Several articles by Jennifer Schneider out there really bring it home and are backed up by good research.
I want to address each of you, but don't have the time right now. I am following your stories and empathizing. My husband also tried anal when we were dating, but it wasn't like the experience you described. He asked, we talked about it for a few days, and then we both went and picked out some lube together. It still wasn't really an enjoyable experience for either of us. We actually just talked about that night.
I think it does seem true that all SAs have some sort of kink preference with sex. It isn't cross dressing or anal for my husband. It's light BDSM stuff - choking, spanking, rougher sex, being tied up, etc. I actually find some of it quite enjoyable. Thankfully he has stayed away from nipple clamps or electricity... Ouch.
Even though I do enjoy it sometimes, I often find myself longing for something sweeter and more intimate. Something that seems to be just about me. We do have that more lately, which has been great.
[This message edited by beautifulmess7 at 7:10 PM, August 23rd (Thursday)]
I would be okay with pretty much anything that we both decided was okay as long as he was NOT with other people.
I changed my whole sexual identity to give him what I thought he needed.. and still it isn't enough.
Now I am not sure what I even want.. or who I am. I feel like I made myself into some sort of Stepford Wife.
[This message edited by beachgirl65 at 12:55 PM, August 23rd (Thursday)]
I think the important thing for you is to figure out who you are and what YOU want. It is easy to get so wrapped up in someone's addiction. It can be all-consuming. It can make you forget yourself, your needs. Take the time you need to figure yourself out.
I heartily recommend that you get the newest edition if you haven't already. If nothing else, it validates us. We are NOT crazy.
If you are in the Phila. metro area, Cara Tripodi runs an outpatient counseling center for SA not too far out of center city. She is one of the contributing editors and has done a lot of work with spouses and the trauma model.
Hi everyone, I'm really anxious and trembling this morning. I've decided I have to honor myself & my need for honesty and authenticity and truth. Essentially I said as much to him over the phone just now, and he started up immediately. Denial, verbal attacks. I remained calm. I only regret spilling the beans (so to speak) over the phone. I'm deliberately being vague here as I think he knows my user name. He's at work until 7:30 tonight.
I need to stay strong and calm and assured. I'm trembling so hard I can barely type. I'm so tired of the cat & mouse games, the elephant in our M. I need to speak my truth, stand for my integrity and dignity. Please hold me in the light & send mojo. I can't live his way.
"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 will keep you in my thoughts and prayers today.
So sorry to hear this. I know I often thing to myself that my relationship with my H is so full of cat and mouse game playing that I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. This is not how I thought my married life would be. Each time something happens I get less and less affected by it. I feel as though I have a piece of coal where my heart used to be.
I feel for you and I hope that your night went okay and today you have peace.
I sent you a PM.
[This message edited by GeniusOrAFool at 8:42 AM, August 27th (Monday)]
I had the same experience with SAWH's SAA group telling him that now was not the right time for a full disclosure. For us, we were at the point where he had revealed some things, I had found some things and some lies had been told and caught. I couldn't handle any more lies. I was one of the ones that had NO idea what was going on when DDay hit. I also was the one that found the evidence (accidentally) that started DDay - it wasn't him coming to me. So there was no trust on that end.
He chose to give me a (almost) full disclosure at that point. His 12 step group's stance was that he wasn't at that stage yet. He was still in the first steps and that it would mess up his recovery. He had to make the choice to put our marriage over his recovery at that point. There was also the fact that when he would realize that he was holding secrets, the ED would return - which would send both of us into a tailspin (ED was prevalent starting with his A).
His recovery and your marriage are intertwined, but there are going to be times when they may be at odds with one another. You're at a point where you NEED the truth. He has to be willing to give that to you, or you have to be willing to wait for it. My feelings were that I had been lied to and manipulated for years. I wanted the truth of what had been going on in MY life.
Good luck to you.
I just wanted to say wow (and not in a good way). I have unfortunately had the same experience as both of you.
I have never posted about it, but it was very traumatic. One night I was very drunk, and he drove me home from the bar. I threw up all over the car and was very sick and miserable. I went right to bed (not even to the shower first..ugh), and he had anal sex with me. I certainly did not consent, and I felt like he did it to punish me or that he felt entitled because he was angry with me for getting so drunk and making a mess. I still feel like it was rape in a sense. He knew I had no interest in it, and I was so drunk that I didn't even say no, I just cried.
What a horrible thing. I don't feel like I have ever really processed it. I alluded to it in counseling, but I did not go into any sort of details. It just seems so dirty, and even though I know I didn't "deserve" that, I know it wouldn't have happened if I had not been so drunk. Unfortunately, alcohol has been one of my coping mechanisms for dealing with the mess of my life in the last 10 years. I don't feel that I am an alcoholic (probably because my workaholism won't let me be one), but I have had periods of problematic drinking. And I do come from my own FOO of addicts.
Something else that I wanted to add....
So many of us try to gain our SA's sexual interest by warping our own sexuality. We try things or do things that we would not have been interested in, or we compete with the addiction. It will never work in the end. If your SA is interested in recovery, he will have to start over sexually. Fetishes have no place in recovery.
Sexual intimacy in recovery is about the emotional connections. SA is an intimacy avoidance disorder, meaning that the "kinky" or deviant (in my H's case) sexual interests are a way to distract from the emotions that they are feeling. The goal of any addiction, be it sex, gambling, drugs, alcohol, or even work, is to disconnect from an unpleasant reality and to throw yourself into a fantasy, to numb out.
Most recovery programs that are run by a CSAT and follow the Carnes model include a 90 day celibacy period. This is to help the SA reconnect with their own emotions and detox from the world of sexual fantasy.
As for feeling like a Stepford Wife, you need to begin your own journey of healing and recovery with or without him. I highly recommend the resources on the first page, and find a CSAT for yourself and an S-Anon group. The IRL support of others who have BTDT is invaluable. You can rediscover you. You can work through the trauma that you have been through. We don't need the addict to do that. Even if they do not choose recovery we can go on to be happy and choose it for ourselves. We do have choices and we ARE worth it!
I am really concerned for you that you are considering R with your SA.
I have been told in the last few days/weeks/months that he needs anal sex in his life and he's not willing to compromise on that. I have explained to him how my body shuts down when that happens and it's agony for me. It is a dealbreaker for him so I have to really think about that if I want R.
A SA interested in recovery or even in R would NEVER make those sort of demands on their BS. To say it is anal or else? Even though he knows you are uncomfortable with it? That is terrible. Obviously, I have strong feelings about this because of what I posted earlier.
YOU have choices, too! He did not stray because you would not give him what he "needed". That is addict justification speak. He made a choice and is just putting blame on you.
YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THIS!!! If he is not interested in recovery, anything you do or don't do will give him justification to act out. You could burn dinner, look at him wrong, forget to pick up the dry cleaning, etc. Active addicts will always find a justification. Nothing we do will alter that. I know it is hard to give up the idea that we matter enough for them to behave, but when the addiction has taken over, we are not enough.
This is why you need to love yourself and work on your own recovery. Learn about SA, seek out IRL resources and take care of you!
Is your SA seeing a CSAT? That is the proper person to facilitate a full disclosure. If he were to wait to do it in 12 step, that would take quite a bit of time. My H took 2.5 years to complete the steps his first run through.
My H's CSAT does disclosures with the SA and their spouse. I know that I received my disclosure earlier into my H's therapy than most (relatively speaking...I had already endured 16 years of acting out at that point) because of a legal situation we were facing regarding my H's acting out. We were still separated at the time, but I basically told my H and his CSAT that I needed to know certain things and to have specific questions answered. I wanted to be as informed as possible in the light of an investigation that was taking place. A "full" disclosure of sorts followed. There was not as much preparation as my H's CSAT would have wanted, but it sufficed.
I will never know 100% of the details of my H's acting out, but I am ok with that. I know enough of the general behaviors and activities that were and were not entailed. I do not need to know every OP or every minute detail. I know that my H was very sick and depraved and was very lost in his addiction. I am sure we all have different standards for what we would want out of a disclosure, because we are individuals.
I did look at some of your posts, and it appears that your SA is new to the idea of recovery (like within the past month). I understand that as BS we want to know now and we are impatient, as we have felt that so much of our lives is a lie. However, I do not feel that an addict is able to even be truthful about their addiction until they have some serious recovery under their belt. 12 step is great (and necessary IMHO), but they also need a good CSAT to work with them. Recovery does take time. I think that if you push for a full disclosure right now, you will not get it all. You will either set yourself up for TT or you will never know it all.
I understand that the limbo of separation and that the trauma of being the spouse of a SA is terrible. I think that you should proceed with caution. Work on recovery and healing for YOU. Then give it time and observe if he is working recovery consistently before you make any decisions about whether to stay in the marriage. There is no rush. Take care of YOU.
Thank you for your posts.. And I am soooo very sorry for your experience. I can so relate and that is why I am so thankful that I found SI.. The people here all share the same experiences.. Not that I wish them on anyone.. but knowing that I am not alone or isolated helps tremendously. So thank you for sharing your story with me.
I am beginning to see that what I have done all of these years has been all for him. It has had everything to do with my terror that he would leave me if I didn't become the perfect wife for him and nothing to do with who I really am.
Even then.. becoming the perfect wife did me no good. All of those behaviors I was trying to stop him from exhibiting - still happened. I have been looking for a CSAT that is covered by my insurance.. So far no luck.. I will have to call my company EAP hotline and see what they have to say.
I still haven't said anything to him about anything recently but I have started trying to take care of myself. Started dieting to lose 30lbs I have gained over the past few years.. Am going back to the gym today.
I realized that I spend a lot of time at home.. not going out.. not making plans, or cancelling plans once they are made, because I don't like what he gets up to when I am not here.. But I can't watch him 24/7. It isn't healthy for me.
That is the thing about being the spouse of a SA; it is so isolating! Before I started working on my own recovery I went to work, did the things I had to for the kids, and in the last year before our last d-day I was drinking every morning after work at home and hiding it. I was so miserable. In the last 1.5 years, I have begun to make friends again, to take chances on going out and doing things.
I know that you are still in a point where your SA is acting out, so you feel that compulsion to keep tabs on him. The funny thing about addicts is that they find ways around all of that, if they really want to act out. You are not crazy; you know he is acting out!
The bad news about a lot of CSATs it that they are not covered by most insurance. I know mine isn't. But they are worth it, if you can swing the $. Also look for an S-Anon group.
Good luck. Glad to hear you are doing things for YOU.
The newest edition of Mending a Shattered Heart is eye opening. It makes it clear why, despite a 180 change in my SAfWH's behavior, I cannot get over this. And for those of you that are still dealing with TT, gaslighting and WH who are whiteknuckling and/or still acting out this is still your reality.
WE HAVE TO REGAIN THE POWER THAT THIS SEXUAL ABUSE HAS TAKEN FROM US.