N&N, my H took a test that our MC gave him which is what turned the light bulb on in his head that his behavior was not normal or acceptable. We both went separate & then together one a week for about a month. H didn't like this counselor (it was a female) so he changed to a male who, he likes but, is only seeing him monthly. I met with his counselor two weeks ago but, nothing was mentioned about formal disclosure, poly, impact letters. All of this would bring me a great deal of relief, I think. Given this information, it doesn't feel like we are on the right track and I need to do a little counselor shopping!
As always, thanks a million! I'll keep you posted.
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 6:08 AM, July 22nd (Monday)]
Outta - I will tell you that my H used to put the shields up and do the "big sigh" when I would bring up addiction talk...or ask questions, etc...he did that for years...turns out he was a sober "dry drunk" for years and then slipped. He is different this time around...he volunteers information and brings it up himself to me to talk about it. He said he has finally accepted it, is working the program, and maybe that's the difference?
However, we are one miserable month into this "new" program and of course he could still be lying through his teeth to me and the counselor because he's had so much therapy he knows how he "should" answer. I'm not bitter...am I??? ha.
I'm sure every SA is different in how they react to this, and I don't want to scare anybody with my nightmare story. But I think they need to show patience and empathy and answer anything you need answering without the shields.
The best part (other than seeing how positive and supportive people are) - unintentionally - was that SA(f?)WH was curious about my experience and says he is going to try to go to an SA meeting today. Obviously, I can't control what he does...so we shall see.
That's what scares me to death. Everything I read says that he is a sober drunk. Absolutely terrifying to me!!! He is being diligent about going to SA but, I think he's just going thru the motions. That part of his passive-agressive nature that he has been told what he should do but, doesn't necessarily want to so, therefore minimal effort to get anything out of it. I don't know how to get him to understand he has got to stop wading & dive deeper. I really don't even know if that is possible for him. Ugh! Any thoughts?
I have told him in no uncertain terms if I find out about a slip it could be the death blow.
WIF, I'm glad you had a good experience with your meeting. I think what killed it for me with the group I started with was there really wasn't even any talk about the SA because there was no one there that was still married. It seemed to me like a co-dependency workshop.
All in all, we had a good, fairly stable weekend up until yesterday. Just have gotten to where I don't feel pounding in my ears & knots in my chest 24/7. I am at a loss as to how to communicate to my H what my concerns are about the state he is in. I feel like he is just happy with himself for not acting out & not really reaping any deeper benefits of the SA program.
Some days the road just seems to get a little longer & uncertain huh?
UMBL - My SAWH had a similar story except his was the drugs. He wasn't really in recovery and had stopped going to meetings and therapy. Then switched addictions to this crap. Only lately does he seem to be slowly getting really into recovery. 2 years into recovery for the SA and 4 years into drug recovery. This is way too long of a process!
Outta - Once a month is not enough therapy! Maybe in a couple of years that will be fine but not in the beginning of recovery. Once a week is ideal. The polygraph isn't done by every CSAT. Neither is the impact letter or emotional restitution letter. My SAWHs current CSAT does the emotional restitution letter for all patients and a poly for some patients. However, all CSATs do formal disclosure. You should be able to talk to him about that. And yes, my SAWH shut down whenever I tried to talk to him for years. Now he will talk, sometimes he gets defensive and I point it out, then he corrects himself. It isn't a linear process and takes a lot of work. I hear you about it being a long, uncertain road.
WIF - Glad you went to a meeting! It took me a long time to find my group and I wish I had found them sooner.
I can't recall who said something about trying to keep the peace being controlling. There are those that take that approach in meetings, I personally think that is BS. Which is why I go to my COSA group and not others. There seems to be a lot of self-blame in many support meetings for spouses of SAs. This does seem to be evolving but I hear it from certain COSAs and it drives me nuts! Expecting your spouse to not sleep with others is not unhealthy. That is NORMAL!
I feel like he is just happy with himself for not acting out & not really reaping any deeper benefits of the SA program.
Yep. BTDT. AM there doing that. After 4 years. And it seems the only time he does anything proactive is when I have a meltdown. Same pattern we have followed for 34 years. He wants a pat on the back for doing stuff around the house, being an active participant in household activities, interacting with the kids, being a kind and considerate husband, Holy Logic Batman! Isn't that called marriage?
And yes, I am happy that he hasn't (technically) acted out in a while, that his slips were of the minor type, even if they were scarey and painful to me, and caused set backs in my healing.
Sex addiction is one of the hardest addictions to beat. One cannot test for it in the blood, and all but the most extreme cases don't give up sex altogether, one must learn how to live with a normalize version of what had become a drug of choice. So, for we survivors, how do we figure out whether our partners are in true recovery or white-knuckling? It's a heartbreakingly difficult task and one that causes many sleepless nights for me. Especially for people like me whose "spidey sense" the idea that we thought we KNEW our spouses was so distorted. We no longer trust our own instincts.
And sex addicts by nature are clever, cunning and manipulative. And that is second nature to them. I think they can even fool themselves, believing that the addiction is gone, it's past them, they have beat it, it is no longer an issue with them. They trust themselves implicitly, which is why we cannot.
My SAfWH is finally increasing his program work, he says. I am not insisting he do it, I don't have that right and I don't have control over what he does and doesn't do. I do know that I don't feel intimately connected with him and never can unless I feel he is more strongly connected to his program. BEING SOBER IS NOT BEING RECOVERED. I fear that stress, aging, the onset of dementia, one thing I may say that is interpreted just the wrong way, a financial turn in the stock market, etc., just one thing could send him back to the strippers or onto the Porn site favorites. I KNOW that any of those could send him back to his abusive comments.
It's easy to go to meetings and read the readings, admit your shortfalls, chat with the guys, etc. It's easy to look at the cool stuff on the web and avoid the pervert stuff. Heck, it's even easy to be nice to a spouse that really doesn't deserve to be yelled at and sneered at. What is hard is to do the REAL work. Look at the things that got you there, and figure out the hows, whys and what fors, so it REALLY doesn't happen again. And if they aren't doing that, if they are FORGETTING to follow through on the things they promised to do in recovery, then their knuckles are as white as snow and we spouses need to watch out below, because they are likely to fall. And we are usually their net.
My SAfWH is finally increasing his program work, he says. I am not insisting he do it, I don't have that right and I don't have control over what he does and doesn't do. I do know that I don't feel intimately connected with him and never can unless I feel he is more strongly connected to his program.
I don't know Scaredy. The treatment center my SAWH went to said that I had the right to expect him to be in recovery. That it is healthy for me to say that I will not be in this relationship unless he is in active recovery. They even went through things I should be watching for: Regular attendance at meetings, talking openly about recovery, taking better care of himself, regularly attending therapy, working closely with a sponsor, and being open and non-defensive with me. I do not monitor him but I do watch for these things. We talked last week about my concerns about his lack of enthusiasm for recovery, lately. We then talked about that again in MC today and he acknowledged he needed to be doing more. Then the floodgates kind of opened and he owned a lot of things.
I guess my point is that the treatment center's view is that it is codependent not to have boundaries about an addict being in recovery. I tend to agree with that view. It seems many 12 step groups don't have that view. Fortunately, my CSAT has had this view all along. It used to irk my SAWH, then he went to treatment and they strongly hold this view and told him so. Things are changing and I greatly credit the intensive treatment center he went to.
He called me when he got to his hotel tonight and talked about everything that happened in his day, everything BUT the CSAT appointment! I didn't ask because I don't want to be codependent, but he KNOWS that I am curious how it went. He has been good about scheduling appointments and telling me right away when he has scheduled an appointment, so I am perplexed by this.
I wish he would just tell me if he is not going to work on himself so that I can just get out of this M already! It is cruel to go through the motions and leave me in limbo.
OTOH, I am impatient and anxious; he is slow to process stuff. It could be that he is still trying to process his appointment and isn't ready to talk about it yet. I have found since I have been in IC that if I step back and give him some space, he will come to me and things go much better. He may not come to me on my immediate timeline, but he does come to me. So I will wait and see.
What think ye, Ladies? Am I right to expect a report the day of his CSAT meeting (since he knows I am anxious to get things going) or am I being unreasonable?
I knew it all along, but it's still a slap in your face when it happens to you: Men like this are pigs. They really, really are. They just think they are "above the law."
[This message edited by womaninflux at 7:42 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
I'm not letting myself be vulnerable to a man who could relapse.
That sounds like setting a good boundary, as long as he isn't really in recovery!
scaredy - As I reread what you wrote it makes me kind of sad. (((hugs))) That sounds very lonely.
Off to start my day! Hope everyone has a blessed day.
[This message edited by Missymomma at 8:56 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]
I think you will know by his actions in the next few months whether recovery is occurring. In your shoes, where the H has waffled so much and resisted treatment, I might want to put a time limit on it
Good point, cds!
I think I need a vacation from thinking.
Follow up: this morning when we spoke, he said he wanted to tell me tonight about his CSAT appt. The kids and I ended up being out late and so he and I only had a brief convo tonight (he is out of town), so I didn't end up finding out. But I am okay with it. I'm sure he will tell me when the time is right. I am just glad that he mentioned it and I don't feel like he is trying to hide it from me or avoid talking about it; it is just hard to get time to discuss it because he is gone.
cds - thanks for the input. We actually do have a deadline, because I postponed our court date, I didn't cancel it altogether. I told my L I wanted to postpone it by a month and it ended up being 2 months because of my SAWH's L's vacation and then my L's vacation. My SAWH has said that he would move out before then if I want him to, so that made me feel better.
It's funny, I was initially so obsessed with timing the D for when the kids were in school so that they would have friends and a stable schedule in their life, so I wasn't going to file until October. I ended up filing in June and it looks like things may not get going until October anyway, so it ended up working out. Strange how things happen like that. I am working on not being so anxious, not trying to control everything, being ok with what IS and feeling comfortable that I will be able to deal with whatever comes my way.
I think I also need to chill a little - we are in a strange situation because I am basically on pins and needles with every CSAT appt: will this be the time when he refuses to go anymore? Not so much because I care what he does, but I would like to have some CERTAINTY and DIRECTION in my life - am I D'ing him or not? I am thinking that he will balk at the poly or the group therapy and then I can walk. I know I can walk at anytime, but I want to stick around for a little longer to see where he is going to go with this. As I told my IC, I am kind of watching him bemusedly, thinking: "so you didn't think you were an addict a couple of months ago, stopped going to a CSAT, continued to minimze, blameshift, gaslight, and NOW all of a sudden you're going to be a model addict in recovery?! I don't think so, but I'm curious to see how this all goes down."
I think I am doing ok with in house separation, but only because he is respecting my boundaries. He has been very good about that.
i do feel that his actions have improved quite a bit, but I am waiting to see how the whole CSAT thing plays out. It's been one month (which feels like an eternity when you are in the middle of a D!) and all that has happened is he has had his initial appt, I had an appt with his CSAT, then he had his 2nd CSAT appt. So, he hasn't even started therapy yet, bc in the first appt, SAWH just downloaded his history to the CSAT and this 2nd appt the CSAT explained what the treatment plan would entail. I am interested how SAWH will be once therapy has actually started. UGH - it just feels like forever!
Sorry for such a long post, but I just wanted to say in closing that I appreciated sK's comment about needing a break from thinking. I was actually thinking along similar lines tonight when the kids and I went to an outdoor concert and then walked along the water. We met another family and the kids had a blast playing with them; my DD said (with a beaming, content smile on her face), "this is the best day ever, mom." I was having so much fun and it was so relaxed and calm and the kids were entertained with no drama, that when I got home I realized that I hadn't thought about SA at all during that time and it was such a nice break, even if only for a few hours.
Hopefully some of you get to "get away" from this for a little bit too!
I had my first IC yesterday - not alot of "therapy" as it was more a long data dump of my life. but it sure felt good to unload all of it to someone IRL!
Kat and N&N - I'm in total agreement - there is so much thinking and evaluating and analyzing that goes on with all of this it becomes overwhelming! Last night, I started reading a book recommended by my IC called The Gifts of Imperfection - I got through the first two chapters and it was SOOO good and enlightening and showed me how much I needed to work on myself regardless of what H does. but WHEW!!! I think I need to read that during the day and not at night because I could not turn my brain off last night contemplating the definitions of love and belonging and compassion. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it. If any of you have read it already - what did you think?
N&N-sounds like you have a very good plan. I can't imagine after going through all the pain of deciding to divorce being put in this eleventh hour position by a spouse. But I do understand wanting to do what you need to do to get certainty and closure and feel good about the way things played out.
As for me, things are going really well. In some ways, I can't believe how my "new" marriage is shaping up . . . it seems too good to be true to my crisis-weary brain! I feel like I have my H back. The caring, loving, thoughtful man I married not the increasingly distracted, dismissive, and withdrawn person he has been in recent years. One thing that has worked well for us - - though I would caution that I think the H has to at a point in recovery where it is less all-consuming - - is what I call the Courting Mandate. H asked me a few weeks ago the odds of me leaving him. I told him I was trying but I didn't know and, critically, that I expected to be courted. Won back. Wooed! Of course in addition to him remaining in active recovery/therapy/program etc. Anyway, the H has responded with a vengeance of twilight canoe and dinner dates, outdoor symphonies with wine and cheese, flowers, thoughtful and supportive messages and texts to me, holding hands all the time. What can I say, it is working! When the time is right in your spouse's recovery process, I highly recommend the Courting Mandate. :)
I hope everyone is doing OK and I also hope it doesn't sound obnoxious to share good news when we all have so many ups and downs here. I just need to share and I have no one else I can tell!