It's a sorry situation all around.
Here is an article written by a psychologist who believes that we spouses/partners of sex addicts are NOT suffering from PTSD. That we have not had any trauma from what they did.
Excuse my French, but what a FUCKING ASSHOLE!!
Read the article then make sure to read the comments. The comments are fantastic.
There is also a new "type" of therapist just for us coming down the pike called APSATS -- (Association for Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists). It's about time!
Sorry I have not been writing much lately. I read your posts and I pray for all of us every day.
Hugs to all of you.
Where you happy with your decision to reconcile or divorce?
Right now, I'm in "no man's land." We're working on reconciling, but I can't predict the future of how things will go. He's doing everything right, but you all know the sack of trust issues that come with our statuses as SA Spouses.
When I first found out that he cheated on me last year, we immediately went into marriage counseling. I was ready to end the marriage, but I said that I would give him a second chance and we would work on it. I was glad I did. Afterwards, it was the best year of our relationship that we had ever had. Our sex life wasn't what it should have been, but it was improving. Then I find out this May that he had broken NC and started cybering OW again. I didn't know about the porn. I knew he looked at some of it, but I didn't know that he was addicted. He received the SA diagnosis in July.
The therapist said that this is all part of my husband's initial treatment. He said that last year when we came in for MC, obviously my husband didn't disclose the extent of the problem. He says now that we're working on it, we have a much better chance.
If I do have to choose divorce, I want it to be like what NG said
Yes, I'm happy with my decision. I'm glad I tried to work it out with STBX, and now I'm glad we're divorcing.
Hey, I'd qualify some of what my husband did to me in bed as marital rape. Doesn't that count as rape? Just because I was married to him doesn't mean I consented to everything, especially the shit he did to me when I was sleeping.
Yes, Idiot, it is traumatic to be betrayed as many times as SA's betray.
I will admit that the trauma I have experienced isn't as intense as when I almost died on an operating table, or when I almost died post-surgery & was fully conscious during my revival. Both of those events gave me flashbacks. And this isn't as horrific as the sexual abuse my grandfather inflicted on me. That was so bad I have some gaps in my memory. HOWEVER, what I went through being married to STBX was horrific. Day after day, year after year, close to two decades of abuse. I think the cumulative affect is traumatizing, and I think I'm qualified to say so.
No, I wouldn't equate what I've gone through with the life-altering experiences of warfare. I also don't compare apples to oranges.
Simply having a potentially traumatic event occur doesn’t give you a PTSD diagnosis. It takes much more than that – namely, it takes a long-running cluster of symptoms that interfere in a person’s life, and includes flashbacks, hypervigilance, changes in perspectives on life, extreme physiological reactivity, avoidance of stimuli and situations, and increased physiological arousal. Do betrayed partners have these symptoms? I doubt it.
My dear doctor, I meet those criteria, and I dare say most of the members of this little forum do, too. You, Sir, are a gasbag.
I agree, too, QVee, with NatureGirl's quote. I am glad that I did everything I could to try and save my marriage and family. I know it went way beyond what most people would do, and I know that much was done in weakness in my case, but I am at peace that I left having tried everything I could.
Mine hasn't started treatment yet - he's on a waiting list, but he is really trying to not act out.
But, now all his issues are coming out and directed right at me. He's having big midlife crisis issues - resenting me for his life, blaming me for our problems, and thinking that he might want a D.
Have any of you dealt with this with their SA? It's hard enough to deal with the acting out behaviors, but this too?
As for the article, this doctor (he has a phD) was either purposely obnoxious or just inept. Either way, he isn't worth my time.
Issaquah - You are describing typical blameshifting behavior of an addict. He is still trying to find a way to blame you and life for the choices he makes. He is still the "victim" in his mind. Don't listen to him, just try detaching with love. (I suck at this, BTW. So this is advice I am always giving myself. )
[This message edited by Missymomma at 12:06 PM, October 25th (Thursday)]
Of course once I found evidence of him acting out in completely deviant ways going back 30 years, I finally realize this isn't about me, it was never about me, there was never anything I could have done to help him, there was never any chance our marriage could have worked. This is not to say that I am a perfect person. Of course I'm not! However, I am a reasonable person and I am capable of an honest relationship. STBX is not.
Funny your statements about the marriage are all-..."I think this,I feel this. I think it's so much better since.......was it really all about you?..guess it was, hindsight offers great clairvoyance!
@Nature- When someone immediately starts pointing fingers at the other person's direction for ones unhappiness, it somewhat becomes obvious to the receiving end that this person is certainly looking for a scapegoat.
All my ex has said to his family is that "she left me for another man"! He ommitted the part of masterbating in front ouf our 15 month old, and his secret obsession of fucking men in the butt. While all this is true, the reality is that I was about to lose my mind, snap and kill him, or myself. I often used to look at the gun cabinet in our bedroom and wonder which one would be easier to pull it off with. This scares me now that I even thought that. I was going temporarily insane and didn't know how to stop myself. Talk about your trama!! Glad the article is there for the asshole who wrote it to make some money; because that's all it's worth to me; some asshole's opinion.
Regarding the article, I've read enough of everyone's post here to know that I need to stay away from it.
It has been very helpful to hear about other women who dealt/deal with the emotional abuse of someone and the guilt shoved down our throats. Through this site it has helped me understand that we won't get back what we put into our marriage, simply because of who we married, and I now know that I wasn't alone like I felt.
I'm sure I've said it before, but my ex cheated on me all 30 years of our relationship/marriage.
Too many Ddays to count. Enough said!
He was a cheater way before he met me, so I know it couldn't have just been because of me. I'm not perfect at all, and certainly have had "keeping up with the joneses" struggles in my late 20's early 30's - but my choices/desires alone didn't wreck his life. Heck, he got a DWI 4 years ago when he was out of state. I didn't do that. But it is easy to get sucked in to the blame and feel terrible and to worry about the future.
I know it's easy to get sucked into the vortex of guilt, but please don't allow yourself. He's responsible for HIS actions and you are responsible for yours.
People have freewill in this life and can do and react however they choose. The thing is that it's a CHOICE!!!
The more you read on here, the more you will begin to believe that it's NOT your fault. It's taken reading several things over and over on here to actually get something drilled into my head.
Give yourself some permission to be angry, hurt and begin setting some boundaries for yourself. Warning though, when you start shifting behaviors on these type of men, they get REAL freaked out and will try to pull out all the stops.
Learn to recognize that and don't let him.
Hugs to you and know that we are all here for you!!
I think I've finally gotten to a good place were I know in my bones that it is not my job to find his "happy" for him and tie it up in a bow. Maybe I have detached with love somewhat so that storms like these don't blow me over anymore.
In 2004 he didn't dare blame me because we were blissfully happy in a sense - no fighting, I was oblivious, we did everything together.
But by 2011, the addiction was ALL MY FAULT. He still feels that way, even though I now know from his secret email account that he's been doing this stuff for as long as I know him. But he still blames me and our fighting for the "stress" that caused him to do it all.
So you have the perfect cycle: act out, get caught, get yelled out, tension at home, act out again! Repeat.
OR as I'm really beginning to understand, he found any excuse to act out - work, me, stress, his mother, his father, his family, his clients. . . .
It's very dysfunctional, sick, and sad. I often wonder who he will blame once the divorce is done?
Am I fighting a losing battle? Why wasn't loving me and loving our family and the sanctity of our marriage enough? I know it's a disease and illness but I guess because I don't understand it, I am having an extremely hard time wrapping my brain about not seeing the cause, effect and consequences of his actions. I am even reading some of the posts and thanking God that he hadn't done to me even half of what some of you have have had to endure. But still looking at his actions and feeling like my world is crushed. Everything I believed in us was a lie and that there is no way he could love me even half as ,inch as he portrayed.
How can I go from a very emotionally and physically abusive relationship, finally escaping that one, to get into what I thought was FINALLY the relationship I deserve and desire just to find out it is anything but? How can I heal from that kind of disappointment?
I talked with a counselor yesterday to told me that (unless I am completely misunderstanding her) because I knew of his looking at porn before we married that I must accept my choice to overlook it and accept that about him. Basically tellin me that I made the choice and well it's my fault and I can't be mad. I didn't really process what she said until hours later and now I am fuckin pissed at I think she has said to me. Is she right? Do I not have a right to be hurt, mad, sad, frustrated..damaged because I initially made the choice to overlook his porn addiction not fully understanding the impact it would have on our life years later?
I am sorry for the rambling, I guess I just needed to get this off my chest and to others that I have found that know how I am feeling. I feel like I am in an emotional bubble that I can't let others see due to the damage it may potentially cause.
From what I have learned, there are two types of thinking: vertical thinking that lives in the moment, and horizontal thinking that sees things in the long term. Any addict (whether sex, drugs or otherwise) is all about vertical thinking--getting the fix of whatever and damning the consequences. So when you say
Why wasn't loving me and loving our family and the sanctity of our marriage enough? I know it's a disease and illness but I guess because I don't understand it, I am having an extremely hard time wrapping my brain about not seeing the cause, effect and consequences of his actions.
Many sources say that sex/porn addiction follows this cycle: a feeling of pain or inadequacy/low-self esteem, disassociation, the sexual acting out, and then the despair of having acted out which feeds into the pain in the beginning.
What I'm saying is that what your husband does IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Just because you were okay with your husband perusing porn before your marriage, does not make it acceptable for it to replace intimacy in your marriage. Anything a spouse does secretly that replaces intimacy in a marriage or relationship is cheating, and should be addressed as such.
GET A NEW COUNSELOR. One, preferably that is a CSAT or has experience in this.
And keep posting, it helps just to know someone is there reading it.
Hugs to you. Hang in there.
I guess I failed to mention in my first post that my H is a recovering drug addict as well. He has been in recovery for almost 21 years, so for me, knowing that he knows a tremendous amount of information regarding addiction, it's effects and definitely the damage it will do to everyone involved. Because he knows and has been successful in not relapsing on that it really baffles me that he can allow himself to be in an uncontrolable addictive state with something. He has explained the cycle of this addiction. I guess I sort of understand. I had cheated on my abusive EXH but it was because I was trying to find a way out of the marriage and the horrible situation I was in. With this marriage I thought I had found the ONE. He adored me, and says he still does. I am his best friend and he was mine. Late last year my dad (my true best friend) passed away fairly suddenly from stage 4 lung cancer. I was/am traumatized, he was who, all my life, the one I went to for everything. Now he is gone and I told my H that he's it now and he knew that. I stupidly put all my eggs in one basket with him. I gave him power never before given to anyone else but my dad. 3months later he picked up a hitchhiker and had unprotected sex with her and got her pregnant. She aborted it do to her own reasons and the fact that it was her second (yes folks) second abortion in 3months. I found out through my own investigating and he swore and promised to stay grounded and never let it happen again. Only to have him 2 months later create a fake identity and post and answer CL ads. He ended up hooking up with several women for unprotected oral sex(giver not receiver). I again discovered this through my own investigative work. He got better at lying and hiding it unfortunately. I guess I am just persistent and logical enough to put clues together, which I am positive he underestimates severely.
Now, I am stuck back at square one with my self image problems, my lack of self confidence, not feeling worthy of real true love, feeling like no one could ever want just me. I worked so damn hard since leaving and divorcing my EXH on myself believing for the first time ever that I am desirable and lovable. It's all gone.
He is now working the steps and really focusing on what's important to him for him. I am working on myself but I am scared as hell. I want to be with him, I do love him and I want to believe him so bad. I want to have what I was promised when we said I do. But I fear now that I never will even with if he and I were to divorce and move on with someone else. I am tainted, I am drama filled and I have some of the heaviest baggage to bring into any kind of relationship.
I very much believe in God and all that He has to offer anyone that comes to Him. I pray constantly for healing from this and for strength. And definitely for protection for our family. I have to kids from my previous marriage who are old enough to understand what's going on and an almost 2 yr old from this marriage. I am also currently fighting my EXH for custody of my older kids since he has been trying to take them from me for the past 2 years. I am so far from where I wanted to be in life. I honestly don't know ho much more I can take before I crack completely.
1) DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Get STD tested immediately!!! Refuse sexual relations until your husband has also been tested.
2) Get your exit plan in order. I'm not preparing to leave anytime soon, but I still have a plan. In the most severe cases of SA (which it sounds like your husband is reaching) what you know about is only the tip of the iceberg.
3)Work on you. Lots of people do what is called "The 180." I didn't work this plan exactly as it was written, but did a lot of similar things. Get a new counselor and attend.
Right now you can only do things for yourself and your kids. I don't have much advice in custody disputes, but a lot of spouses on here can advise you.
Time will only tell if he will come around and choose recovery, but you can't make him choose recovery with threats. The only way he will choose recovery is if you bring rock bottom to him. Usually most spouses do that on here with divorce papers, even if they never proceed with the filings. Some SAs hit rock bottom when they are fired from their jobs due to their acting our or lose their inheritance or whatever. Other SAs never hit rock bottom. Whatever happens with yours, you have to take care of yourself regardless.
If you work on yourself, regardless of the outcome, you will be able to move on without your baggage.
Hang in there.
[This message edited by QVee at 3:34 PM, October 27th (Saturday)]
Please know that you have no power to influence his acting out, none. That also means, even though it is so personal, it is not your fault and it is not about you. But you do have the power to influence your life by focusing on taking care of you.
First, I am shocked that your counselor would say that...that was so unprofessional and just inappropriate. It's important to understand that many therapists are just not educated/trained in SA, and just don't get it. Find a new therapist that can be supportive and therapeutic.
There is a great book out there called Mending a Shattered Heart, I highly encourage you to get a copy of it. It is geared toward the partner/spouse of an SA.
Have you heard of S-Anon or COSA? I have gone to a couple of S-Anon meetings (like alanon) and they have made a world of difference. You can find the meetings by googling S-Anon, and on that page there is a link to find meetings near you. Getting support from others who get SA is invaluable.