I told myself this 2nd PA is clearly an indication that he doesnt really love me, isn't serious about R, and that I need to leave.
Then he hits me with the kicker this second D-Day: he thinks he may be a sex addict. He figures this makes sense because of how he has always used sex for self esteem rather than intimacy, has slept with LOTS of women in his youth, and lost his virginity at 14 by being raped by his baby sitter (something repressed that was uncovered a few months ago). He also admitted to me for the first time that he looks at porn. . .ALOT. He says he is willing to go to Sex addicts anonymous meetings, and get help. He wants a completely transparent marriage where he doesnt want to lie anymore.
So now instead of being enraged at him like I was on D-Day 1, thinking he was just an a**hole, I just feel sorry for him. I just see this shell of a broken man with so many psychological issues. He has PTSD to boot. I hear him talk and think he is genuine about wanting to get better, but realistically I think he may just be like some alcoholic or drug addicts out there who will relapse again whenever life gets tough. . .and I will be the one who bears the brunt of the destruction.
This is hard for me because I am in love with him. . .who he really is at his core. And I know in my heart he loves me more than anything. We want all the same things out of life and our marriage, and when things are going well, everything about us feels so right. But I am trying to be realistic here and wonder if things are ever going to really change. . .and if I can handle going through the horrible process it will no doubt take to get through it. It has already been such a long and hard road this last 6 months since D-day 1.
I just dont know what to do. I am tired. I feel like I don't have anything left to give. . .but I love him.. .
This is hard for me because I am in love with him. . .who he really is at his core. And I know in my heart he loves me more than anything. We want all the same things out of life and our marriage, and when things are going well, everything about us feels so right.
So, who is he at his core? And what actions has he shown you that prove it?
What is it that you both want out of your marriage?
SA can really only be diagnosed by a CSAT. If this is what you think you're dealing with, you need professional help. There's soooooo much more to it than just having multiple affairs. He might have some of the characteristics but he could also have sociopathic characteristics. It he could just be a cake eater.
SA can really only be diagnosed by a CSAT. If this is what you think you're dealing with, you need professional help. There's soooooo much more to it than just having multiple affairs. He might have some of the characteristics but he could also have sociopathic characteristics. Or he could just be a cake eater.
In any case, you've got a long and painful road ahead of you friend. I'm so sorry and sending big hugs your way.
If SA is what you're dealing with, there's help. But I think what you really need to evaluate is if your husband is really the person you feel like he is, and what evidence you have that supports this. He clearly didn't get with the program after the first time he was busted, so why do you think he will this time?
Remember...it's not words that count. It's actions.
Eta: hit enter too quickly!
But there have been times of tremendous connection and communication where he has been very vulnerable with me and made progress to connect and be closer. I really think those things were real. . .but because his actions are not in line with his words i get that little voice that tells me he is faking all of it. But I really don't want to believe he is such a bad person. We have been together 8 1/2 years and he didn't used to act this way.
Sometimes I wonder: He is begging me for one last chance. Is there any harm in giving it to him? Especially when I know I still love him? But then I fear that I won't be strong enough to leave if things get bad again. I have already said i would leave a few times and i am still here.
We are separated right now and I told him I would not be speaking to him or seeing him for a couple weeks while I get my head together. I need to not have my thoughts interrupted by his constant pleas for me to take him back and all the things he says he will do to change. I hope I can gain some clarity in this time.
If he truly thinks he's a SA then he should be more than willing to send a NC immediately, and he should be willing to start seeing a therapist immediately.
This isn't going to be gentle, so brace yourself:
As far as you go, you need to start making some demands for you, and put you first, because he obviously isn't. He had you fully into a false R, and you sound more than willing to hop right back into it with him. This isn't coming from a place of love, but a place of codependency.
You deserve much more. You need to explore why you are willing to accept such little love and respect from the one person in the world that should have your back no matter what.
How in the world did he manage to hide a whole new A for 6 months? However it was you need to put boundaries on it.
As far as my willingness to hop back into R again with him, you are right. I am worried about how I am allowing myself to be treated and if it is coming from a place of codependancy. The truth is I have a very difficult time making final decisions in my life. Always have. I agonize for a LONG time about them before making them because I am afraid of having regrets. We were a beautiful family once and I told myself that I wouldn't give up until I was absolutely sure there was zero chance of us being fixed. I feel like we may be there now, but it is so hard when you have someone pleading with you and making all sorts of promises that you want so badly to believe.
If you ndo decide to try, there are bottom lines that I would insist on IMMEDIATELY.
1) full transparency with money, emails, internet access, phone, etc.
2) GPS tracking to account for his whereabouts
3) he attends 12step meetings 2-3 times a week and finds a Certified Sex Addiction Counselor. Regular IC is useless or worse.
I suggest you get to a 12step support group. It may not fit you perfectly, but it will help you set boundaries, lessen your isolation, and get resource for you. You need a CSAT, too, or at least an IC who specializes in addictions.
Some will tell you to run from a sex addict immediately. I can tell you that recovery is possible. SA is traumatizing to the spouse, often more so than "regular" infidelity.
Practice self care, learn what you can, and put yourself first. His disease is his to deal with.
But I really don't want to believe he is such a bad person. We have been together 8 1/2 years and he didn't used to act this way.
Nobody does. And that's why we look for explanations.
Also...SK is correct. That rate of recidivism is very high for SA and that is something you will likely have to deal with for the rest of your relationship.
I think the best thing you can do right now is put some good healthy boundaries in place, recommend he gets into therapy immediately and then see what he does. Focus on the actions.
He's got to do this for himself. If he really is SA, you can't do the recovery for him, no matter how many demands you put on him.
Breathe. One day at a time. <3
He is begging me for one last chance. Is there any harm in giving it to him? Especially when I know I still love him? But then I fear that I won't be strong enough to leave if things get bad again. I have already said i would leave a few times and i am still here.
I wouldn't give him another blind chance...I would make him earn it every single day.
Yes, you love him. You need to learn how to love yourself more.
He is not a safe partner for you right now, addict or not.
He is still a liar and a cheat.
I would find an IC yesterday for you(have him find one for himself) plant yourself there until you are strong enough to walk away. Then, if you decide to stay, you know it isn't from a sad, desperate place but a place of strength and healing.
I have been in IC this whole time. He went to IC for a while then stopped but we have both done MC for the last 6 months.
I know how to set boundaries, and he will agree to them and continue to try to do everything to win me back. But I just dont know if that will last and even though he does all these things, he may still lie and cheat again.
Part of me still wants to believe him, that this time it will be different...and I know how stupid that sounds. I feel stupid for thinking it. But another part of me thinks I want to try one more time and that if i don't it will be more because of what what the world will think of me if i stay, because staying is not the "correct" response to my situation. Should I leave because i know logic dictates I should and the world tells me I should even though my heart doesn't?
On the other hand, if he really is SA, then moving toward the truth of that is the first and most difficult step.
I know it's probably not what you want to hear, but at the beginning of recovery, the experts do recommend that partners concentrate on their own recovery for a while. This usually also includes celibacy for him for 3+ months. Of course, this doesn't mean that concentrating on yourself negates the need for boundaries. They are important now more than ever in the slow path to living a more authentic life for him. And one that you can maybe one day trust.
Being with an addict isn't easy. Take things easy on yourself. There's no need to make a decision today. I find that taking my time and seeing how things go has worked well for me. I know for others, leaving has been the best. From what you're saying though, it seems you aren't sure. Hopefully, things will become clearer if he is able to get in stable recovery.
With SA, of those people who do everything possible to overcome their addiction (CSAT, 12 steps, SA groups, Trauma Recovery group, etc.), the recovery rate is still only 33%. Is your H "do everything possible" kinda guy? You likely have no idea, especially since he may just be an active addict right now.
You need to worry about YOU. There are CSATs who specialize in treating spouses/partners of SA's, there are COSA and S-Anon groups for partners. Get busy taking care of you. You are not required to decide if you want to R with him or not in any time frame. That is totally up to you when you're ready to decide it. For now, worry about you. You did not make him how he is, and you cannot un-make him into something different. That is his work.
edited for typos (I always have to!)
He figures this makes sense because of how he has always used sex for self esteem rather than intimacy, has slept with LOTS of women in his youth, and lost his virginity at 14 by being raped by his baby sitter (something repressed that was uncovered a few months ago). He also admitted to me for the first time that he looks at porn. . .ALOT. He says he is willing to go to Sex addicts anonymous meetings, and get help. He wants a completely transparent marriage where he doesnt want to lie anymore.
This does not sound like a sex addict to me, more just like a large percentage of the male population, or just a regular guy even. (Except the rape part, if that's even true)
If he really is a SA, then you only know the very very tip of the iceburg. SA usually are serial cheaters, porn addicts (multiples times a day), have used sex workers (escorts), etc
To me, he is just your normal selfish cheat, pulling this out as a last minute hail mary to keep you strung along.
You don't even live together. You're young. Your infant wouldn't know any different. Your best course of action is to end things now. Who knows maybe in the future you could get back together if he changes
But cheating on you since basically the beginning of R with another OW? SMH
This is hard for me because I am in love with him. . .who he really is at his core.
His core is not some imaginary place. It's the sum of his actions. His actions suck.
Do yourself a favor. Turn away from him emotionally. Break it off. Start thinking of just you and what YOU want out of your life. Fuck him and his SA, little girl friends and candy ass lies. Frankly, fuck love for now anyway. Get angry honey before he does it again. Demand he is better or that he hits the road.
If it were me:
Monday morning go to and attorney. Find out exactly what your rights are in a divorce.
Find out where the money is. Start stashing a little away for yourself.
Get a calendar out and fill it up with the things you want to do. Get busy building a full life for yourself away from him with people that matter.
After a few weeks look back and see where he is. Decide then if you really want the go down the long road that is R. If he is capable.
If so, demand:
IC for him with weekly reports to you.
All passwords and limits access to anything you want from him.
Honesty all the time.
At this point I would ask for a post nup. Get what you can in it and listen you attorney.
You get into IC yourself and the down the road MC.
Take care and watch you back. You are the only one who will.
There are many levels of dysfunction that are far more common then full blown SA....believe me, I know. I have journeyed some of this path as I thought I was a SA at one point due to porn use. I had some symptoms of a SA, but was not tested into being one. And if he tests into being a SA, there are varying levels of SA. Its far to complicated and complex to self-diagnose.
But don't want this thread to become about SA labeling.
I came to the realization, through therapy, that regardless of labels....my choices were destroying intimacy and hurting my marriage. My wife is finding the parts of her that did the same things....and is doing things to mature past those choices.
What your husband is doing is choosing poorly at the expense of your M.
I am so very sorry for this.
My journey has humbled me to the point where I can't honestly say what I would do if my wife chooses to have another affair....or anything remotely in-line with her previous path to adultery.
I am far more confident in my ability to control myself....but fully understand I need boundaries and accountability in my healing too. I know for me, even though not labeled a SA, porn is destructive. Sure, its destructive to my M and family....but it is also self-destructive.
I have identified some of my whys. This has led me to grow in areas that I needed to, and to reach for healthy things when I recognize those feelings that traditionally led me to destructive choices.
It is apparent your husband has not done the work required to reach such a spot.
Sounds like his recent A started about the same time you thought R started. It is highly likely he didn't even enter the fog. I suspect that if my wife and I separated on DD she was soo hooked on her A that her energy put into the OM would have exploded...at least for a short while. She would have felt free and ran wild. I wonder if your husband did this?
Wife and I talked about separation but never did it.
My wife and I started true R about 12 months after my first DD. Affair went underground then , second DD occurred, the fog rolled in heavy for 3-4 months...all of this delayed true R from being offered and accepted......then the real work started.
Regardless of 12 step programs (of which I am a fan of, Every Mans Battle helped me) he needs to find some healthy male friends to fellowship with.
They can be found on SI, but I strongly urge him to find and lean on real life healthy men to get him out of the rut he is stuck in.
A rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out of it.
Your husband needs to find internal courage and strength to come to the realization that his choices are destructive in nature. period. He then needs to reach out to find the courage and strength to pull up an out of that rut...and identify the "road conditions" that tempt him to dive back down into that rut. KWIM?
All of that is on him.
I totally get you love him and are trying to figure what all this means......I get it because I did it too. You simply can not do this. I could not do it for my wife. You could have codependent issues like I had (have) and your husband is using those against you.....by self-diagnosing himself a SA he could be manipulating you into old, repeatable cycles that were a part of your M pre-A. Not sure....projecting a lot here.....I am so sorry for this new DD. I can only imagine how dreadful it feels. The fact that you are processing as you are tells me you have grown since the first DD.
Find a good IC and really explore yourself.
The shock of finding parts of myself for the first time is only trumped by the discovery that my wife was having unprotected sex with another man. Find and heal the parts of yourself that need tending to.
post often....we have your back.
I hope you have some RL relationship friendly female friends to help YOU through this trial.
I will say a specific prayer for you both now. This is tough but doable.
Keep the faith.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:17 PM, May 2nd (Friday)]
But in all honesty, if I had found out when my kids were really young, I don't think I would have stayed (SA or no SA). Even now I'm unsure of the future, but I'm trying to work through it carefully for them. Some days I wonder if I'm doing things the right way. It very much sucks.
I would listen to Wert's advice. I would only add that he see a CSAT if he really thinks SA could be a problem.
I'm sorry you're going through so much. You deserve better.
[This message edited by sadone29 at 3:34 PM, May 2nd (Friday)]
That speaks more to sociopathic and narcissistic tendencies than anything else.
What the heck does the MC have to say about all this???
Hugs hon. You've gotten a ton of great advice. I hope you're able to take some of it.
I was in therapy for 3 weeks for anxiety issues that I could not explain. My wife attending and "supporting" me each session....all the while she was kneck deep in her affair. I had no clue, she offered no clue....no real support. I didn't detect or suspect an affair AT ALL.
Then DD hit.
We switched from anxiety therapy to infidelity MC therapy with the same therapist.
Did the whole "confess the truth, use your sister as an accountablity partner, close friends knew about it, etc." thing.
8 weeks later DD #2 happened....full on adultery at this point.
I never thought my wife was capable of such deep betrayal...she betrayed everyone she knew and loved.
Wife is not a SA. She had wayward thinking.
She never broke the cycle....she intentionally and deliberately stayed in affair land at all cost.
I suspect BrokenwingBirds husband has done a similar thing here......since unfounded at this point, the SA discussion is a distraction at best at this point.
Until he breaks the cycles that were probably, like my wifes, put into play early in his life....he will repeat them.
First he has to decide he wants to break them.
Then he needs to figure out for himself how he is going to break them.
And part of THAT process will be for HIM to seek out the ways to do that.
1. Testing for SA is an option.
2. IC therapy is a must.
3. Lots of reading material.
4. Spiritual growth could be an option too.
He needs to find as many ways as he can to fix what needs fixing in him.
PLUS....he needs to step up and help BrokenwingBird heal from the wrongs he has done to her.
We hurt people through two methods...wounding and wronging.
Wounding happens in the healthiest marriages....we are all broken and will unintentionally hurt the ones we vowed to love, cherish and protect. Many are wounded upon the first DD. Don't throw rocks.....I conceed that their is an "unintentional" component of a persons first affair and DD. That moment is really short lived and this idea is highly debateable.
After that very short moment in time....the actions are absolutely intentional. The blinders have been removed. He was caught, he saw the pain he caused, and yet he chose to continue. At this point he is intenionally hurting his wife...he is choosing to wrong her. He needs to find out why this was acceptable to him....and he needs to start that journey in earnest long before R is really offered to him.
Its like the difference between being backed into at a standing room only concert and having your foot stepped on......and that same person finding you in the parking lot after the concert and kicking you in the shins.
The pain is tremendous....to realize your spouse wronged you. Made more so when you see that it is an action that is repeatable by them.
God help us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:19 PM, May 2nd (Friday)]