, and of raising two sons in a home ravaged by the dysfunction of SA. not only is my mind permanently changed, but I have no doubt there are contributing factors here that allowed my DS1 to become alcoholic. Now we are dealing with HORRIBLE side effects of the medications he is taking. It never ends. I feel such regret for not recognizing the abuse, even if I didn't know about the SA, and not getting us out of there years ago, when they were little. DS2 says he was really in the dark for much of it, I hid it well, but the harsh reality is that he was the whistle blower, misbehaving, I was the disciplinarian, SAWH favored him, took his side against me. It's a wonder he turned out so well. DS1 was a mystery to SAWH so he avoided him. I say he abandoned him just as he abandoned this marriage and me. DS1 was also witness to SAWH s late night absences, because he would get home from work and find me still up, fretting. So he knew, probably before me that there was crap going on. He takes full responsibility for his own addiction, but we all know that he would have had a fighting chance of avoiding it if he had grown up in a house without this level of dysfunction.
So, I wish with all my heart I had not stayed when they were young.even though I didn't know about the SA, I knew about the moods, the angere, the neglect. Better or worse, be damned, I should have put my kids first.


Me-BS-59
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2921 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Ariel
♀ Member
Member # 32790
Default  Posted: 4:42 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Stay strong, everyone! I, too, am a spouse of an SA. It's a long, hard struggle and we need all the support we can get.

Hang in there. (((((hugs))))))


Looking forward to heaven and finally being out of this hell.

Posts: 69 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: PA
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 5:13 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So, I wish with all my heart I had not stayed when they were young.even though I didn't know about the SA, I knew about the moods, the angere, the neglect. Better or worse, be damned, I should have put my kids first.

((((HUGS))))

I feel the same way, Sister. Even though my kids are still young, they have been damaged from living in the house with an abusive, active addict.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8783 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
ChoosingHope
♀ Member
Member # 33606
Default  Posted: 10:29 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*****(((((KAT)))))*****

Posts: 1433 | Registered: Oct 2011
Beneficence
♀ Member
Member # 36129
Default  Posted: 10:46 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ScaredyKat -

So, I wish with all my heart I had not stayed when they were young.even though I didn't know about the SA, I knew about the moods, the angere, the neglect. Better or worse, be damned, I should have put my kids first.

Don't be so hard on yourself. No one can predict the future, though we all wish we could, and hindsight is always 20/20. We take a path and stick with it, hoping for the best. If that path doesn't work, bifurcate and choose another. *hugs* I'm certainly considering my options - leave early? Stay and try? Probably have some sort of regrets either way you go, and there is no way of knowing them before you go down the path.

Spouses, I've been doing a lot of reading. I'm currently taking summer university courses, and part of my classwork involves writing papers on pertinent topics in our lives. For me, I chose to investigate pornography and its effects on young adult sexuality and commitment to partners.

I read two studies: "Associations between Young Adults' Use of Sexually Explicit Material and Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, and Satisfaction", Journal of Sex Research, 2011, by Elizabeth M. Morgan. The second study was titled "A Love that Doesn't Last: Pornography Consumption and Weakened Commitment to One's Romantic Partner", Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 31, 2012, by Nathaniel M. Lambert and others.

In a nutshell, that you guys recommended no porn in the house was spot on. In a nutshell, from the first study:

This study examined how levels of sexually explicit material (SEM) use during adolescence and young adulthood were associated with sexual preferences, sexual behaviors, and sexual and relationship satisfaction....Regression analyses revealed that both the frequence of SEM use and number of SEM types viewed were uniquely associated with mroe sexual experience (a higher number of overall and casual sexual intercourse partners, as well as a lower age at first intercourse). Higher frequencies of SEM use were associated with less sexual and relationship satisfaction....These finding suggest that SEM use can play a significant role in a variety of aspects of young adults' sexual development processes."

The second paper actually utilized five different studies to determine commitment levels:

"We examined whether the consumption of pornography affects romantic relationships, with the expectation that higher levels of pornography consumption would correspond to weakened commitment in young adult romantic relationships...Overall, a consistent pattern of results was foudn using a variety of approaches including cross-sectional (Study 1), observational (Study 2), experimental (Study 3), and behavioral (Studies 4 and 5) data".

These are just blurbs from the abstracts, the actual papers are 10 and 28 pages long, respectively. Porn is not harmless! The reason I was interested in the first was due to my conjecture that perhaps it unduly created problems with my SAWH, in that he was raised in a very conservative religious family who did not teach him about sex - all he learned about it he got from porn.

I did read Carnes' book "Out of Shadows". Not sure how well the SA part fit my husband, as I'm not in his head, but the spousal section did not fit me or my situation at all. I'm still rereading Barbara Steffens book "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse". I'll give a better play by play of my understandings of their positive and negatives once I'm finished with both. If you all haven't read Barbara Steffens book, you should. You may feel a lot better about your natural reactions.

[This message edited by Beneficence at 10:49 PM, July 30th (Monday)]


D-Day: 12/27/11
Me: BS, Stay-at-home mom, 36
Him: SAWS, 38
Married 14 years, discovered 10 years of affairs on D-Day, now separated
Two awesome kidlets, 10, 7

Posts: 60 | Registered: Jul 2012
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 10:54 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Good for you for all that reading, Bene! Knowledge is power. I'm still reading & learning, trying to understand WTH happened to me in this relationship. Even though we're divorcing, I need more understanding. I'm so sick of secrets & ignorance controlling my life.

You might like oneangrygirl.net for more reading. She cites lots of studies & research IIRC.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8783 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
oldtimer97
♀ Member
Member # 2365
Default  Posted: 11:23 PM, July 30th (Monday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bene, add this one to your coursework..in fact you'll find a wealth of articles that Psychology Today has on the subject, as well as some of the websites the various authors also have.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201107/porn-induced-sexual-dysfunction-is-growing-problem


FWIW, because of brain damage, I write in storyteller form, so hardly any short posts from me & bad eyesight gives me a 50% edit rate..Apologies in advance!

Posts: 3168 | Registered: Oct 2003 | From: Sunny Arizona
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 12:16 AM, July 31st (Tuesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There are some TED talks about porn, too.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 elementary school-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 8783 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
beautifulmess7
♀ Member
Member # 35259
Default  Posted: 5:17 PM, July 31st (Tuesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Out of curiosity, what are TED talks? I am definitely interested in reading g those studies!

Posts: 242 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Virginia
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