Before confronting WH I had taken the following steps because I didn’t know how he was going to react – consulted a lawyer, opened a secret bank account, opened a secret mailbox, photocopied everything I could get my hands on and stored it outside the house, created a list of requirements for staying in the marriage which I gave to him at the confrontation. WH still has NO knowledge of most of this, nor will he ever. I was very good a creating a plan of action (with the help of SI) and following through. That was the easy stuff (for me). Now that that plan has been executed I’m faced with the not so easy stuff. I realize now that I focused so much on the plan I didn’t look ahead to what comes next.
So, I guess I am waiting because I feel like I need to give him a chance. If SA has not even been addressed yet, how can I hefty his ass and toss him out? I can feel the 2x4 – I can’t fix him, I am only responsible for myself and need to look after my own self care. Back to IC for me for sure! I am beginning to see a lot of behavior/patterns in myself and in our marriage that will need a lot of work. Codependency? This is a new concept for me as well.
You mention certain permutations of numbers. I can see by the cc bills that there was NO special date or holiday when he was not paying for his online sluts – my birthday, our anniversary, his birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving – literally every important family event or holiday – for at least the two years which I can trace. Yuck!! I won’t even wear the gift he gave me for Christmas last year because I feel it is tainted.
QVee – you asked about our sex life. Here comes way too much TMI, but where else can I feel safe enough to share like this…
That is the crazy thing! The last year has been great! WH has been on medication for depression and anxiety for over 12 years. The medication gave him ED issues, he couldn’t “finish” when we had sex. The typical ED medications did not work for him. This was obviously very frustrating for him! So it got to the point where we didn’t even try. I felt like it wasn’t fair to him to leave him frustrated. We were having sex about 2 times a year for almost 10 years. Typing this now, it’s hard to believe I lived in a virtually sexless marriage for so long.
Anyway, about two years ago I began to take matters into my own hands, so to speak I started initiating much more often. And it was great!! WH didn’t have issues, or at least, almost never. The last year has been at least 2-3 times a month. Believe me at my over-50 age I was ecstatic to be “getting it” on a regular basis!
Of course, now I realize that the timing of when I starting being more proactive is when he starting paying for the online chats. Honestly, I don’t know what that means at all! Did he have problems for the first ten years because he was he so busy MB to online porn? Is the timing of paying for the video chats and the increase in our sex life just a coincidence? I have even thought that things improved because he was thinking of his online sluts while he was having sex with me. Ugh!!!! I don’t even want him to touch me right now. I can barely stand to give him a kiss goodbye in the morning.
Thanks for the support. I guess it is time for a new plan of action.
[This message edited by nightsky at 8:28 AM, August 18th (Saturday)]
DD 6/2012 –WH has been paying $$$ for online video sex chats and calls his favorite “my girlfriend.”
"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith" Margaret Shepard
WH has been on medication for depression and anxiety for over 12 years. The medication gave him ED issues, he couldn’t “finish” when we had sex. The typical ED medications did not work for him. This was obviously very frustrating for him! So it got to the point where we didn’t even try. I felt like it wasn’t fair to him to leave him frustrated. We were having sex about 2 times a year for almost 10 years. Typing this now, it’s hard to believe I lived in a virtually sexless marriage for so long.
I had this experience also. Failure to ejaculate is common with SA and a type of ED. They are so involved with their addictive behavior that it takes more and more extreme stimulation to enable them to "finish."
Night, you have done a lot to take back your power. Only you can decide if you can hang around to see how well he does with a program and IC. There IS a high rate of recidivism, but as I said, there are many men that I know who have been able to beat this monkey. My fWS included.
Your recollection of special days is not uncommon. In fact, that's the source of most of my current triggering. Every once in a while I'll think about something we did long ago and realize what was REALLY happening in my life. And the anger starts again. But it's my problem now. Although I do talk to him about it, and he helps me to process the pain. THAT wasn't an immediate ability of his. Beginning recovery is just that, beginning. More than 3 years into it, I am seeing that he is finally getting it.
Those of us who are affected by this horrible addiction are truly traumatized. Don't ever minimize the effect it has had and is having on you. Take care of yourself and be selfish about it.
I had this experience also. Failure to ejaculate is common with SA and a type of ED. They are so involved with their addictive behavior that it takes more and more extreme stimulation to enable them to "finish."
I think this is one of the common indicators as to whether one's spouse is an SA; an big group of SAs have trouble being intimate with their spouses, but not with anonymous encounters, online, etc. If anyone reading this forum is wondering if their spouse may be an SA, this is usually a good sign! And it's also a misconception that an SA has sex with anything and everything that moves and doesn't ever have any sexual problems at all. There are patterns to the behavior.
My story--When WH and I got together back in the day, we were set up by a mutual friend who visited me in the hospital. She set us up because both my FH and I were dealing with health issues. From the beginning, our sex life was never normal because there were periods of time that because of our health issues, we just couldn't physically have sex. (I had ovarian cysts; he was on meds for kidneys). Instead we developed other areas of our relationship.
However, a couple years into our relationship, as I came into better health, I started wanting a sex life. We had sex, but not very frequently, and my H had trouble performing, and he blamed it on his health/meds. I let it go, unfortunately, not believing it was anything else.
Then late in 2010, I noticed a few suspicious messages from women on his phone. However, again, I just let these go because I trusted him, even though a few of these were upsetting.
I kept getting these kinds of warnings up until March of 2011 when we had our first DDay. I found the same thing you did. Chats/messages/texts with all these other women which basically can only amount to cybersex. Two of the other women who this had lasted for years!!--it started even before we got together. After numerous conversations after confronting, I found out that these were just online, and I had a friend's husband (police officer) do a background check. Both of these women were from out of state, and had never met up with my husband. I agave my husband an ultimatum and said that we either go to counseling or divorce.
We started going to MC, and it really helped for awhile. The therapist recognized that my husband had problems with physical intimacy, and that the health thing was now just an excuse, and we worked on developing sexual intimacy between us. To make a long story short, we were in MC for about a year, and things were fine except for the no sex life.
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, and I intercept some inappropriate messages on FB to my H. I then get suspicious, and go into his email, and find out that he has been cybering again since May.
I gather all my evidence, and confront once again. To make a long story short, we schedule a therapy session to talk about this, and finally my H admits that he's addicted to porn/online sex. He watched porn and masturbated almost every day since he was a teenager. He's never had a good sex life with women in person. The only way that he's learned to be sexual was through online means. So since he grew up learning to be sexual online, he never learned how to be sexually intimate with anyone in his past relationships and our current one now.
Like you, Nightsky, I'm also waiting for my WH to keep addressing the SA in IC and with CSAT/12-step. I can't make a decision yet without at least seeing where that road leads. So far, I think things are going well. He seems very committed to working on himself, and the therapist has noted that as well. I'm hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. Only time will tell.
Hang in there SA spouses! Hugs to all!
So, I confronted again. I decided I didn’t need to wait to discover any more or to sit back and watch WH spend more $$ on these online sluts. I have never been 100% sure that there is nothing in real life, but at this point what does it matter? I decided that it was OK that I didn’t really know what I was going to do at this point. I reminded myself it has only been about 2 months! And now just 2 weeks since the next round of truth has come out.
I asked WH when his next IC appointment was. I suggested to WH that he tell his therapist that it seems he has made the decision that his online sluts were more important to him than his wife because he was willing to risk his entire marriage by continuing to go on the site. From there we talked for hours and I held NOTHING back. We talked about all of this and I asked every question I needed to. WH answered every question even though I could tell some of them were very difficult and uncomfortable for him (too bad!). I told WH from now on I cannot be concerned with “hurting his feelings” that I will no longer hold back on asking questions or, more importantly, expressing my own feelings. I told WH that I thought I have made all this way to easy for him!
We talked about issues pertaining to our marriage as a whole, patterns of behavior we have both fallen into, etc. I told him the things I was unhappy about and why. I talked about issues within myself that I have begun to look at (by working with my IC) going back to my childhood and how I think that has influenced my role as wife and mother. 35 years of marriage and it is still so hard to have honest, open communication!
I told WH I don’t know what I feel right now, but that I feel empty. I feel a huge void in my life/myself. I feel kind of “blank.” I even told him I don’t want to have sex with him right now. WH asked if I would allow him to help fill that void. I told him I needed to fill it myself. I told WH I felt that I had allowed my life to get “too small.” All these years I have been busy being a wife and mother and taking care of everyone else, I have allowed too much of my life and myself to fall away. I told WH that I was making myself my priority. I’ve said it before, but it is HARD for me to do.
WH did say he “might have an addiction.” He feels it is only to this one particular site, however. WH doesn’t see how it could be classified as a SEX addiction because he feels there is nothing sexual with his “chats” or his porn habits. I told him I can’t help him or fix him. I didn’t see the point of trying to define sex addiction and all the various ways it can manifest itself. Not that I even could, I am new to this journey as well. We talked about his porn – again he said he doesn’t see how this is related. We talked about my Requirements List from Dday #1. He had "forgotten" that viewing porn was part of item #1 along with the paid site. I said no porn of any kind!
So, I have reminded myself that this is a marathon and the mother of all rollercoasters. Last week was a bad, bad week and I lost sight of that. I went into a tailspin over the new discoveries and realizing that there is a lot more going on here than just “online chats.” SA had never entered into the picture until Dday #2. I put myself in a state of complete panic again because I didn’t know what to do with my new discoveries. I felt like I had to take some kind of definitive action. Well, it’s OK that I don’t know what to do. It’s OK, and the RIGHT thing, to take the time that I need to. But – I did need to confront WH, and I finally did. I did tell WH that I had been considering moving into the guest room (we are empty nesters and made a guest room out of the DSs bedroom). Either that or shoving his stuff into some Hefty bags and throwing them out in the driveway! Boy, did I have some nice fantasies about that!
So, WH has an appointment this week. We shall see what happens with that. One thing I don’t understand, my IC asked if WH had every been diagnosed as BP. Yes, there has been anxiety and depression for many years (that he has been treating with medication only, no IC), but how can it be that at mid-50’s this is a possibility now? Is it all related? Man, I tell you, it feels like learning about SA is becoming a new full-time job. I know the recovery for me, and hopefully for WH, will be!
(((((back to all of you)))))
Last night was a bad night. I triggered a little bit when overheard my husband mention a woman's name and that he would see her in 2 weeks. I forgot that he was visiting family in 2 weeks, and this person was a friend of the family. I asked him about the person, and everything was fine...until I made the decision to show him my list of triggers.
Our counselor asked me to make a list of things that trigger me that I would later share with my H. I should have waited for counseling to share them, but I thought that since this had come up last night, it would be a good opportunity to share. Boy was I wrong. H flipped out and was like "Now there is another list of things I have to do!"
To make a long story short, after yelling, crying, talking for about an hour, I explained that these were not things that he had to do, but these are things that he needs to be aware of, and not to get upset at me if I start freaking out a little. That's what triggers are.
He said that he understood, but that I just did not do a very good job of explaining it. I probably didn't, but I didn't expect to get such a reaction. I think we have the issue squared away now, but I'm going to bring it up in counseling next week.
In conclusion, this is a lot of work and one f-ing, never-ending rollercoaster ride of emotion.
Got into it one night last week with Nathan about tone & choice of words. He kept trying to deflect & verbally assaulted me. I slept on the couch. I'm sick of living with a man whose default verbal style is attack. I'm tired of the cycle. I feel like I'm in a cycle like dryers- you know the ones that will buzz & shut off, then spin a few times & buzz again & shut off until you come unload the dryer? That's my life. I completely understand that it stops when I say so, that's why I'm in IC. Again.
"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."
I have to say, the man that came home yesterday is not the man that left Friday. He had been going to SA meetings for 3 weeks prior to this and had read out of the shadows by Patrick carnes. both were endorsed at this workshop.
He said it was very intense, but the main speaker and his therapist for their group break outs were recovering SA's. This was a huge breakthrough for him. They helped build on what he'd already learned and then gave him even more tools for recovery success.
He's absolutely committed to recovery now where as 2 months ago he was still in complete denial.
He said he's glad he got fired as it faced him to own up to his addiction.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
Mending a Shattered Heart by Stephanie Carnes is another really good one.
Carnes has a really great grasp on SA.
I havent been able to catch up on posts... was on vaca for a while and then not able to come online much.
(((Nightsky))) read about your h's 'relapse' and Im so sorry you find yourself here.
Same old here. Ive noticed a pattern developing. We have a pretty big fight around every 2 weeks, and probably smaller ones in between that. Poor communication, defensiveness, 'tone of voice', non-answers.... yawn. Its always that story. Its getting REALLY old. Last night after a fairly open talk for once, I began to ask about one of the people he was with....... and there it went again. He doesnt get it. Im not sure he ever will.
Qvee, what you said, I could so relate to. Its extremely TIRING being the only adult, bending over backwards to explain ourselves and our feelings and everything else we have to do because of THEIR actions, only to be verbally attacked and hear all the "poor me" crap. Im so sick of my h making everything about himself!
((Sabina)))(((Issaquah))) (((all you girls here))))
Issaquah, the only way to know for sure if your WH is an SA is for him to be evaluated by a certified sex addiction therapist (a CSAT). From your description it certainly sounds like SA might be possible. At a minimum have you considered looking for an IC for you? Someone who can help you heal your hurts & support you as life unfolds. Being an SA spouse turns your world and your heart inside out. Marshall as much support as you can. Especially if he refuses IC.
SamanthaBaker, congratulations on your WH's realizations over the weekend! I hope he continues to be sober and work an active recovery.
So last night I am texting my husband after his sports game. We are texting back and forth, and I get a text that says "Your brother says you need to get laid."
I'm like WTF?? Is this to me?? Or is this to some girl??
I respond immediately with "WTF", and he calls right away and says, "Oh no, that wasn't meant for you! That was for ______, my teammate!"
I demand to see the phone when he gets home. Turns out, it was just to his teammate, whose brother is also on the team.
But then I proceed to explain a novel concept to him...If you're already in the doghouse, why are you going to even risk anything with texts that say anything remotely relating to sex in them?? Who cares if it's a dude on your team? You are walking a very thin line here, mister, don't F it up by being stupid with your phone. You'd think that by 33 yrs old, you'd have learned these simple lessons.
And thus, my husband is a dumbass...
I told WH this and to my surprise he said to me, "I would be willing to spend thousands of pounds to try and beat this thing". I couldn't believe that but OMG I am pleased.
Our history begins before there was even an "us". My WH has always been interested in porn to what I thought was an unhealthy level. In the end I accepted the porn because it was a case of being with him or not accepting it and not being with him.
What I could never accept was the "amateur porn" when it's real people involved, chat, emailing, cybersex (with webcams) and his eventual ONS. Things have been escalating as time has gone on and we are now at crunch time.
It would be so much easier if I didn't love him. It would also be so much easier if we didn't have 3 children of our own and his previous daughter who I love as my own even if she doesn't live with us. The only time I almost cried at my IC session was when I was talking about how much I loved my Stepdaughter. The thought of not having her in my life is unthinkable.
I have read some of the posts in this section. The lack of empathy thing - that is my husband. He only seems to realise what he is doing when we have a "meltdown" which we have every now and then over the years. Up until now he told me everything other than physical sex was "entertainment" and "didn't mean anything". He is, only now, starting to realise that this is not in fact the case.
He has put a self imposed ban on himself from using porn/chat/anything beyond that. He's also trying to not masturbate (I do not agree this is a good idea - I don't give two hoots what he does in the shower as long as there is noone else in there with him ) and he has told me he has only given in to this 3 times in the month since d day. (He has not looked at any images at all).
He told me when I got back from IC last night that he almost had a trigger when Lara Croft was on the TV and in the past he would have ... well, you know... but that he didn't last night. I felt quite proud of him for telling me that. He didn't have to.
I just feel, since I discovered his ONS, that I need to be helping him to deal with his behaviour. I never expected to feel like the strong one in a situation like this.
I guess I was just going to say a quick hello but I have gone on and on. Thanks for being here, but I am sorry for all of you who are also suffering.
QVee: It's amazing what these men still don't understand can be hurtful or triggery. You would think that they would be on pins and needles knowing how close they are to losing their wives.
As for me, the past few days have been very up and down. One day I think I'll get through this and that I'm super tough and the next day I'm a mess (either raging or crying). However, I try to remember that D-day was only a little over a week ago, so this is normal (I hate this normal). My husband starts SAA tonight. After reading several posts on here I became a little worried because you guys mentioned that SAA is a lot more relaxed in their recovery, but there is no SA in my city. I'm hoping that it's not more damaging than good. I don't want to discourage my WH from going since I think meeting other men that are battling through this would be really good for him.
We go to our first MC session tomorrow. We've only met with our counselor once each individually. She's not a CSAT, but seems to know about SA. She immediately told my WH to go read the Carnes books, so I thought that was a good sign. I still don't know about individual counseling. My husband is open to anything, but I currently don't have insurance and his insurance is paying for MC. Also, there is only one person in our city that is getting certification to become a CSAT but has not completed all the requirements. I'm not sure if it would be helpful for my husband to meet with that C or not.
Anyway, I hope all of your weeks are starting out well and continue that way. :)
Life is never what we planned it to be.
My husband is currently reading "The Porn Trap" by Wendy & Larry Maltz. He says he really likes it, and that it makes a lot of sense and is helping him. I don't know if the book addresses issues other than porn, but I think many of our husband's addictions start with porn.
CallMeRed - my husband is doing the same thing. He is not supposed to do or look at anything online remotely related to sex right now. The therapist told him that he needs to not look at any of that, and if he has sexual urges, to start to work on building intimacy with me again. Like you, the porn didn't bother me too much, it was of course the cybering with other women. I wonder if there are books out there that specifically address that behavior?
Call me Red, the no M'bating advice (to the addict) is to short circuit the addict's automatic response to *any* stimuli from being masturbation. It's something he needs to learn to control on his own. Be supportive, but *he* needs to do the work. It's really tough to stand back, I know. Welcome to our little haven on SI.
QVee, if my SA had learned the simple lessons I wouldn't be here. And yes- he can be a dumbass.
***(((drivingpast)))*** Do you want to share a little, honey? What happened?? If you share your burdens they become a little lighter..