1) I'm scared. 7years posts scared me. Her SAWH was seemingly doing everything right. And yet, there he was, wallowing in the kind of sh*t that makes all of us want to . My SAfWH could be right there behind him. Last Sept., he was almost there, "scanning" images on the internet, of young women in sports. Maybe soft porn? Similar to the images in the slide show 7 mentioned. Claims nothing else, but still, totally disrespectful to me and obviously slippery slope stuff. And sets me back big time.
2) Hath, I did the kind of waiting you are doing without the good reasons you have. I know it made me sick. But I don't know if the conclusion you have made is necessarily correct...
It pretty much means he married me without ever intending to be faithful, at a *minimum*.
I think that, like other addicts, SAs are constantly telling themselves they have quit. From hearing other addicts speak of the wives they love, they think this relationship will "cure" them of the need for alcohol, excess food, gambling, and porn. It's the same kind of faulty reasoning they all use,
"I can stop any time I want."
3) Today I panicked, slightly. My SAfWH wasn't home when I came home unexpectedly for lunch. Tracking him on the phone showed him to be in (VERY roughly) the area where there were several well visited strip clubs. He answered the phone right away, told me to track where he had been, showed me that he still had the same amount of cash that he had had for a week, and was apologetic that I was triggered. In other words, I overreacted, (I didn't accused him of anything, just let him know that I was triggered but apologized for that) he was understanding, and handled it all very well. But crap. Just crap. Life will never be normal. Ever. Ever. There are so many other examples of this kind of thing. And life will never be normal.
4) I spent my entire adult life with a man who SPENT my entire life chasing after other women and rejecting what I had to offer. And no matter how much he apologizes, that can never change.
5) I am staying. Unless he acts out with someone else, I am here to stay. For many reasons. But one reason is, I think there are MANY undiagnosed SAs out there. I think the internet is promoting SA in young people and discouraging true intimacy. I think older men who are single are looking for YOUNG women because of their youth, and I don't even want to THINK about the idea of dating in that environment. And, not to mention, I have been robbed of a sex life. I can't even imagine myself as a sexual being anymore. It's beyond my comprehension, I have been that traumatized by this disease...
I hate this. And I hate this for all of you.
I just wish I had the strength that you have to work through it.
I think there are MANY undiagnosed SAs out there.
I absolutely agree, ScaredyKat.
As a single woman who was married to a SA, if I were to ever date again, the man would have to be a widower who didn't kill his wife - LOL. Also, I would have to check out all of his references, business and personal, and I would require the name and number of any woman he has ever dated, so I can call them and find out what's wrong with him.
And all that would have to occur before I agreed to have a first date!
I have been that traumatized by this disease...
Me, too. I think the trauma to the BS is often so great that whether you try to R or D, you are never really free of it.
I remember on D day, when I confronted my ex, he put his hands over his face and said "I've just ruined your life, haven't I?"
He didn't ruin my entire life. But so far, my ability to trust enough to ever date again has been ruined.
In fact, STBX and OW/SA have posted another CL ad today looking for a man who will "host" them tonight. I just saw it a few moments ago.
Please pray for me and my children - that STBX will not fight for custody or overnight visitation. He has received our settlement letter; we'll probably hear something back soon.
SA. The trauma and damage are never-ending.
(((Kat))) thinking of you.
I will email my L tomorrow, but I'm sure there's nothing we can do.
I had the exact types of fears about my own safety when I found out what my ex was up to. And it really sucks because this is the last thing you want to have to worry about, but I understand.
Definitely call your attorney and I would ask for his/her suggestion on what you can do for safety. Perhaps they have information on resources that could help.
Once again, the SA's choices threaten his family - even after a formal separation.
I'm scared that WS is going to lie to me, that I'll think things are okay...when they're really not.
I'm scared that WS is going to bring someone to our home, who turns out to be insane or on drugs...who will rob us or worse.
I'm afraid that nothing will change - that he still will not desire me.
I'm afraid he won't find a job - that not only will it lead to certain relapse, but that we'll go through my savings and then be homeless.
I'm afraid that I've made the wrong decision in staying with him.
I'm afraid that I'll either become an alcoholic or grotesquely obese while I deal with this in a new location without support.
I'm afraid he'll never truly love me, that he'll never truly be sorry for hurting me, that we'll never truly be happy.
I'm afraid I'll never be able to trust him, never be proud of him, never be able to look at him the way I did before.
I'm afraid that WS is going to hurt me again...but now I'm all alone.
Yesterday, we got lost and did a u-turn before what looked to be an accident up ahead - turned out to be a road block. Police pulled us over because doing a u-turn before a road block is "suspicious" behavior, especially with out-of-state plates. They ran WS's license...and I thought - my God, what if the legal trouble from before pops up. What if there's a warrant out for his arrest? What if there's more than I know about? Fortunately, nothing seemed to come up. The police let us go.
But then anytime a comment came up in reference to being arrested, shooting something or suicide...you know, the mindless, "wow, that made me want to kill myself" kind of thing. Well...awkward and triggery. Amazing how many times police, guns and suicide come up on tv or in conversation.
I don't know. I guess we're doing fine - who can tell at this point. I just read through all the posts on this and the last thread - it just scares me, that everything can "seem fine" when it's really not. SAs are so good at hiding things - that perhaps scares me the most.
Thinking of you all. Glad to have internet again - even if I'm using the public wifi from the planned parenthood across the street, lol.
ScaredyKat, I totally get what you wrote. Life is never ever going to be the same for me either, none of us I would suppose. SA figures into every decision I think about. Example: We were trying to plan an international trip. I was looking at various locations and packages. Every single one which features a "sex tourism" destination triggered me a little more. How the hell can I travel with this man? How could I ever trust him to travel ALONE? How could I live the next however many years like this?
Back in Jan/Feb he was also looking at some tennis star. Which he denied! Thats the worst thing, because my god, at least be honest. Whatever it is just BE HONEST. He is so completely UN-self-aware. Hes the least self aware person Ive ever met. So I dont even think he gets the connection (though he says he does now, but didnt at the time) that looking at that (and bellydance videos!) DOES have a sexual undertone. So how does a completely non selfaware person learn about themselves enough to stop their addiction? Seems unlikely.
Then the triggers, like when they dont answer the phone for 5 minutes. And I also relate with what you wrote, WSisA. :( The TV still triggers me, not as badly as before. It also makes me want to ask him how he feels seeing those things, and I feel sort of angry that he doesnt seem as affected as I am, or says he feels "weird". Oh whatever. He didnt even get why I never want to see (one of his fav movies!) Pretty Woman again.
7yrs, I dont think I know your story very well, but I know your username as being a very strong source of support and information here. Thank you for coming and sharing your story with us. We are here for you.
Choosing, it is scary how much risk they put US at. I found out the whore he brought to my house is a cocaine addict criminal with a record going back to the 90s for various things including assault, larceny. Fabulous. At least you are beginning to get him out of your life. Hope that something can be done to make him change that address really soon.
Stay strong ladies!!
I'm still triggery as all hell.
I never did hear back from the women's group. (I used their online contact form last Wednesday and they are supposed to respond in 24 hours) So FWH's going to bring that up at group today. Even if it's a technical glitch, they need to be on top of it because that's just another rejection/abandonment for women already completely screwed up by their partner's actions.
At this point, I wouldn't go there if my life depended on it. They've pissed me off.
In my opinion, his behaviors (which he finally disclosed every thing night before last) are "worse" (for lack of a better word) than initially indicated. I really think that even though he didn't masturbate (as he claims and his counselor believes him) that he did violate bottom line behaviors that do indicate a reset of his sobriety. He's supposed to discuss it with his group/counselor today and get their feedback. And just to clarify, by "worse" I don't mean that he contacted anyone or had physical contact with anyone, I just mean it wasn't a few times and it wasn't just harmless pictures of chicks in bikinis type stuff. What I initially found and what he admitted to was the preverbal tip of the ice burg. It's been going on far longer than initially thought. Computer history only goes back to October and he was fully IN this shit then. In addition to the occasional "target of opportunity" click on ads or links to pics of celebs or whatever he also:
* Checked out women's profiles on Facebook (he justified this by having been too specific when he wrote his bottom line behaviors which say "will not visit online dating portals or look at dating profiles") I called him on it and he now sees who screwed up that is and he needs to broaden his bottom line behaviors list.
* He is also a food addict and he's been working at giving that up. He's been losing weight and working out (he's lost about 80 lbs which is good but also bad as it's a huge trigger for me. He's done it before... when he was still actively SA and at his lowest weight he slept with the most women) So, he began justifying sketchy behaviors and telling himself that this was part of his support for his weight loss. So he was looking at female body builders, reading weight loss blogs by women and looking at their photos/profiles, looking at fitness sites full of inappropriate images.
*He had read "Game of Thrones" which I was fine with (there was sex but it was pretty tame and reading stuff was never his issue) Then he started watching the cable TV show. I wasn't interested so I never watched it. I had NO idea that it is pretty much full on soft core porn. He finally admitted it and will not be watching it anymore.
*He's been fantasizing and having euphoric recall of past sexual encounters
So we'll see what his group/counselor say today.
I've finally been able to make it abundantly clear to him that *I* didn't do anything wrong and yet *I* am suffering severe consequences because of what HE did. I'm big on analogies when it comes to this stuff and I think he finally got it when I said:
"Living with sex addiction is like living on bluff surrounded by cliffs. We are tethered together. If you wander toward the edge it starts tugging me out of the safety zone in the middle. But what happened was, you got too close to the edge, you slipped and you fell. Your group and your counselor caught you so you didn't hit the jagged rocks below. But I was YANKED VIOLENTLY over the edge and I crashed on the rocks at the bottom. You're safe, you've been pulled back up onto the bluff. I'm hanging at the bottom of the tether and when you do dumb shit you drag me through the rocks again adding further injury. No one caught me, no one is trying to pull me back up. I'm desperately trying to climb but there are no hand or toe holds. I'm clawing at the sheer face of this cliff until my fingers bleed. It's hopeless, there's nothing for me to grab onto because I didn't do this to myself. MY recovery didn't fail, yours did. The only person who can pull me to safety is YOU. I'm tied to you and you fucking pushed me off a cliff. YOU have to fix this. You have to pull me back up to safety. If you don't, my only hope is to cut the tether and find my way out at the bottom."
That is vivid and horrific. And very very real. I feel the same way - I could say I'm taking responsibility for my own recovery, I am the captain of my ship and control my own feelings, etc but dammit if someone else is just ramming you, beating you with betrayal you are just the captain of your own sinking ship. Yes, you can reach for help elsewhere but the damage is done. Ugh. You have a way with words.
It is stunning how I could have written pretty much any post on this page of the thread. And very very disheartening this is all our reality.
I went to S-Anon today and shared my newest reality. I sucked up all the love and support like a sponge. It helps to get it out IRL with people that understand your issue, face to face. Sadly, there are others who have BTDT who can give me great guidance.
I also made an appointment with my lawyer this week. Yay! Maybe I *can* knock the post nup out and have it signed by the end of the month. I will find out then.
Hugs to everyone. And be kind to yourselves. Holding you in the LIGHT...
I have email addresses for about 20 of the more recent hookers. What if I emailed all of them, told them his wife found out due to multiple STDs, he's as a result unstable and possibly violent, and that they all should take precautions for their safety? Not to get back at *them*, I could care less. So he is blacklisted from his main sources. Again, not to prevent him from doing anything, because he can always find new ones, but because in the evidence I found he got really pissed off when a hooker turned him down because he gave another hooker a less than stellar review, he was concerned he'd been blacklisted. In fact I may not even really do it, but tell him I did if he turns out not to be all in just to f with his head.
Sigh. I suppose it is not over the top as far as revenge fantasies go, but what can ya do. I'm not a dish thrower.
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 11:19 PM, June 15th (Friday)]
I don't really think that I can add anything to the discussions already happening here. I do want to ask for your advice on something, though. I have heard from lots of people about their hysterical bonding after DDay. That never happened for us. We maybe had a slight upswing in our sex life a few months in, but nothing drastic or immediate. Now things are back down to pre-DDay levels which is around 1-2 times per week.
A brief background because I have been away a bit... The last porn discovery I made was in March of 2011. Since then he admitted that he has a problem and needs to seek help. Since then he has been going to an individual counselor who specializes in sex addiction. He also has gone to several local SA meetings. Additionally, we are attending marriage counseling together.
He was going to individual counseling regularly for about 6 months. Then he lost his job, the therapy became expensive, and he stopped (although we had budgeted for the new, higher cost and were able to make things work). He also slowly stopped going to SA.
In our MC we talked about him stopping his IC and SA meetings and how that makes me feel. His IC had an entire program that he was going to work through, and my husband only completed about half of it (if that). He said that he feels so much better, and he hasn't had any slips since the last discovery. I believe him about that, but I told him then that I worry he isn't really addressing his triggers and creating new, better coping mechanisms. After that discussion he agreed to go back to IC and SA.
Within a few weeks he had attended several SA meetings, sometimes 2 per week. He also got an appointment with his IC and saw him once. Then a snowball effect started where he told me a lie about his new insurance covering his IC - which they don't. He tried to hide that (poorly) and strung me along for 2 weeks with lies and excuses about why he didn't make another IC appointment. I discovered the lie (because how can you really hide $90 disappearing when we have a joint bill account), and some serious discussions ensued.
We resolved some of that, although he still really has to get to the bottom of his compulsive lying (another issue altogether, although it is tied to his sex addiction). He went to one IC session with our MC (who is not the sex addiction specialist) to talk about that a little bit, and has another appointment in a week or so. Today he was finally supposed to go back to his regular IC to start back on his sex addiction therapy, but the guy cancelled the appointment due to court. So far he has not been back to SA.
All of that is not the main reason I came here today, though... I was just laying the foundation for the real problem. You see, I'm a very sexual woman. I have always heard that men are supposed to have a higher sex drive than women, but that is definitely not the case in our relationship. While my husband was actively in his addiction he often turned to pornography and masturbation rather than actual sex with me. When I was interested he was always "too tired" or some other lame excuse - except for about once or twice a week (usually on the wekends) when he couldn't think up some lame lie.
Like I said at the beginning of my post, there was a slight upswing in sexual activity a few months after DDay, but nothing to really brag about. Part of the reason may be that I am 20 years younger than my husband. I am 27 and he is 47. Women are just hitting their sexual peak at my age. If you consider his sexual addiction issues and his age I guess I can see where my sex drive might be a little higher. But he's a sex addict for goodness sake! A s-e-x addict who never seems to want s-e-x! I know that's not uncommon, but it is frustrating.
I have voiced my concerns in the past about the lack of sex in our marraige. That has been when some of the upswings have occurred. He has now been on anti-depressants for a little over a year, and I know that those can effect sex drive. However, I just keep feeling like there is something more. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something. Since he hasn't acted out in over a year you would think some of that sex drive would manifest itself in our marriage.
Last night my husband was ready to head off to bed early - at around 9. He never wants to go to bed that early, and it hadn't been a particularly long day. His work was normal and he didn't have to go to school. I was thinking that maybe I might get lucky! Alas.... no. He basically wanted to get in bed, put on his CPAP machine (he has sleep apnea), and go to sleep. I was beyond frustrated. It's not like we don't connect or touch. It's not like he isn't affectionate. We kiss, he slaps my butt, we hold hands on the couch, I had snuggled up to him and was wearing barely anything... but it rarely goes much further.
Last night it was just too much. I told him that I am frustrated. He thought it was because he wanted to go to bed so early. I told him that wasn't it. I can almost always sleep because I am stressed right now, plus I like us to go to bed at the same time so we can unwind, talk, and connect. I feel like if we start going to bed without each other we may as well just get separate rooms - something I am not willing to do. I told him straight-out that I am disappointed by how infrequently we have sex. I told him that I am not ready to be in a sexless marriage at 27! And to me once per week is basically that - because there is no passion, no need, no feeling of hunger or desire from him.
He was quiet for a long time. I thought he had just decided to go to sleep and ignore me, which was making me even angrier. Then he finally said that he can understand. I said something like, "oh, really?" in a slightly (okay, very) sarcastic tone. He just replied "Yeah." That was the extent of our conversation. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth with that man! I was still frustrated, but let it go for the night.
Today at lunch he gave me a call. He said that he has been thinking about what I said last night. He said that he is sorry that he has been neglecting me. Then he said that he thinks he is really just afraid. I asked him "what of?" He said that he is afraid that if we have sex more he will start thinking about sex more and he is worries that will lead to acting out. He was teary - I could tell from his voice - and it gave me a little pause. I thought about it, and told him that I can see where that might cause some anxiety.
I pointed out that there is a difference between healthy sex and unhealthy acting out. He said that he does know that. So I asked again what is it that makes him feel afraid of sex with me (the healthy, normal, necessary to sustain a marriage sex). At first he said he wasn't sure because he knows that isn't the same as his unhealthy, obsessive, unsatisfying, secret porn sex life (if you can even call it that). I asked if he really feels like he has addressed those urges and thoughts. He said yes immediately. Then I asked him if that is really true... has he dealt with them or has he just been avoiding anything that would make him have to confront them. He then admitted that was probably it.
He is so afraid of acting out that rather than develop healthy coping skills, confront those triggers, and do the work to heal himself he is just trying to avoid sex altogether. Once it reach a timeframe where he feels like he needs sex or he should be giving it to me, he would give in briefly and have sex. Then he would bottle up all of his sexual feelings together and store them away somewhere. He would only allow himself to feel sexual during that hour (or whatever) he allotted for us each week, then he would lock everything down.
He told me today that he knows that isn't right. It isn't fair to me. It isn't healthy for him. It's not what he really wants. He said that he wants to be more open and sexual with me. He is just afraid that once that box is open he won't be able to control it. I told him that I can understand now that he is talking with me about it... That it definitely helps to ease my mind and give me the ability to give him more grace around this matter.
I also told him that I'm not the person who knows what the solution is. I'm patting myself on the back for that one a little bit because in the past I would have tried to come up with some "game plan" or started researching and looking for an answer. Today I just told him that I think he is feeling that way because he hasn't really addressed his sex addiction. I suggested that he talk with his IC today in their appointment to get guidance. I also suggested in passing that maybe he might want to get back into SA. I didn't push. I didn't call and get the schedule. I didn't dictate to him anything that he needed to do - other than reach out and start figuring this out with appropriate people who can provide assistance. I said that I am really glad he shared that with me, and I want him to keep talking to me about those sorts of feelings. But I didn't try to become the "rescuer." I think that is a healthy step for both of us.
What I am wondering is if anyone else has had a similar issue with their spouse. I am curious about if other people's partners have fear around sex. Do they worry that letting go in one area will cause bad habits to pop out in another? I haven't heard a lot about this, so I'm not sure the best way to support my husband through this. I don't want to pressure him and make things worse (back to lying, hiding, shame, etc.). But I don't want to keep going at our current sexual level forever. I'm not sure what an appropriate amount of time would be to keep sitting back and waiting for him to deal with this thing.
I know this is incredibly long, so thank you for anyone who continued reading this far. You deserve a metal!
He did snag the first appointment with his IC on Monday morning. He also said he would like to talk to our MC on Saturday, which is our next appointment. I have seen this kind of renewed commitment from him before, though, so I'm not gonna hold my breath.
What I really want is that kind of commitment long-term. I feel like he just jumps from one "crisis" situation to another without really resolving anything... Because as soon as I show a little bit of praise or happiness he seems to think his "job" is over.
He did talk to me about this more when he came home tonight. He was still open and reflective. He said that he knows he has backwards thinking. He has this all or nothing mentality, so he feels like letting go with me in our sex life will lead him back into acting out. I told him that to me it seems the opposite would be true. If I wasn't feeling fulfilled sexually I would be more likely to seek outside, unhealthy outlets. If my needs were met I wouldn't have a reason to.
He said that makes logical sense, but it's not how an addicted brain works. I know in my head that is true. But I'm not the person who can get his thinking straightened out. Him and his CSAT need to do that. How do I know what is a realistic timeframe, though?
You're right, and it's something I've often worried about. At what point am I wasting my life, staying aboard a sinking ship? He is showing progress, but is it enough for me? What do I need? How long can I wait? I guess those are answers I need to find for myself.
I got drunk and I initiated sex. WTF is wrong with me???? I scarcely remember it, but I do remember I was not satisfied. I just so wanted to pretend that we were just this normal, aging couple who had loved each other for 40 years. I missed our life together. Damn him! I do not know how to un-love him, despite his utter destruction of me.
Beware: TMI. The next morning he said it was nice and I am the only woman he can "come" with. I started shaking and said, "how many women have you slept with since we separated?" He said, "none", but he explained he no longer gets "hard-ons" at night (which was usual) and can no longer come when masturbating." God help me. What have I done????
I called him on it, and he stated he meant when he WAS seeing other women, he never "came". I have taken a thousand steps back. I am back doing the 180. I continue to let him psychologically damage me. I am a damn fool.
Pray for me, my sisters. I do not know how to let him go, but my sanity and safety depends on it.
Sending strength and love to all of you...
Update. Back from meeting with my CSAT and his CSAT. Yes, he has been fully honest with at least as much as I know with his CSAT - but only in the past two weeks, after the reality a polygraph was in the future and my year deadline was up. Disclosure is possible and the process has begun. Dual diagnosis of other personality disorder or other conditions entirely possible, too soon to tell.
Need time to process this new info. I am drained from catching my csat up on what's happened since I last saw yer. Going for a 90 minute massage right now. Everybody else should go get one too.
Dual diagnosis of other personality disorder or other conditions entirely possible, too soon to tell.
This wouldn't surprise me. They seem to be present in the majority of these guys. It's so strange - and undocumented.
I don't think you screwed up big time. You've been married to this person for decades; he's the father of your children. That makes a difference. So you made a mistake, and you were hurt. So now you can re-start NC with increased clarity.
I'm thinking of you, my friend.
BeautifulMess, your husband is lying and he isn't actively doing the hard work necessary to overcome an addiction. Unless something changes in you or in him, you're going to be right here in the same place in one year, five years, ten years.