He still thinks my being 30# overweight was one of the main reasons he turned to porn/AP. His CSAT, with whom I met for the first time yesterday, assures me it is not.
We had a good 10 day run until he called me last second and said he had a meeting after work. This triggered my memories of many texts of meetings that would come up suddenly. It made me feel - and I told him this - that he forgets what is going on. His response was that he wasn't aware he had a curfew on weeknights. It's not about a curfew, it's about communication and respect, IMO.
For those of you who have/are successfully rebuilt or are on a positive path consistently, is it unusual to have these ups and downs and feelings of hopelessness and detachment when you are trying to rebuild? When these things happen, H runs away, tells me I am all negativity and doom and gloom. Both of us want to give up and it is so early in the process of recovery.
my H definitely has low self esteem and is insecure so I do think that is underlying alot of his addiction. His acting out was about control and being someone he wasn't - a fantasy life.
He says his group meetings are the biggest help so far - so I would really encourage that...alot of that is he changed groups. The first group that he used to go to, he did not like at all and never wanted to go. He really likes the group he is going to now and feels like there is more accountability. We do MC once a week, IC once a week for both of us, he does group once a week and talks to his sponsor (s) every day. The schedule is exhausting and leaves little time for the rest of our life. On top of that our MC wants me to attend a group support like Al-Anon but I just don't know when I'm going to find the time and I'm already a little bitter about the time away from my family and work as it is.
cds, my H has extreme self loathing and low self esteem. I've dealt with my own issues with anxiety and depression. Even still, the level of his warped view of his self is difficult for me to fully grasp. He still claims that there was no abuse as a child. However, his mother is extremely judgemental and emotionally distant.
Also, about H's level of lust....yes! He always wanted to be desired and lusted after the way he said he felt about me. I couldn't match it, and began to blame myself. I seriously have felt like there was something extremely wrong with me. Years of him saying that all guys do xyz and to think otherwise is just being naive, I started to feel like I had no right to stop him from acting out in certain ways. I'm glad I'm going to IC, because he's helping me feel like I'm not a completely defective person after all.
Last night H and I were talking about our childhoods. He brought up the fact that he would always do the 'bad' thing and hide (though not very well) from authority figures. His face suddenly changed when he realized that that was what he was doing with me. Although, I've tried over the years to tell him that he was treating me like someone he needed to rebel against. On my end, I just wanted an equal partner to share the load. Over the years, I just stopped asking him to do his fair share. I never felt like I could ask him for anything. So yeah, after years of that, I stopped wanting to meet his needs as well. But of course before DDay, he thought it was all my fault. And again, I figured that all guys were like this, so I didn't think there was any point in leaving I guess. It's how my parents' relationship is as well.
H was also feeling down about the guys in his group. All of them are no longer with the partners that discovered their addiction. I think he really realizes now just how much the odds are against us as a couple.
I read an interesting article yesterday about how 70% of SA's also have ADD. I know H sure does. Is this common with any of you as well?
[This message edited by sadone29 at 3:27 PM, July 20th (Saturday)]
Womaninflux-I hope you really think about how bizarre your H's reasoning is. Yes, because my partner weighs 30 pounds more than optimal BMI I became a sex addict, committed infidelity compulsively, whatever else cr*p he did which may include our group's sorry list of prostitutes, strippers, compulsive masturbation, porn, etc. It would be laughable if it wasn't so instinctively hurtful.
Sadone-sorry things continue to be so up and down but also happy about glimmers of progress! As for your question, no ADD or other comorbidities except that DH entered a major depression after his rock bottom sexual acting out -- he is out of that, very responsive to lexapro. One thing about the ADD is that prior to recovery I thought DH could have ADD and even dementia he was so distracted. That mostly went away with recovery--he is so much more focused, organized, follows through etc now that his brain is not buzzing in an addictive loop.
Missymomma-thanks as always for the wise advice! The big man stuff is interesting. As best I/therapist/sponsor know, 99% of H's activity was porn viewing and pretty "mainstream" porn. According to H, he has been to strip bars about a dozen times in our more than dozen year marriage, with lap dances 3-4 times and then the debacle that led me here. The strip bar thing was very infrequent for many years at one visit every 1-3 years *however* in a six month period this year escalated to three visits. That period did coincide with H moving with me to support me in a very prestigious job opportunity and pretty extreme emotional withdrawal by me due to my mourning multiple family losses. Interesting. I do hear you about the risks of backing off of treatment. Neither of us want to stop I just wish we could call it a day with one SA meeting per week for him and alternating weeks for him in IC and MC (and we can throw in the 10 week group thing for a season I can deal with that). I think my biggest gripe is that we don't have any time for MC --which his CSAT suggested we attend and we both want and need. But when??
We really are sticking with the 3-4 meetings a week for H out of our terror. But I feel pissy quite often about the bite it is taking out of our time, our ability to reconcile as a couple, our finances, and even our spirituality!
[This message edited by cds22 at 4:15 PM, July 20th (Saturday)]
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 5:28 PM, July 20th (Saturday)]
My first H was an alcoholic and I strongly think now a SA and gambler...my 2nd H is a SA...what the hell is wrong with my picker??? I'm a strong, independent, successful and FAITHFUL woman for God's sake!!
Sadone - I think my H has severe ADHD...he goes for testing next month. He said that alot of the guys in his group have it or think they have it. His mind jumps all over the place and we regularily joke that I "work" his ADD to get him to do what I need him to because it's so easy to distract him...but that also works against us, because he so easily fell into the constant mind stimulation from chat rooms and pictures instead of focusing on what he should have been. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the test. I'm crossing my fingers it helps.
I can tell you that when the jobs started dying off, H had more & more time to spend on the computer & seems he just re-directed all that productive energy into his "drug". I know he felt like a failure, low self esteem, yadda yadda. My H started seeing hookers about 15 years ago. Started with paying for lingerie models to undress for him then on to hand/blowjobs, and finally full on intercourse. As cds mentioned, H says he could control urges for a couple of years at a time. Over the last two years he had more & more time on his hands & the addiction escalated to a point he was in almost constant pursuit of sex which is what led to his discovery.
After all is said and done, SK hit the nail on the head. I dare say all of us have suffered some blows to our self esteem. We carried our share of the load as well as most of our spouse's, tended to children, contributed financially, all the while suffering occasional disappointments but, it didn't occur to us to make ourselves feel better at someone else's expense.
When you look at it this way it's really no wonder we are all in utter amazement at the situation we find ourselves faced with.
sK - BEST. DRUNK. RANT. EVER. Love it, and it's so true!!! It sounds like we are all strong, confident, accomplished women - how did we get here?! And kudos to you, sK, for finding the professional success you did despite your difficult childhood.
-SAWH does not appear to have ADD.
-SAWH does not admit to any childhood abuse, mistreatment or neglect - he says he had a normal, happy childhood. Digging deeper, his mom is a covert NPD, PA type who is manipulative and emotionally distant. But, she does coddle him too. He hasn't detached from her yet and is still trying to please her.
-I can't remember who posted (previous page), but that childhood punishment of making SAWH lay on the bed naked must have been so humiliating!!! So sad and hurtful!
wif - I am so angry with your H's comment, "I wasn't aware I had a curfew on weeknights." I can hear my SAWH saying something similar. So, instead of comforting you when you are triggering, he gets all angry and defensive and shifts the blame to you (for being such a controlling bitch ) - UNBELIEVABLE.
Missy - thanks for sharing your journey. It is so helpful!
sadone- I am sorry for your postion as a SAHM. Is there any way you could do online courses or start working on a degree/training so that you would be employable and empowered?
Update on my stiuation:
SAWH is seeing his CSAT Monday. I saw his CSAT last week and he told me that he will recommend that SAWH take a polygraph. I was overjoyed!!! The last CSAT that we went to did the poly after disclosure. This CSAT wants to the poly first so we know what we are dealing with. My SAWH likes this CSAT better than the last one; he chose him, and he said he will do whatever they ask him to do. I am sure he will not be expecting a poly and I'm sure he will be resistant to it. So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I am ready to walk if he doesn't follow treatment to the letter, so whatever he does, I will be fine. Also, this CSAT says that they do mostly group therapy because that is what the men need - to work on being emotionally intimate with others and that is much easier to do with a therapist than it is with a group (so they don't want to give them the easy way out). So, the treatment plan looks pretty good and I am excited for my H if he decides to do it. My H is very reserved, very cautious, very paranoid, not a sharing type, so it will be interesting to see his reaction not only to the poly, but to the men's group.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 9:44 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]
On another note, after speaking with a very nice woman who answered the S-Anon hotline I called a couple of weeks ago and also reading the Stephanie Carnes book Mending a Shattered Heart, I am going to attend my first S-Anon meeting. I realize that regardless of what my H does about his recovery, I need to face the psychological wreckage this created for me.
Going tonite. Curious about what I can expect. I know this is a step in the right direction.
Also...another interesting piece of advice I was given by someone who has been like an older sister to me. She's 51, never been married, tall, blonde, independent, very intelligent and successful in anything she ever set her sights on career-wise, gorgeous (and has her share of psychological issues from her childhood, whether she realizes it or not - don't we all?!), told me this: We all have our flaws, and as long as we are taking those flaws seriously and working to make sure we don't hurt ourselves or our loved ones with those flaws, that's a good thing. She said it's SO HARD to find quality people out there, so the devil you know - in some cases - is better than the devil you don't know. Anyway, gave me a lot to think about.
[This message edited by womaninflux at 8:32 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]
It's a big step outside our comfort zones. I have finally come to realize that all my efforts to keep the peace in thus M was my attempt to control the situation. looks like i drove it right off the ledge! We have to finally admit that we are powerless to control H and circumstances arising due to their distorted thinking. It's tough. I have figured it out but, trying to back out of that ditch has been the fight of my life. I spun my wheels for way too long before I finally caved in and called the tow truck. Even tho I didn't find a good "fit" with the group I tried out, I still came away with a lot if good information and insight.
I'm determined to get back up on the road & headed in the right direction. I just don't know yet if I will have a passenger by the time I get to my ultimate destination. I'm powerless to control that.
Good luck tonight & let us know how it goes.
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 8:38 AM, July 21st (Sunday)]
I have finally come to realize that all my efforts to keep the peace in thus M was my attempt to control the situation.
add..."in order to prevent further trauma to myself and to provide a stable home for my children."
Think about it. I know we aren't blameless in marriage dysfunction, but holy hell, our actions don't take place in anything remotely resembling a "normal" marriage!
The picture is clearing up a liitle for me with this attachment disorder theory. Holy Cow! I know this has probably been mentioned in previous threads but, it didn't catch my attention until I read the most recent posts on here this weekend. Hello? Who else hangs out on SI ALL FREAKING WEEKEND????
I'm very intrigued by this & he totally fits the profile. The part that overwhelms me is..how do you possibly reverse a trend of the last 60 years? I read something that said that these people are as frustrated as anyone that they so desperately need that connection but, simply don't know how to give the kind of love & affection that is needed to form that bond in a relationship.
While it makes perfect sense, it is disappointing to say the least that I may never see my real needs realized if I stay in this marriage which is a paralyzing thought. Or, I could just continue to adjust my needs according to whatever he is able to give me which hasn't really worked out that great so far. I just still wish I could wake up & this would all be over. Just this morning we were chatting while we got dressed, held hands in church, had a pleasant lunch & then BAM! I wanted to talk to him about something that was mentioned in the sermon about purity. He closed his eyes & completely shut down & I triggered HARD! We had been talking more than we had in literally years before vacation with our kids 2 weeks ago but, decided to give it a rest & enjoy a little down time but, now, if I bring up any of what we are dealing with, I can almost hear the deflector shields go up. I mean, I get the shame & guilt and all but, we aren't getting back to dealing with the issues & I think I have reason to be scared. I hope somebody out there can tell me I'm overreacting!
I was interested to hear someone mention there would be a polygraph done when IC starts? Did I understand that correctly because that has not been mentioned to us. Like cds, I wish there was a more of a "standard" for this treatment. Sounds like my H needs the more intense therapy but is only having IC once a month & weekly SA meetings! At this rate it's hard to think we will make any progress in this lifetime.
Can you talk to your H's therapist about screening and diagnostics for ADD, attachment disorder, and any other that may apply (NPD? borderline personality?). From reading here it seems like a step that is often missed is flushing out the comorbidities.
Is the CSAT covered by your insurance or otherwise affordable? Our understanding is that ideally the SA should go weekly during the first 6-12 months of treatment (we were told the entire first year). I would suspect at least every other week would be necessary. And IMO it is important that it is a good therapist (I personally interviewed CSATs while H was catatonic on our bed in his depressive state this March) and some did not seem very smart/tough or seemed a little odd themselves (smart I think is important to catch all the BS and distortions). Also I believe he should be plowing through that big Carnes workbook weekly on his own time and also reading other books (I believe H read the shadow and I think it was Porn Nation or something to that effect).
We were also told 2 SA meetings per week min. In fact H's sponsor requires that. H is doing 2 in person meetings for the summer and in the fall he will switch to one in person and one internet/phone-in meeting. He also meets with his sponsor weekly after one of the meetings.
As for shutting down, my H's therapist took a hard line with him that he was not to micromanage my anger and I believe she must have talked with him alot about supportive listening and accepting responsibility. I will say my H was sometimes prone and crying but he didn't shut down thanks I think to the therapy. Also, I found that as H became more sober, stronger, deeper into recovery he could take alot more.
Outta, I am rooting for you over here! Just remember to take care of yourself too. This whole thing is debilitating to say the least . . .
What I have learned here is that BOTH people have to heal, AND the marriage itself has to heal.. THis was the issue with my 1st H-- an alcoholic who got sober... but we never worked on rebuilding the marriage and ended up divorced...
A little background:
-our first CSAT's protocol was to do weekly CSAT IC and weekly SA men's group meetings; during this time SAWH would work on disclosure. This work would take several months. It would happen in the CSAT's office where SAWH would disclose all of his sexual activity in his entire life. I would have a support person and SAWH's CSAT would be there; the content of the disclosure would be carefully reviewed so that it wouldn't be too much information (too many details, etc.) After disclosure, I would take some time to write an impact letter, detailing the impact SAWH's disclosure had on me. SAWH would then write a clarification/empathy letter. At then end of all of this, SAWH would take a polygraph to ensure that he was telling the truth about everything. I remember when I first spoke to the CSAT about this, it felt like balm for my soul - it was what I was looking for to help me start to heal. SAWH went to 5 sessions and denied, minimized, said that every man masturbates and looks at porn, he wasn't an addict, sex addiction doesn't exist, etc. Then my SAWH stopped going to the CSAT.
I got my ducks in a row and filed for D. My SAWH is asking for another chance and I am giving it to him because he is showing actions that he hasn't before. He is respecting my boundaries so far. We are doing in-house separation and I do nothing for him: no cooking, cleaning, laundry. He is not allowed in my bedroom (our former master bedroom). I am remaining detached and I don't give a rat's ass about him. I worked my ass off in IC to process through my grief and anger to be ready to D him and I am not going back to our M unless I see significant change in him. I am actually looking for a reason to D him - I am almost daring him to slip up and do something stupid so I can kick his ass out. It has been 1.5 years of gaslighting, denying, minimizing and blameshifting and I am sick of it.
Anyhoo, I got off on a little tangent there. This post was supposed to be about poly at the beginning of treatment.
Since I filed for D, SAWH has found a new CSAT. This CSAT is in an SA group that has been treating SAs for 30 years. I met with him a couple of weeks ago and I really like him. He said that they individualize treatment to each client. My H has only admitted to porn. We also have sexual anorexia for nearly our entire 20 year relationship. My H takes an average of $1000/mo out in cash from our bank account and I have no idea where this money goes. I have not been able to find any evidence of strip clubs or prostitutes. For these reasons, my SAWH's CSAT feels that we don't know the whole story and he thinks that a poly at the beginning of treatment is the most appropriate course of action so that we know what we are dealing with so that we will know how to best treat him. I never thought this was possible and I am overjoyed that this is where we are starting. I have always felt that it is possible that I have never caught my SAWH since he is very smart, cunning, and very guarded with his every action. He also has his all-important image to protect.
The next step would be group therapy and IC with a CSAT is used only for sexual abuse/trauma or as needed.
So, we will see where this takes us.
One step at a time....
Hope that helps.
Also, outta, have you thought about inpatient treatment for your SAWH? I know when my SAWH took the online test (the SARA) on sexhelp.com, it told him that most people with his profile (he admitted to porn only) were able to recover with outpatient treatment. Did your H take any sort of test that said whether he would benefit from inpatient vs. outpatent treatment?