[This message edited by sadone29 at 11:57 AM, June 16th (Sunday)]
(((Hugs))) to you and try to do something kind for yourself. Even if that means leaving for a little bit to spend time with a friend or just get out. Whatever will make YOU feel a little better. I have taken a ton of baths over the last two years, done a lot of Zumba and had many girls nights out. All the recovery work is hard and I need a little fun to balance it.
Not to take a position on this, but I wanted to remind you that you always have choices here. In my mind, it is irrelevant what these Hs want after the sh*tstorm they have put us through! If your husband's physical proximity is painful and unproductive then is separation a possibility? This could either be an "I don't know what I want but I need space" separation or a therapeutic separation with the goal of reunification, your call.
Can the two of you financially swing a separation with your husband paying child support, etc? Is there a way to minimize the disruption to the children? No need to answer here unless you want, I just wanted to think this through with you.
I personally had days where I longed to have the H the F out of my house, to put it bluntly. In my case, my son is a very anxious and somewhat vulnerable child and old enough to really feel the transition. So, I personally decided that my H leaving would occur when/if I had decided on divorce. But that does not mean separation is not a viable alternative for many!
And in between separation and living together there is ALOT that can be done with "vacations," "work trips," and "visiting family" to buy you some space in small chunks.
Missymomma, sorry it was such an up and down time. And also sorry to hear about the friend. I can completely see where you are coming from. It would be such an emotional drag to continue that friendship full-force . . . and in your shoes it would give me moral twinges to be even a spectator to that.
[This message edited by cds22 at 2:52 PM, June 16th (Sunday)]
However, more is trickling out about my FIL, who is in most respects a very nice man and has been a loving grandparent. And is 77 and I don't know if porn reading, or SA behavior if it is that, inevitably continues into old age?? Reading between the lines, it seems likely my FIL had these same problems. First, I heard about the porn magazines around the house when H was growing up. Now H has disclosed memories of his father and uncle comparing porn movies and also his father sort of unconsciously following a very attractive college student around when H was young and he and his dad were on walking on a college campus together. H is not clear but he thinks his dad may have used one of those heavy breathing phone sex 900 numbers a few times when H was growing up (in the seventies/eighties).
We are now heading on a three week vacation where we will be spending alot of time with FIL. I am incredibly anxious my kids, especially my five year old son, may stumble across a porn magazine - -if FIL still has and reads them, neither H nor I have seen them in the present day though we respect their private spaces in a way little kids will not. I also no longer feel comfortable with FIL spending time alone with the kids -- which is a terrible loss for my kids as they have a great relationship.
Has anyone had to handle something like this? I have no idea what to say but at the end of the day I am ready to sit him down and tell him we are raising our kids strictly porn-free.
[This message edited by cds22 at 2:48 PM, June 16th (Sunday)]
cds, I have no idea what to do about your in-laws! I hope someone came give you some good advice about it.
Bless your heart! (That's what we southerners say when we empathize!) As if you don't have enough to deal with now this?
I can't even imagine having to have that talk with FIL. H's dad passed away two weeks after d-day. In all honesty, I think my SAWH's behavior was for the most part a result of his mother. She always made me uncomfortable with the casual way she talked about sex however, always in the context of marriage, uh hum!
Even 3 weeks after her H died & BIL was moving her into a nursing facility (she's 85) she told us that she is a "cougar on the prowl". While some thought that was cute, I think I threw up in my mouth!
I just wanted to tell you I'm thinking about you and I know that you will come up with the perfect words for your talk with FIL.
Good luck & let us know how it goes. I may need some pointers if I ever get the nerve to have that discussion with cougar!
Our stories are similar in that our SAWHs acted out for years in multiple ways and by doing things that seemed out of character. We were in the dark, shocked and disgusted by the person we found out we had been living with.
I had my first IC visit since she mentioned SA. I asked her about saying that and told her how much that shocked me; that I wondered about her reasons for saying it. She said that it was quite obvious from things I had said about him and that it had escalated until his admission of the ONSs and As as he was leaving.
But it was other things we discussed yesterday, very dark and disturbing things about him, that have left me in a terrible state of mind. I hope no one else here has to come to these realizations about someone you thought loved you and had your best interests and those of your children in mind.
I think I can speak for everyone on this thread that yes, indeed we have all come to these realizations and we are heartbroken. Now, we pull together & help each other & figure out just what we have to do to find peace & happiness amid these awful revelations.
Just hold on because it can be the ride from hell but, you have lots of supporters here. We all have been there, done that & have the fucking T-shirt!
----->TBH displaying her t-shirt wardrobe.......
Outta, your cougar-in-law sounds very disturbed and disturbing! I wonder how much genetics there is to this too sometimes.
Bighurt, we went to a CSAT and she had H take an enormous inventory (hundreds of questions) and also a clinical interview to diagnose the SA. That said, it sounds like it probably is SA. :( FWIW, as best I can tell, most SA spouses do love their partner and they fool themselves that their behavior isn't harming their partner. My H has described to me how he used to say to himself that porn viewing and going to a strip bar occasionally would help him to be a non-demanding, helpful husband and patient father, etc. It is warped thinking, no doubt. And it doesn't change the bottom-line -- your H may love you and have your best interests at heart but may not be able to act in keeping with your/his/your family's best interests. I think that is the heart of the recovery process. Is your H in recovery or treatment?
Unfortunately, what he is still doing to me, telling ppl about me, rewriting the M history, and the effects of all that are huge in my life right now - like I was saying about IC yesterday. I'm reminded in some very strange ways of things we are discussing that he has done that have made her worry about ME and MY mind and well-being.
I have a thread in S/D about another thing he is doing to me. You see, he is a VERY controlling person IC also believes is "in the back of the book" or second tier (tier2?) of personality disorders. According to what I have read and learned, a controlling person CANNOT love; does not know what love is; likely does not have any idea of any of that. Add to that the SA and his anger and road rage and you have a very dangerous person. He only knows that he wants something right NOW and will do whatever he needs to so he can have it.
Yesterday's IC visit scared the bejesus out of me. Right now, I feel even more alone and scared than I ever have. Now IC knows just how much work we need to do on me and it's much bigger than that. I need to be very aware of everything to be safe. I'm scared but also thankful to have this out there where she knows.
EYA: My t-shirt wardrobe is x-rated, both for the SA and the dark secrets now coming out. I'm sure no one under 18 should know about it. I wish I didn't.
[This message edited by thebighurt at 1:22 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]
You are well rid of him! I know D is painful but based on what you describe you would have come to that decision eventually. It must be hard though that he sort of truncated your process by rushing out the door.
If support is limited for spouses that appears to be nowhere more so than in the case of former spouses like you. I don't get it sometimes -- it seems like you either stay and are labeled co-dependent and go to a co-dep.support group or you leave and show you are definitively not co-dependent and then you lose the support and support group!
The big thing to remind yourself is that he is mostly someone else's problem now. I would work with your IC to minimize contact (if no kids, perhaps you can go no contact) and maybe make a list of all of the other things you can do to make you feel safer.
I wanted to go to IC and he "forbid" me to do it. (Intimidated me about it and made it clear my life would be worse if I did.) I did get him to go to MC once - ONCE and he said he would NEVER do that again - that all he wanted to do was blame HIM for everything. I felt he was very impartial and fair, but that wasn't his take. I have since been told by a MC that it's very difficult to get men to stay with it because that is their usual reaction. She said she would explain to the women that it would seem to go the overboard favoring the man at first, just to get the men to come back. That almost no man stays with it from the beginning without that. Xpos also refused to seek IC for himself, as well as telling me not to go. I wish I had - I would have left many years before once I understood what he was actually doing.
Our children are all grown with families of their own and so far, there has been no crossover in any events. Whether he has not been invited or just does not participate, I do not know. I'm just grateful to never have to deal with him personally. This crap with going through the Ls is aggravating enough.
I didn't mean the groups literally forbid former partners -- and BigHurt you should def. check them out. Just that the support resources I have seen seem to be somewhat less targeted to former partners and more targeted at present partners of SAs.
In general, I do think it is important to figure out what you drew you to an addict, if applicable. In my particular case, when I met and fell in love with my H he was not an addict. He was not atypically selfish, he was warm and communicative, he was relatively well balanced. It was several years later that he began to work excessively and many years, over a decade, later before his sometimes porn viewing escalated into a full blown SA. No other addictions ever in our r'ship. I was proactive with my H, in therapy, etc. explaining my needs and the lack of intimacy. And everyone kept on telling me I needed to be more independent and that men in my H's profession all work a lot and are preoccupied, etc. Even with all of that, I seriously considered separation a few years ago and insisted on MC. That process fell by the wayside in the past 1.5 years due to a series of losses. I can't speak for anyone else obviously but among my many vices, I do not see myself as seeking out addicts or people who are not healthy or good to me.
My SAWH has shown no signs of withdraw, is that normal? He wasn't into porn, or chatting with strangers, prostitutes etc., he was into affairs and physical contact that he associated with love. I have full transparency, and I've seen nothing that would indicate he's doing any kind of acting out. But I guess I'm not sure what his acting out would be (other than contacting one of the OW). He has set his own boundaries, and does not cross them.
He has never once (that he's admitted or shown)pined for the OW. or the relationship. He's totally focused on me, our marriage and getting better. But it's weird to me, how does he just stop? He's in 2-IC, MC and SAA weekly. But only for a few months now. Can things change that quickly or am I about to get blindsided with a bat?
Sadone - How are you doing today? Hope the separation will give you some peace.
On the codependency issue, I recognize that it is possible to have co-dependent traits, and not be full blow co-dependent. Just like it is possible to have narcissistic traits and not be a full blown NPD. Where it is helpful in recognizing our own traits is to strengthen and empower us! It is not the label that really matters. What matters is what changes we make in our lives. The how do I fit with in addict? I know I fit because I played mother. Why SAWH was a workaholic when we married but I didn't really recognize that as a problem. He was a high achiever. He was not "acting out" the majority of our relationship. For him "acting in" was his preferred choice. So, as far as looking for the signs of sex addiction, there were none. I took less than I deserved from him for years, even though I complained loudly and dragged him to therapy over and over. I no longer accept less. That is recovery from codependency, for me.
Both groups do not encourage discussion of the sexaholic or details, so I can't imagine how whether or not you were with an active addict could affect the support you received. It all has to do with your own reactions/thoughts/behaviors that were once survival mechanisms but have turned into harmful bad habits over time. The programs teach detaching with love, self-care, boundaries, accountability, honesty, letting go of borrowed guilt/shame, self-love, being present in the moment, etc. These are great concepts regardless of whether one chooses a codependency label or not.
@Chefj9, welcome, sorry you're here. Mine is a slow mover in recovery, so unfortunately, I have no experience to offer, but I do extend a big hug to you. Hopefully, those with similar experiences will follow behind me on this post and offer some better insight.
ETA: I had zero difficulty seeing how my own issues led to my current relationship once my IC and S-Anon/COSA helped me look into my FOO issues. I had an abusive alcoholic step-father, a sex offender biological father that was absent for 24yrs while he maxed out a jail sentence, a monster malignant narcissistic mother, a gambling addict grandmother, alcoholic/post-war-PTSD grandfather, many FOO relationships riddled with infidelity. So, I accept the label of codependent gladly if it helps me identify a problem so that I can begin finding solutions for it. There is no shame in the label. I had no more part in causing my codependency than I had in causing my partner's sexaholism. I didn't cause either, but one of them I can change, and that's my own disease. I can fully understand a situation where someone marries a sex addict that wasn't when they married and doesn't feel the label applies to them. However, for those of us that the label does apply, I find no shame in it. I survived my childhood. The defenses/reactions/thought processes/behaviors learned through those early relationships kept me alive and productive in life. They also left me with a strong underlying feeling that I was not worthy of real love, so I settled with trying to make myself indispensable. The programs have helped me realize how worthy I really am, and I'm much better for attending.
[This message edited by windowsnotwalls at 3:10 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]