For our dear newbies...the best advice I can pass on to you is what was given to me. Educate yourself about this disease. It is a malfunction of intimacy and has it's roots in childhood. Most of the time, anyway. And I do believe it's an addiction-but NOT an excuse for horrible behavior. There is a significant difference. 12 step programs, worked properly, do NOT allow addicts to take that easy way out.
Take some time to make any big decisions in your life. A year isn't too much time for this.
Attend S-anon meetings. You will meet people that have similar experiences IRL. It is so reassuring to know you aren't alone. Some will be people whose marriages survived. Some whose didn't.
As to what you should do, those of yo who are young and childless...IDK. I am the mother of two young adult men. I am also a teacher who teaches about internet use and misuse. OMG, you all are too well aware of the utter crap so readily available. I worry so much that kids, male and female develop such a warped sense of sexuality and intimacy. They see "normal" porn when they are young kids. Then they start to see some of the perverted stuff. It's so pervasive, I don't know if there are ANY kids growing up without serious sexual problems...
If you are young, childless and married to a SA, at the very least, he needs to get into an INTENSIVE therapy program, probably INPATIENT. You need to get to the partners education piece. And then, if he is willing to commit to a life-long path of sobriety and transparency, continuing 12 step meetings, and on-going therapy, then you have a chance. It will not be easy. And there is a HIGH rate of recidivism...
And a special hi to ghost for stopping to offer hugs.
Re the discussion of personality disorders and SA from a couple of pages back:
From what I've read, PD's show up in adolescence, as do the seeds of SA. There's a possible predisposition towards pd's trending in families. From what I've read once the pd is diagnosed, the IC usually focuses on teaching the patient coping tools and starts other work specific to the pd. Textbooks & IC reference materials directed to IC's recommend focusing on the pd because the coping skills and mental and emotional resources of the patient are very limited and facing addiction takes huge resources. o I'm of the opinion that SAWH has been focused on the pd- not his SA. In his case I've seen positive changes, generally speaking, but not in specific when talking about SA & addictive behaviors.
Truthfully, I'm focusing on my own healing & I'm trying to let .go of him & whatever he's (not?) doing in therapy. I'm back in therapy myself after a 9 month break to gather strength. It's becoming clearer to me that I've nearly reached the fullest extent of healing myself while we live together. I'm coming to where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. I've watched his actions. I see the pattern.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 9:57 AM, September 14th (Friday)]
"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."
Run. Divorce him. Don't tie yourself to him for the rest of your life.
You cannot imagine the horror & nightmare it is to spend your life with a sex addict.
Don't stay with him with false pride & a misguided sense that your love can save him. Just go.
Oh, and I need to echo ChoosingHope's comments that yes, those of us WITH children can & do choose to leave our SA husbands. It's just a million times harder. But before we leave we wait years & years to make that agonizing decision, and in that interim time our children are permanently damaged from living in a home with an addict who is acting out and a non-addict parent who is dysfunctional. Lovely role models, wouldn't you say?
Get out while you can, BEFORE children come along.
((Sabina)) It takes a lot to admit that to yourself and to others. If anyone can do it, you can.
((Issaquah)) I second what Hope said. Violence of any kind is a big red flag. I would like to think that would have to be a dealbreaker for me, I'd insist he go into inpatient pronto to stay in the relationship. What if he maims/kills somebody, or somebody maims/kills him, while he is acting out? People into that are not stable - what if a crazy AP comes after him/you/your family? I know it's a lot ot process, and it's hard to see when you are in it. But it's time to consider your safety and your kids' safety. ((Hugs))
Per other things mentioned in the thread...I'm a little freaked out now. My SAWH also got into the SMDS or whatever it is fetishes in his acting out (although IDK the extent of it), and all his seeds for SA started in adolescence, so the possibility for PD is even stronger. Also, when we were sharing info the other night, be said something that really pissed me off and offended me, but the convo got off on a tangent so I got distracted from calling him out on it. So I did it just now, on the phone while he was at work, so he would know I was upset about it. I know that's not the best way to start a new discussion about it, but I knew if I didn't do it right then I'd forget, or worse, late tonight when we'd finally get to talk he'd be all lovey dovey and I'd be *blam* hit him in the face with it right off the bat.
So anyway I am filled with doubts and such, even though everything else in my healing and his appears to be going well. I hate that. I hate being put in the position that any minor setback can make me feel like this. I don't want to feel like this every time there is a setback of any kind, for the rest of my life.
Sigh. One step at a time.
(((hugs to all)) Be kind to yourselves.
Second, I will title this post, "Yes, Online Cheating IS a Big Deal."
I have a hard time telling others about my H's infidelity. It is embarrassing, even if I know that I did nothing to deserve it. I'm a very private person; sometimes its even hard for me to open up on here.
Well, today I am sitting in a waiting room, and the lady next to me is visibly upset. I ask her if she is okay. She proceeds to tell me how her low c*ck sucking STBXH cheated on her, and now she has to do all of this paperwork to get a divorce. I begin to console her, and I share my story. At the end of my story she says, "That's nothing. He didn't cheat on you if he didn't sleep with the women! My husband and I used to cyber people all the time before he cheated on me!"
Wow. Really lady? I know the BS is not supposed to ever be at fault for the affair, but...yeah...wow...
Of course it was cheating. You know it, and even SHE knows it. She just isn't ready to face it yet. She will one day, and I bet she remembers laying into you & will feel the weight of her remarks.
Hath, I have no exit plan. I am living without a safety net of any kind. I do not make enough money to support myself. I need to retain an attorney, but have no money to do so. If push comes to shove, I can move in with my divorced sister, but she will not let me bring my 2 cats, (she has allergies) who I can never give up.
My SAWH continues to act out. He has no remorse or shame and has completely abandoned me and my grown children. He has no relationship with any of us.
I am 58 years old and have been with him for 40 years. I cannot imagine starting over at this age, but I will have to. At this age, I am lucky to have the job I have and cannot imagine any company who will view me as an asset.
This all sucks and we all deserved better..
Keeping all of you in my prayers...
((Ghost)) Baby steps. Is there women's center near you? The one in my area offers financial literacy classes & reentering the workforce seminars for women who have been out of the workplace for a long time. I'm planning to attend a couple of seminars later this fall. I know it's scary. I'm right there with you. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Truly
((Ghost)), my thoughts are with you. I couldn't imagine being in your situation. All I can say is keep focused on how wonderful your new beginning will be once you get it.
Hugs to all!
I just can't believe what our society has come to when spouses are cheating on each other and see it as no big deal. This lady had to be in her fifties, too, not some young 20-something who grew up in the digital age.
Let me think of all the other hobbies she could have taken up: running, training for a marathon or triathalon, biking, hiking, volunteering, cooking, wine tasting, pilates or yoga, her MBA or another advanced degree, gardening, reading, creative writing, tennis, learning another language, spending time with friends, mom's nights out, joining a church or other religious organization, going for long walks, travel, adopting a rescue dog.
I can probably think of 1,000 other better uses of her time. All things that would enrich her life and make her feel better about herself.
How pathetic that a fifty-year-old could find nothing better to do with her life.
I'm sorry you even had to listen to her.
You are strong and brave and you will get through this. Is there any kind of legal aid in your area that you can turn to for help?
There is legal aid available here, but SAWH is a prominent attorney, so I'll need to bring bigger guns to the fight.
Somehow, someway, I'll figure it out...*sigh*
(Hope, sweetie, I pm-ed you)
Love and strength to all...
I hope you are well.
I'm not completely familiar with your circumstances, but after being with your WH for 40 years, I think that would entitle you to lifetime spousal support. Have you spoken with any lawyer about your situation? Perhaps a lawyer can craft a temporary support order to help you out until the divorce is final, and have it written in the order that WH must pay attorney/court costs?
Thinking of you...
I have dragged my feet with this divorce thing. I need a swift kick in the butt. My number one priority this week is to book an appointment with a lawyer. My therapist gave me a few names and I will definitely pursue it this week.
I am not sure how I will pay for it, but I will sell my jewelry if I have to. I would imagine I am entitled to life long support after 40 years, but he's destroyed his career as a result of his addiction. I cannot depend on him in any way, shape or form.
Hold my feet to the fire, sisters. His bullshit has gone on too long. Somehow, I must find the strength to do the thing I cannot do...
Love and strength to all of you good people...
I did some laundry today. While cleaning the lint tray I saw a mass of small bits of paper. Normally my heart would sink because I'd know that once again there'd be some kind of note, receipt, OW business card, or other paper piece of evidence that I was gonna have to piece together & read. This time I saw it and immediately realized I only needed to just toss the whole thing into the trash & go on with my day. At worst I'd simply lost a grocery list I'd left in my pocket. No laundry detective work necessary!
The other day my son asked me what this gooey stuff was on the nightstand. "Before" I would have panicked because it would have been WH's cum, shot there during some digusting jerkfest. "Now" all I did was look at it & know it was just something left behind when a daughter was in there eating a snack. A simple wipe and all better! No disgusting bodily fluids to worry about! Tra la la...
I totally identify with even with the best spousal support arrangement, when an addict ruins their ability to actually make income, it's useless. What you CAN do is push off as much of the debt as you can on him and him alone. I think you said something about your house being underwater, maybe let him have the house and you stay in the lakehouse (is that paid off?) so you have some security.
Also, I'd be checking out whatever public assistance you are entitled to, before and after the divorce. This is why these programs are there, for these kinds of circumstances. Food stamps, food pantries, temporary housing, free healthcare, etc. Also check out cat fostering, so if push comes to shove someone can take your cats if you need to move in with your sister or in a shelter for a while. If staying in the lakehouse long term is not possible, check out subsidized housing, or cheaper living arrangements that could work for you. You don't have to use all these things now, you just need to know what you are eligible for and what it takes to get them set up, so you aren't doing all that in the midst of a potentially messy divorce. Some of them take quite a bit of time and red tape to set up, so you might want to get some of it started now if you are already eligible.
Honestly there is no rush for the D, it is YOUR timeline. Find out all your options and devise the best exit plan that benefits you the most.