Comp, I paraphrased the therapist. We had been skirting the edges of the darkness and she told me that three things could happen. The memories might stay buried forever. I could work with a qualified therapist (not necessarily her) and bring them back slowly and deal with them in controlled pieces. Or that some other trauma in my life would trigger the door to open and I could be overwhelmed. Based on the bits that I do remember she was afraid that would be very dangerous.
I honestly have just never been willing to open the door. I did have a serious breakdown when Pigfucker cheated and then psychologically tortured me and that was bad. And that was without the other trauma!!!
And honestly if that and this haven't opened the door I think its probably pretty firmly locked.
One way to keep the emails, but to get rid of the account is to make yourself a new gmail account and forward the emails to that new account. You can choose whether you want to tell him you did it or not. You COULD just delete them from the SENT file, or if you want to let him know that you've retained them for corroboration should the question of did it happen or not ever arises in therapy.
It's not "stooping", it's self-protecting.
On the "evidence" topic...The first go round with this years ago I deleted everything. I kept going back and re-reading everything and it was really impacting MY healing - so I deleted it.
This go around - I changed the passwords so it's all still there. But, I printed everything and gave to my therapist. She said I can read anytime I want but that she would be there to help me through it and to not go onto the sites by myself. So I have the evidence and the backup therapy to go along with reading all the crap this time around.
On the "children" topic...SK (HUGS)))) sending prayers your way.
I have been thinking lately alot about my addict's behaviors (oh joy - I have two - alcoholic, NPD, abusive, possible SA ex-husband and current SA husband) and my own coping mechanisms because of it and how will affect my children long term. Just last night I was talking about the "mother" issues that my H and ex (now that I think about it) have and what my codependency and boundary issues may be doing to my sweet boys. My H's mother probably was doing the very best she could at the time but wasn't nurturing at all so he's been searching for it...and it just really makes you step back and think about all of your actions as a mother doesn't it? We do the very best we can but who knows how it will show up later in our children. I have chosen two addicts as father figures - one their own dad and one their step-dad :(
On my front, its been going well. Really got support from our MC about my need for my H to share/talk more about his addiction/struggles/feelings etc... It helped both of us - it clarified for him what I needed from him and he "got" it in the session with me. He finally got that we needed to talk about the elephant in the room on a regular basis so it no longer was the elephant and it gives me comfort if he's voluntarily talking about it and open with what is in his mind. I guess that's the picture in my head of someone in recovery. So we shall see how this progresses further - he did some really really difficult work with his therapist yesterday on his "mom" issues and shared with me before about his fear and after about how it went - so that was good.
I hope everyone has a peaceful weekend.
Another sex question. A couple of months ago I told SAWH that I wanted to take sex off the table as I didn't want to feel pressured to have sex when I didn't really feel like it. Since then he hasn't pressured me but he let's me know that he wants me whenever I feel ready. The trouble is, since I put sex on hold, my desire has plummeted even lower than it was before. I don't even like kissing or hugging him anymore. I find it hard to look into his eyes. Basically he doesn't turn me on and I am just not attracted to him sexually anymore. After spending 30 years of my life with this man, who I thought was my soul mate, I now feel inhibited and awkward talking about sex with him. I don't even know how to start a conversation about this with him. I don't want to be needlessly cruel and hurt his feelings. I don't know whether these feelings are here to stay, and this is the beginning of the end, or just another phase that will pass in time.
SAWH is working his recovery. I really can't think of anything else he could be doing. I just feel myself withdrawing from him. The wall I've built is higher and thicker than ever. I know he feels the distance between us and he looks so sad. Why, after what he has done over the years, without any thought for my feelings, do I now feel guilty?
MC, you have rec'd wise advice on the evidence. I might consult an attorney to see if it would have any bearing on divorce and settlement. I think keeping evidence etc is a reasonable interim or early recovery measure (maybe beyond that if your lawyer thinks it would matter in the event of D). But, who wants to live like that long-term, kwim. Hoping for a strong and speedy recovery for your partner!
As for me, things continue to be good on the marital front and with H's recovery work. I was wondering, however, if any of you had any readings or books you rec. on intimacy issues or disorder? I feel like the focus has been so much on sobriety for H, and I get why that needs to be the case, but I am looking forward to the latter part of this year when we can hopefully tackle the (nonphysical) intimacy issues. Things are *much* improved on the intimacy front between us but I want to understand the degree to which H had this issue, how it affected our marriage in the past, and how we can further build intimacy going forward. We have met with a marital addiction therapist twice (not a csat, we are out of csats in our area!) and she is great on addiction but I am not sure how much in depth knowledge she has of the intimacy component.
ETA: H never had sexual anorexia -- both in our views and per his diagnostics. But I feel like there was a lot of "distancing" throughout our marriage.
[This message edited by cds22 at 3:21 PM, September 6th (Friday)]
BUT, recently something happened to us that may benefit some of you. I have been after SAWH to cut cable for months to save money. There are just too many more cost-effective ways to get TV (except for live sports, but that is starting to change now too). He never would even consider it.
Then suddenly a couple of months ago he changed his tune. Wanted to do it right away. And I wanted to wait, because both my parents and his mom was coming to visit, and they would have trouble babysitting the kids if we changed our setup. But he was persistent, doing all sorts of research about all kinds of different options and such. I was like, whatever, we could just cut it after the visitors leave and no one would miss it but you.
THEN, when we had Disclosure Part Two, he admitted he had a lot of trouble self-regulating with TV. When sexy commercials or whatever came on, and I wasn't there, he would linger longer than he should, etc. Light bulb moment. I immediately asked if this was why he wanted to cut cable. And it turns out subconsciously he did.
Anyway, once the cable was off and we were only limited to network shows (which wouldn't start yet until later this fall) and rentals, we watched a lot less TV. And in its place, things that helped us reconnect. We sat and talked about things in depth we normally didn't. We'd give each other massages, or plan date nights, or eat something for dinner after the kids went to bed that required more effort than a microwave or a bowl of cereal. We even played a board game a couple of times.
Anyway, the IMHO the best way to pave the way for intimacy is change the way you spend your time, and especially your time together. Because clearly the old ways didn't work well, even if they weren't "enabling" other things. So you change it and see what happens. And then maybe intimacy will follow. Maybe you will *want* to touch your spouse again. Anything could happen.
What's for sure is if you don't try, nothing will happen.
Hath - Yes, just spending time alone is wonderful! Our friends all thing we are a little nutty for spending a night out once a month, but it really is nice to have 24 hours with no kids. We have a babysitter that takes our kids a couple of times a month, too. So getting 4-5 hours alone, that way. There is no way to work on intimacy, without carving out time for each other.
We had a good talk yesterday. He's read Out of the Shadows and it has changed everything. Gone is the blameshifting and marital rewriting. The truth is being spoken. He said he needs to read the book again to cement things in his mind and make sure he didn't miss anything. This turn of event is significant to me. He's done the steps before so he truly believes in them. Having him acknowledge his SA and having kind of a map for the SA steps, he KNOWS this an work for him.
We talked about counselors and meetings. He's actually looking for SA meetings here! He actually knows that the closest meetings are on Maui and Oahu! He looked!!! Unfortunately, we aren't on those islands. He is really disappointed that there are no meetings here. We talked about the phone meetings and he is less enthusiastic, but thinks he might try just to talk to someone else who would understand. For him in AA that was HUGE. Just the firm knowledge that he isn't a freak. That he isn't a pervert. That there is someone else who has done what he did.
We also spoke of trying to find a counselor. He actually LOOKED!!! He is entertaining the idea of counseling being beneficial.
These may seem like small steps but for him they aren't. We talked about the CL stuff and the EA/PA with Ex-Whore. He listened when I expressed my pain. He acknowledged it and validated it. There was no blameshifting. He took responsibility for his part in the problems in our M. I took responsibility for mine.
I guess the bottom line of this long winded post is that I feel like there is hope. I woke up feeling 20 lbs lighter. I know we've got a long way to go, but at least I think he is finally willing to start walking.
He said that he wants to try to work out our M and he wants us to work on recovery together. He said that even if we get to the other side and decide we can't be together, at least we will have worked recovery together and we'll know we tried everything. That may sound pessimistic, but he'd been saying that it would just be so much easier to start over in recovery (without me) than it would be to work on our problems and recovery.
I'm not rushing to move back home and start rug sweeping again. I'm waiting to see more action. But I really feel like he has changed. That he wants out of the SA hell and back into life.
We shall see. I'm going to be coming here a lot since we're going to have to pretty much steer our own ship through this. I don't know what I would do without SI or you all.
He wanted to discuss what to do next as MC has not went well when he demanded to move back in our house. I met with him and his IC as my L suggested I only meet with him in front of a third party. His IC was basically used by him to validate his positions. He wants to keep our finances separate while he gets his own place. (We have been S for 6 mo since DD with him at His Mom's). He proposed to pay large bills, two mortgages, home eq loan and 70% of kid's tuition. He refused to put it in writing. He proposed taking a break from MC and when we get to a place to resume MC and it starts to seem to be going well, then we can discuss merging back our finances.
I got some points across in front of his IC which were to get him to agree for our kids to see a therapist, I exposed his porn and that he was masturbating compulsively for years. I also exposed many financial betrayals he has left out of his story.
His IC suggested we get a formal separation agreement and that he consider approval kid's therapy. I left this meeting and signed D papers.
That was 10 days ago. The next night he came to our home and stayed over on the sofa because he had an early flight and we live near the airport. We ended up talking all night. He said he felt I didn't love him and failed to meet his needs. I said I would have met his needs if he had communicated them because I do love him. He said he was afraid to live alone and he is uncomfortable with himself. Now that he signed his lease he looks forward to trying to be alone. He says he realizes he must limit his time with his mother as living with her has not been good for him.
We ended up having sex but he did not climax. (I cant explain this. I do still love him and i am attracted to him. I need to love me more than I love him ). We ended the conversation by him agreeing to take care of the kids and us being kinder to one another and putting the kids first. I am hopeful that we will start to be nicer. I am even fantasizing that he may start to come to terms with his issues.
The next day I felt guilty about D and told lawyer to hold papers. My IC says I filed D with my gut telling me. She recommends waiting 2 weeks and see if my head is talking rather than my gut. She also suggested talking with him and coming to a mutual agreement to D as he may react better.
He came back from his trip and has moved into his place and took his name off our cable/Internet and moved it to his own. He switched it to my name without telling me. I got a welcome letter in the mail. I told kids we are taking this opportunity of new service contract to down size our channels. DD 16, asked if he is shutting off electric. I said Dad would not do this. The next day our electricity goes out DD sends Dad a nasty text. I call him and he denies. He calls the electric co and on a blue sky day our power did indeed go out do to power outage. I called later to confirm this.
This incident now has him nastier and meaner than ever. He accused me of turning DD against him. I told him DD and DS both have negative feelings they need to vent that is why they need therapy.
He has not paid any of the bills he said he would pay. We are at 1 month now where I have rec'd nothing. The deadline for tuition and mortgages is this week. In the meantime, he has bought new furniture for his place but has not had time to see kids therapist to sign approval. I am so ready to D him from my head now. But I would still like to sit down with him and do it in a respectful, agreeable manner. I sent him email and asked that we talk and put our kid's first. He and I are talking tonight at a public place.
My plan is to explain that we are in a state that does not recognize legal separation. In order for each of us to to protect ourselves, we should file for D. He will be able to tax deduct support payments and I will be able to pay my bills with a formal support agreement in place. I would also suggest that if we decide to go into MC we can put D on hold.
I feel D is the safest choice for me as his moods are all over the place. I never know if I am going to get WH who says he loves me or WH who threatens me. Regardless, there has not been one kind act. He says he loves me but he so consumed with anger at me forcing him out of the house that he has not shown me anything. I just want to start D and move on with my life.
I think you are wise to try to move forward with D. Especially if he isn't keeping up his end of the verbal agreement. D will protect you and your kids. It would be nice if he could realize this and not take it as a personal attack. But you just never know with an unrepentant SA.
Anyway, I'm too new in this to give much advice, but I wanted to let you know you've been heard and it sounds to me like you are doing what you need to do to take care of and protect you and your kids.
Sending you strength and peace.
What's for sure is if you don't try, nothing will happen.
All this tells me that I really have a lot of work to do on "me". I just seem to be stuck in an endless circle. Somehow I have to break free and get moving forward again.
SAWH is the type of person that "if you give him an inch he'll take a mile", in the sense that if I cuddle up to him on the couch or in bed and give him a kiss he would take that as a green light for sex and be all over me. I guess the conflict avoidant part of me doesn't want to get in that situation where I then have to push him off and tell him to stop.
What you are describing with your SAWH is a typical characteristic of SAs. Part of recovery is him learning to express love and affection without being sexual and part of recovery for you is learning to express the need for love and affection without sex. For my SAWH, in the beginning he felt rejected if I stopped and he would blow up. This caused me to avoid affection because I didn't want the blow up. It is a bad cycle that seems to be pretty common for SAs. So, it isn't just you that need to do some work, he does too!
Since then he has been very ashamed, remorseful, and obviously sad. He has said he is willing to do anything to fix this, he wants this marriage to work and that he loves me and misses me. He came to apologize to my parents for all the pain he has caused everyone, he has never blamed me, always says that I've been so perfect to him and he doesn't know why he has done what he has done. That he is done with this lifestyle and wants to start fresh and be a real husband to me. He doesn't want to be this way anymore.
I have only seen him twice since dday, it's hard to look at him, I can't look into his eyes :(
I have considered working on this with him, although not 100% sure, I have so many doubts and I'm scared. I love him and care for him, and the fact that he has admitted to his faults and wants help makes me want to help him. I feel like I can't just walk away from him without trying.
I have thought of coming back home but not without seeing action from him, I want him to show me he means what he says, to at least look for a therapist, read some books, show some interest in getting better rather than just saying he wants to get better. Am I expecting too much? Is it too soon to move back in? I miss my home, and I know things wont be the same, but I worry so much about what he is doing there alone. He has said that he has stopped all acting out but I'm scared to believe him. Did you ever leave or kick him out after DDay, and how long did it take you to move back together to work on things? what should I expect if I move back, how to handle the awkwardness and hard times? Thank you so much for the advice.