Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction by
Claudia Black & Cara Tripodi
Disclosing Secrets: An Addict's Guide for When, to Whom, and How Much to Reveal by M Deborah Corley Ph.D. & Jennifer P Schneider M.D.
Surviving Disclosure:: A Partner's Guide for Healing the Betrayal of Intimate Trust by Jennifer P Schneider M.D. & M. Deborah Corley Ph.D.
I like other works by Claudia Black and Jennifer Schneider, so I have high hopes. I bought the Intimate Treason one because my CSAT recommended it for healing. I'm just starting it though.
My husband has this routine:
-He does something that is completely retarded and/or counterproductive.
-I find out, and I become upset.
-He gets angry at himself and feels like shit.
-But because it is so hard to be angry with one's self, he becomes angry at me because I'm the one who pointed out the initial stupid activity and made him mad at himself at the first place.
It's completely convoluted, but that's an addict's mind. Now I have to remind him about the appropriate responses when he does things like that. Once I remind him that he has no one to be angry with but himself, he calms down, and apologizes to me. It is getting better.
The other thing that he is developing is the guilt/remorse/empathy trait. When he starts feeling angry with himself or guilty, I remind him about the purpose of these feelings. I say, "The reason why you are feeling those bad feelings is because you did something wrong. It's okay to feel those feelings; they are appropriate responses. They are there to make you feel so bad so that you do not repeat the same stupid behavior again."
It seems really basic, but when you are male (less emotional coping skills, usually) and an SA who has trouble being empathetic anyway, it's amazing what this kind of talk will do.
Compartment - those books look awesome - thanks for sharing. I liked Deceived by Claudia Black and I will read the disclosure book before disclosure (if WH ever makes it to CSAT). It looks like I could read Intimate Treason right now.
QVee - thanks for the insight re: WH's behavior. I have been ignoring him bc he has been rude: 180, 180, 180. Then he started acting a little nicer.
I was STD tested several months ago and was positive for HSV-1 (the cold sore herpes, and I have gotten cold sores for years, so that makes sense), but negative for HSV-2 (more commonly associated with genital herpes).
So I am thinking if I get tested and I now have HSV-2, it would be from WH. I am going to go tomorrow, but am wondering where I should go. When I got tested last time, I went to Planned Parenthood under a different name. I was thinking of going to my family doc this time, but have read threads about having trouble getting insurance after D when you have a pre-existing condition, etc. On the other hand, I was thinking that I may have leverage if I go to my family doc because it will be documented under my name and I may be able to get insurance coverage for the herpes (if I have it) for life from WH if we D.
Also, today is our wedding anniversary. WH hasn't mentioned anything; I'm sure he is being conflict avoidant in not bringing it up, but it is still heartless.
I feel like I'm in a trance today - I come back to reality because of my kids every once in a while, but can't remember what I was doing in between those bits of reality. Really strange.
Also, WH has been looking up child custody, patient-client privilege on his computer under the laws of our state. Will write more about that later. So much to take in. Sigh.
I'm so sorry you have to deal with this stress! Your H looking stuff up is probably paranoid stuff. If he's anything like my H, he is on edge waiting for you to leave, he is so sure you're going to run. My H was telling me this weekend all the reasons he thinks I'm about to D him. I wish he were more focused on his own healing and actions and less so on mine.
((hugs to all SA spouses))
In other news, WH told me that he made CSAT appt for this Wednesday! Of course, it comes with strings attached/controlling by WH: CSAT said that we would go to all appointments together and I told WH that; when WH told me he had made appt, I asked him what time so I could be there and he said, "I would prefer to go to the first appt alone." So I am going to call CSAT and ask him if that is ok.
I am not as overjoyed as I thought I would be now that I know he has made CSAT appt. I am glad to have more certainty re: I won't be filing D papers next week since he has made CSAT appt, but I know this will be a long, painful road and we could still end up D'd. I'm also scared about finding out what else my WH has been up to. I am trying to keep a picture of a happy, authentic, whole family in my mind as the end result of all the pain WH and I will go through to make it more bearable. It would be so wonderful to have that!
ETA: I think he was looking up all the law stuff because he was trying to make sure that if he goes to CSAT that he will not lose total custody of the children or that what he tells the CSAT won't come out in court. My L said that whether we R or D, it is better if WH goes to CSAT.
It is also nice to know that WH is so afraid of D (he's got to keep up that squeaky clean perfect image, you know) that he is willing to do anything to avoid it. It has taken me a while to be ready for D, but thanks to the help from people at SI, I am now fully ready to do it if he isn't "all in" for recovery. Thank you and big hugs to SIers - you are awesome!
Speaking of "all in," WH was also looking up Paula Broadwell . I wonder if all waywards are interested in the whole Petraeus scandal and what messages they take from it.
[This message edited by numbandnauseous at 8:08 PM, November 11th (Sunday)]
I am trying to keep a picture of a happy, authentic, whole family in my mind as the end result of all the pain WH and I will go through to make it more bearable. It would be so wonderful to have that!
It is also nice to know that WH is so afraid of D (he's got to keep up that squeaky clean perfect image, you know) that he is willing to do anything to avoid it
I wonder if all waywards are interested in the whole Petraeus scandal and what messages they take from it.
We spoke about CSAT today; I asked why he wanted to go to his first appointment alone when the CSAT said that we should go together and he was evasive: "because that's what I prefer." Me: "But why do you prefer that?" Him: same response. And round and round. I finally said, "are there things you want to discuss with him that you don't want me to know" and he said, "I guess so." But then he said that he has told me everything.
I asked him if he feels like I would be a support to him and he said, "definitely not." I have felt that he has viewed me as the enemy for much of our relationship (typical PA stuff), so this is not surprising. I want to reach out to him, but don't know if I should at this point.
He is being such a weasel - every answer has qualifiers "I guess you could say that," "maybe," not answering the question directly, nothing is definitive. He asked me what I told CSAT and I told him I saw the CSAT to gather my own information, so it has nothing to do with him. He then said that he wants to know because he feels that CSAT already has a diagnosis in mind from what I have told him and according to WH, "that is your story, not mine." I said there would be objective tests that WH would take, so a diagnosis won't be based on what I say. So he is already trying to say that the well was poisoned before he got there, that the CSAT will be biased because of what I told him. Yes, if he is biased by the TRUTH, then I guess he is biased. WH also said that he doesn't think he is a sex addict (of course).
So, I think all of the above is pretty typical; has anyone had a similar experience when starting out with a CSAT? WH will likely be evasive with CSAT as well, so we'll see how much gets accomplished. I am ready to D him - so tired of living like this. I'm not really sure why he is still hanging in there when he doesn't feel like I support him - why not get D'd? I'm not really sure what we're doing together anymore.
Yesterday, the provider at Planned Parenthood said that my lesion didn't look like herpes, so that was a relief. I still got all the blood tests done again.
I am sorry to say that you WH is not behaving like a man interested in Reconciliation or Recovery. It is not unusual, in my experience, for a SA to behave in a hostile manner to their wife while pretending to be father of the year. Part of it is the compartmentilization that they delude themselves into thinking they are good fathers (or they project that image to others) to allow them to believe that they aren't that bad or that their secret is safe and doesn't affect their families. The hostility part is related to the intimacy avoidance. The addict doesn't want an intimate and loving relationship with you. When a SA is active in their addiction (and if yours is not acting out, he most certainly is white-knuckling) they do blame their spouse and justify their sick behaviors by making their spouses into the "bad guy". It is part of the co-dependent dance. My H behaved that way towards me and the kids for years. He played the loving father while barely giving me the time of day. You are absolutely right; it is dysfunctional and it is not healthy for the kids.
As for seeing the CSAT, it sounds like a waste of time and money. If he hasn't hit rock bottom, it isn't going to change anything. My H admitted 10 YEARS before he hit rock bottom and entered recovery that he was a SA. Even the acknowledgement of the addiction did not spur him on to recovery, until he hit his rock bottom and took us all down with him. It was very ugly. I did not have the knowledge about SA that I do now to understand that this wasn't something that could be "managed" by him alone or what recovery could even look like.
I also do not think you should go with him to see his CSAT anyways. He is either going to be truthful or not. He is the only one who can decide whether or not he is interested in recovery. True recovery is a lot of work. It is hours upon hours of stepwork, counseling, and complete lifestyle change. If he isn't really invested, it isn't going to work.
Even if he was invested and going with the right attitude, I still would recommend against you going. When my H first started with his CSAT, I did go to one session in the first month. We were still separated at the time, and his CSAT just wanted to meet me and talk to me and to get my perspective. Otherwise, I have only went sporadically over the last 3 years when I have been requested to. He needs to be able to be honest with his CSAT on his own. You can't sit there and hold his hand. That is not recovery, that is co-dependent.
Honestly, I think you need to lower your expectations (not saying let him off the hook, just don't expect recovery at this time), work on your own recovery, and get your ducks in a row if this is your bottom line.
why not get D'd? I'm not really sure what we're doing together anymore.
To answer this question, in my life my H never planned to D me, and never thought I would D him! Ha! I had been buying books about divorce and researching it long before our final d-day. To the SA, their family represents the presentation to the outside world that everything is normal and ok. We are like a cover for them. Sad, but true when they are in their addiction.
TooManyYears - I agree, WH is not interested in Reconciliation or Recovery. However, I am not interested in being married to an SA who is not in recovery. I told him I would D him if he did not see a CSAT. I guess I am hoping that something will resonate with him and he might come to the realization that he does want recovery. I understand that he needs to hit rock bottom and I can't facilitate that for him. I am not sure if my D'ing him will be his rock bottom, but that is not my concern. I need to get out of this relationship before he sucks the souls out of me and my children.
I guess my thought is to go through the CSAT process and see where it takes us; CSAT said he will kick WH out of therapy and tell WH to come back when he is ready to do the work, so he won't keep on seeing him if WH is not interested in recovery. On one of the CSAT's questionnaires gauges ambivalence toward treatment, so if WH is high on the ambivalence scale, CSAT will tell him to come back when he is not ambivalent. So, I will find out pretty quickly if he is going to want recovery or not.
And what you said about the father of the year thing - completely true: when I left to go run errands the other day, he was on the floor, wrestling with the kids, all of them laughing - the picture of a perfect dad. He also thinks he is an excellent disciplinarian and he thinks that the kids are very respectful and mind him very well (he thinks that they mind him much better than me, of course).
Here's the deal with me going to the CSAT appt - it was not something that I asked for, coerced, demanded, etc. from the CSAT. I met with the CSAT first to get information about the process; the CSAT told me that it is his custom to have the spouse attend with the SA so that there are no secrets and so the spouse isn't wondering whether they are getting the full story or not. So, this is not some codependent thing that I am asking for, it is something that our CSAT routinely does. Our CSAT seems pretty good; has been doing MC for 30 years and only SAs for 3 years; he was trained by Patrick Carnes (not sure if this is the case for all CSATs) and he consults with Mr. Carnes on difficult cases. So, I feel like he is pretty good and I trust his process.
TooManyYears, would you mind sharing more of your story (by PM or not): what was your SAs rock bottom, are you glad you stayed, did you ever D him?
I'm excited to find this thread, as this is a whole new situation for me, and hearing from those who've BTDT will be a help.
My biggest problem right now is that of my 4 grown kids, one of them is blaming me for her father's problems. Evidently I wasn't a loving enough companion.
know that it is common for children to be so hurt they lash out at the "safe" parent, but I'd love to hear from those who have been through it.
Your children are grown. There's no need to "protect" them. They need the truth about what's happened and why. Perhaps even take the one who's blaming you along to a SAA meeting. You should not accept even the teeniest blame for your WH's choices. I'm sure there are things you did wrong in your marriage, we all make mistakes, no one is perfect. But no one here held a gun to our husband's heads & forced them to go outside the marriage. We did not break our spouses, they did that without us.
I am a newbie, so I haven't BTDT, but I was thinking that you could have your daughter read some books on SA so that she can understand that it is your husband that is broken, not you. He was likely broken before he met you and you could have been the perfect wife/mother/whore in bed and he still would have done what he did - it is the addiction that is controlling him, not anything you did or didn't do.
Others will have better advice than me, but I just read "Out of the Shadows" by Patrick Carnes and it goes into the addict's faulty belief system and how it causes them to act out. (Wait a minute, I just realized this book also talks about how the co-addict (you and your family) are also part of the dance and so that might not be so helpful if your daughter is blaming you.) It still is a helpful book to get insight into the addict's mind.
Another book that talks about SA spouses suffering from PTSD rather than co-addiction is "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse" (sorry I can't remember the author), so that may be helpful too.
If you look at page one of this thread, you will see many other books and resources for you and your daughter. Nature Girl's idea about taking your daughter to a meeting is an excellent one too.
Keep on posting - sending strength and peace to you!