I'm new here...my SAWH has just entered treatment with a CSAT. Our DD was in mid-March, but he did not come clean til about two weeks later. He even denied everything in front of our first marriage counselor, and then had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to go grab something to eat after the session. I knew exactly what had been going on and suspected it for quite some time and even confronted him but he gaslighted me. I always attributed his lack of interest in sex to his job stress, depression from a nervous break down several years ago, etc. I wasn't that interested myself...but finally about two years ago I began realizing that a sexless marriage was NOT normal and I did not want to live like this for the rest of my life. I was too afraid of being belittled because of my weight (he'd told me to lose weight a few times before) and his volatile temperament. Anyway, I finally worked up the courage and was planning to talk to him about this anyway around the time I discovered what was going on. At first I thought it was just a mid-life crisis thing. But I have since discovered lots of racy posts on an old cellphone of his. Do you know what 20-35 yo women text to men???? Holy sh*t. Can you imagine being 30 and texting your friend's 42 yo married man a photo of your cleavage? I mean, it was crazy. That is what the kids do these days. As the teenage son of one of my friends said, "Oh mom, that is how girls flirt." I see. Anyway, we recently switched marital counselors to one who could help us with our (lack of) intimacy issues and so we began the path of figuring out that this is not just an affair but an affair rooted in childhood trauma and parental neglect issues and early exposure to porn. I was astounded when SAWH agreed that SA is something he should consider (as our relationship fits the profile - he as SA and me as Co-addict). Luckily, we live in a major city and there are a lot of counseling resources and groups we access.
So it's been about 90 days since full disclosure. He's recently entered IC with a CSAT. He's taking the tests and going to start working the steps. If you knew my SAWH, you would never guess he'd be open to this. I am pretty surprised myself, especially after experiencing what a sh*t he was through the three months (and going back several years, even before the A started). I think he's finally through withdrawal and sees the OW for what she is - a fantasy-driven piece of convenient ass he was sexting and having a pseudo relationship with for 2 + years (and whom I think was also using him for money and lifestyle support). I have a lot of hope now. And I now know that there is NOTHING I could have done to prevent any of this. It's a load off of my shoulders. It really is.
And SAWH knows that if this happens again, I am not going to hesitate to divorce. I was pretty much prepared to pull the trigger for first two months which is when I felt like we were getting nowhere in therapy. Now we are getting somewhere. Now I am focusing on the future, learning from (but not dwelling on the past) and letting go of my anger about the whole situation. I feel good about things but I'm not blind.
I'm sending you hugs (((((((woman)))))) and holding you in the *LIGHT* which has become a bit of a tradition in our thread.
Just a little word from someone years out. Not meant to discourage you, just an alert that you are probably aware of.
You ARE early days. It MAY be that some of the anger and resentment will come later. It did with me. Year two was bad. Year three wasn't a party.
Therapy and 12 step work isn't linear. He'll progress at the rate he does. There may be things he can get through quickly, other places he'll get stuck.
Slips ARE common. You'll have to decide how you want to deal with them. Do you want to know? Do you want him to just deal with them with his sponsor and IC? What kind of slips are dealbreakers?
I strongly suggest you at least try a COSA or Sanon meeting. Some members here haven't had great experiences, but I did. They saved my life. It's helpful to see IRL that others survive with intact marriages and psyche. And it's helpful to establish boundaries that make sense.
Keep posting. SI has some of the wisest people, the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met...
So, it is the 11th hour: I have filed for D, SAWH has gotten a condo set up and we were getting ready to tell the kids tomorrow. We were talking about how we were going to tell them and how hard it was going to be and he said, "there's another solution - we try to work on our M."
A long conversation ensued where I just kept saying that we have irreconciliable differences because he doesn't think he's a SA and hasn't made an appt with a CSAT (I filed for D one week ago). I told him he was making it easy bc R with an SA is difficult, so if he is an ass and refuses treatment, I can walk away without any regrets.
He got STD tested the second he was able to after I filed (one step in the right direction) and tonight he took the SAST on sexhelp.com. He has never taken the online test. He scored a "6" and most SAs score 7 or higher. So he was borderline. He then paid the $30 for the next test (the SARA) and was in the "mid range" for pornography (which is all that he is admitting to). He says he is going to see a CSAT.
This is the most he has done with regard to sex addiction EVER - he to this point will just deny, deny, deny.
So, do I give him a chance? Do I continue with D? Do we tell the kids like we planned to? Does it sound like he is gaslighting and manipulating me again? Anyone here have a similar story?
This is a twist that I wasn't expecting.
[This message edited by numbandnauseous at 1:17 AM, June 30th (Sunday)]
Only the two of you can decide what is going to be right for you in this situation in terms of separation, what you tell the kids. Advice I was given is that you reassure the kids that Mom and Dad love them. You don't tell them anything about who did what, even in a very vague sense. Good luck.
[This message edited by Missymomma at 11:36 AM, June 30th (Sunday)]
I echo what the others have said. Continue your own recovery. You can slow down the divorce, but don't cancel it. See if there is a change and if he indeed keeps the promises he makes to himself. My SAfWH was also slow processing the steps but did go faithfully to meetings and IC and changed significantly in his interactions with me. I would not still be here had that not happened. And the thing is, the changes have lasted for more than 4 years now.
Hugs to you. Think serenity. Think of you and your kids. Let him do what he will do and watch from a distance. Then follow your gut.
Welcome and hugs ((((womaninflux)))). You are very blessed to be able to have such great resources for you and your SAWH! I live in a very small town...not such great options but at least there is a SA group for him and a CSAT referred therapist for both of us! good luck on your journey...you are several months ahead of me.
awww N&N...I agree with everyone else...continue on your path for divorce/separation...let him do the hard work he needs to do on his own. I had a conversation with mine just the other night about addicts that go into recovery for themselves vs those that go because of an ultimatum. Mine luckily (this time) chose this for himself and is going regardless of what I choose to do and I hope and pray that because he has chosen this path, it will help him stay healthy on his own merit whether we are together or not.
I had a decent weekend...we had a lot of family activities together and for periods of maybe one whole hour I didn't think about all the ugliness! PROGRESS!!!! ha.
I hope everyone has a great day!
He flat out asked my SAWH if he had told me everything today - and he answered yes he had. I'm crossing my fingers that's the truth but I also realize he may need time to process what he said and more may come out later.
I feel myself slipping slightly into denial mode...just like before. I think if you have to pretend everything is just fine all the time with kids, family, co-workers etc. you actually start believing it yourself. Although, I guess this time he is telling me about his meetings and good talks with his sponsor.
I'm very sarcastic lately too...is that a normal phase? I don't like it but it just seems to come out of my mouth...my SAWH has a mom/boob/nursing issue...all his chat women were very very large breasted, older women or nursing women. He made a comment yesterday when I got back from my run about my figure (I'm a curvy athletic shape - small C type woman)...and just out of my mouth pops "thanks but I know that I'm not what you like". and in my rational head I know that it has NOTHING to do with me and he very much does think I'm beautiful...but who can be rational all the time???
I know I know...one day at a time and lots of therapy. It sure helps to write it all out though.
Number 2, one truth I have tried to live by is an AA slogan. I can't always do it, but I think it's a goal to aim for.
"Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean."
This therapist is in a large group and there are 1 or 2 other CSATs that my SAWH could have chosen who were:
a) full-fledged CSATs
b) not lawyers!
So, what do you think? Am I being set up? It sure smells stinky, doesn't it? My SAWH says that his CSAT wants to meet with me; I want to meet with him, but will have to keep my guard up.
ETA: What is the general consensus about CSAT-Cs? Are they more easily manipulated because they are still in training?
[This message edited by numbandnauseous at 1:14 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]
AFM, had a terrible night. We had MC yesterday and it was very emotional. We talked about the issue for me in this relationship is that my needs are not only not met but not even considered. So, I was emotional afterwards and my SAWH was clueless. It just made me feel upset and then angry. Ugh!
((((((Missy)))))))) two steps forward, huh? SAs ARE clueless, for a LONG TIME. I am only seeing a consistant empathetic side of my SAfWH now. That's after 34 years and 4+ years after the final d-day. Truly is a roller coaster. Hang in there honey, you have been so strong and brave and SMART! Do some self care and be selfish for a day or two. You deserve it...
I'm still struggling with telling the kids and getting him out of the house. I just feel numb now and haven't had time to process everything. Will give myself some time.
I totally understand needs not even being considered, Missy. So sorry that you are going through that. My WH says that he is a good H and doesn't feel that he needs to change; he doesn't even consider that I have feelings and that I might think he's not a good H. So that is why I have filed: he just keeps repeating that he is a good H and I guess that should be good enough for me. Well, it's not and he doesn't seem to get it, so D, here I come!
ETA: Missy, I keep meaning to ask, what is "WA?"
Also, I had a good non-codependent moment today. WH called me this morning and asked me to throw the trash out in the media room before the cleaning lady came. The reason? He had thrown out videos "Better Sex Series" that our sex therapist from years ago (when I was trying to figure out why we weren't having sex and didn't realize he was an SA) had encouraged us to purchase. It was people having sex, but "regular" people, not porn stars and they would teach you different techniques. WH didn't want our cleaning lady to find them. I decided I wasn't going to clean up after him, so I didn't throw them out as instructed. It just seemed very codependent to me, cleaning up after him. I didn't even know those videos were still around (he refused to watch them with me) and I assume he was watching them by himself. I offered to watch them with him, but he wouldn't.
Also, angry today because a couple of different people we know are going to France this summer. WH and I used to travel a lot and that is what I envisioned us doing at this point in our lives. THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MY LIFE! Instead I'm sitting in a pile of shit. Yet another thing that SA has taken from me......
[This message edited by numbandnauseous at 7:10 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]
Since my last post I decided not to make another post unless it was positive so that explains my absences for the last few days. I scan this thread several times a day just hoping to glean yet another secret to dealing with this shit.
So, the positive is this. After much reflection, I feel like I'm having more clarity these days. The picture is coming into focus but, I'm not really liking what I see. My hope was to salvage our very broken relationship however, I can't see where I will ever be able to move past what has happened to us.
I've always thought H had a very odd way of thinking & now I'm just painful aware that it is just distorted thought processes. Even if I can find a way to get past the number of physical encounters there is just so much garbage to wade through I'm not convinced I want to spent the rest of what life I have waiting for happiness to come from this relationship. Now that I'm aware of the whole SA disease, I'm seeing things that I haven't seen before & I know that there are so many serious issues that lie ahead.
I have been robbed of so much already I just don't know if I have the survival skills for the long haul this effort requires. I can honestly say I've never hated anyone in my life but, I have so much vengefulness towards everyone who contributed to this convoluted mess. I can forgive but, I don't think that forgiveness requires that you continue on a path that has the potential to destroy you. I feel like I want to forgive & bid him God's speed & be done.
I have made the commitment to myself that I will not make a permanent, binding decision for at least a year as has been advised by my IC as well as many here on SI.
I'd like to know more about EAs. Anyone of you have experience with this with your SAWH?
I can forgive but, I don't think that forgiveness requires that you continue on a path that has the potential to destroy you
It certainly doesn't and no one should expect that of you, not even yourself.
EAs? Sure. I'm guessing that most of my SAfWH's encounters were mostly of the EA type. He loved to flirt and cultivate his romances, rescue maidens (hah!) in distress, boast about his wonderfulness to anyone who would listen, including a bunch of "favorite" strippers. The whore who still haunts my nightmares was a two(?) year EA culminating in 4 f*ckfests during a 4 month period. I guess. None of it is certain, all of it is hazy to him. The one other whore who he slept with was also multi years of encounters at bars with only one sexual encounter he says.
I have come to understand that they weren't real EAs in the strictest sense in that there were no real emotions at play. Certainly, both of the OW were dropped like rocks when push came to shove. It doesn't help me in the long run, as he was still on his best behavior with them and treated me like yesterday's trash.
I hear you, Outta. I do want to say that there are good reasons to wait the year. Things change, people change. He has a lot of work to do, but you are wise not to hang your hat on that. Work to restore YOUR sanity.
Hugs to all.
I have trouble labelling H's main betrayal, but I call it an EA to simplify it. She's someone he went to high school with. They weren't even friends back then, but through facebook (yeah, thanks for that fb!) she contacted him over 5 years ago. How emotional did it get? Not sure. He says the most he ever told her was that he cared about her. When I caught them by finding one of their chats, she said she was falling in love with him. He still says he doesn't even remember her writing those words, but I know what I read. He says the most they talked was once a week. They exchanged nude pics in the past, and more recently, he was trying to move it to a PA (after trying to stay away from her...apparently he succeeded for one year in the middle of their contact). But like scaredy said, H dropped her like a rock when I found out, so how many real emotions could there have been?
A few years ago, he also set up a meeting with a prostitute, but still claims he backed out at the last minute. Out of these two, the long term emotional affair hurts more. I think.
It was pure luck that I found out about the EA. I never suspected anything. H is young and was still in the early stages of acting out. He admitted that if we had kept going as we were, he would have eventually started up with prostitutes. I am so grateful for that fateful day. I know we could have gone on the way we were for another decade or two. At least now I have the power of truth and can decide for myself what I want or don't want in my life.
Like you, right now I feel like the hurdle is way too big to overcome. Most days I feel like I will never get over it. And if I can't, well that's good too, isn't it? At least I will be living an honest life. For years, he has denied me an authentic life. How can I not resent that?
This woman was our project supervisor & excelled in every aspect. That being said, they spent almost every day (except Sunday) together on the job. Multiple phone calls every day which would not be anything unusual.
I have gone back & forth over the years with the way I feel about this relationship. Of course, in the end, I always dismissed it as my being ridiculous in feeling that way although it has gnawed at me for years.
In light of all these recent events & the diagnosis of SA, I am reevaluating this "friendship". I already know it has all the markings of an EA however, I have doubts as to if sex is involved. He has denied over the years that there has ever been sexual involvement & continues to deny that even now. H says they are "just friends" (those two words make my hair stand up). The problem I have with it is that he is too emotionally invested in her well being for my comfort. She is barely 50 years old & attempting to raise 3 teenage grandchildren since her drug addicted daughter won't take responsibility for them. Clearly, she needs a friend but, I don't like that it is my H & he has made me feel so guilty for feeling that way. I'm all about helping those in need but, this is a real problem for me.
Our company is on the verge of bankruptcy since we haven't had a significant project in almost 2 years however, she is still considered an employee & continues to have daily contact with him. Also, still drives company truck (insured by the company) and a company cell phone when we are barely able to support ourselves. We had a serious talk recently about our future & I told H that if I decide to stay, there is only room for one woman in this relationship & IMO, to truly enter into recovery he needs to remove any obstacles that could prevent him from achieving that goal. For the first time since before dday he became angry & defensive (old behavior) which totally freaked me out! This is when he told me that I was using my boundaries to manipulate him. He also asked me what I wanted him to do followed by "I'm not saying I'm going to do it" which cinched it for me.
I have an appointment with his IC in a couple of weeks at which time I plan to clarify what was meant by the "emotionally manipulated" statement. Just yet another hurtle to clear in a race where you can barely lift your feet to take another step.
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 12:13 PM, July 6th (Saturday)]