Topic: Questions for BSes of SA WSes
Member # 41311
| Posted: 10:51 PM, December 13th (Friday)|
I am a sex addict - sobriety date - 01/31/13.
I am an alcoholic - sobriety date - 02/18/13.
Had some questions for BSes of SA WSes.
1. How do you view your SA WS? Is your WS defined by their addictions - now, forever, for how long? When you get angry with them for random stuff (like not emptying the dishwasher) - do you think/say - you f- SA? Do you resent them for their addictions?
2. How has your view on sex changed now that you are living with a SA? What was once sacred and special was not only ruined by infidelity - but further more by the addiction - was this a problem and how did you overcome that?
3. You lost respect of your WS when they cheated and lied to you. You lost more respect that they were weak and became addicts. Why did you still stay with them? How did you feel safe again? Were you fearful that if you separate/divorce from your SA WS, they would break sobriety and then that would endanger your kids and family?
4. Counselors believe that sex addicts can come out from under the weight of the shame and addictions. They believe that it is matter of support - friends, family, community, etc. Basically keep busy, keep communicating i.e. keep from being lonely. However, this requires quite a bit of support from you the BS - how did you provide that support?
5. I am just now learning to let go of the fear to address the A. However, i need to address the AA and SA. As with the A, i try to not think about the 'bad' stuff - i rather forget it and move on - just focus on correcting my issues and not skirt any issues that could potentially get me into trouble. I finally understand that because the BS lives through it daily - i cannot afford to do that. So, what about the SA did your WS discuss with you that helped you move forward?
6. Can you forgive your BS for their infidelity and SA? I understand that the love you had for your WS before the A/SA was pure and that is lost. But did you find a way to love your WS again? If so, what did it take? If not, why did you stay?
Thank you in advance for your time.
Posts: 43 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Hell
Member # 40139
| Posted: 11:32 PM, December 13th (Friday)|
My WH would probably be defined as an SA. He is an alcoholic - hasn't had a drink since 1995. He has been a compulsive liar since I have known him. I don't know if I can answer your questions one by one, but I can give a general answer.
No, I do not define my H by his addictions - but in a very real sense, we are all what we do. I don't like to refer to him as 'WH'. He's my H. He has broken a virtually life-long addiction to pornography that led him into a broad range of sexual experiences within our marriage. I put a few of them into my bio, but really I can't even put it all down. I'd have to leave him if I saw it all written down on paper.
I forgive him because he is telling me the truth now. It was actually the only thing that could finally break his addictions. The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. He had spun so many lies, even he couldn't keep track of them all. I'm not a psychologist, but it was pretty plain to me that he was hiding. Hiding himself and hiding from himself. He had to face the truth of who he was, say it out loud to me.
For me, the infidelity damage is about the lies. It is a betrayal unlike any other. You can't even understand it unless you have experienced it, I don't think. Because we know something is 'off', and we want so badly to love and believe and support and trust, and so we make up excuses and we tell ourselves we are imagining things... and we betray ourselves and what we know. We doubt our own selves, we don't believe ourselves, we dismiss our own selves, and we put our trust in our WH. And they are the ones lying.
I don't think anyone can have an addiction without also being a liar. They go together. My H is my H as long as he doesn't lie to me again. I have a zero tolerance policy now. Don't tell me you paid the phone bill, if you didn't pay the phone bill.
I gave my H all the 'support' in the world. Addicts find enablers. My H did not need support or community - he needed to stop lying and start telling the truth.
I never stopped loving my H. I have to decide at this point whether I am going to love myself more than I love him.
When I am angry at him, I don't know if I think 'you f-SA'. I don't resent him for his addictions. I resent if he doesn't take responsibility for his actions, if he blame-shifts, gas-lights, projects or otherwise undermines or invalidates my own life and feelings. I resent his parents for being such horrible parents and such defective people. If I am angry at my H, I am aware of what he has done to me. But I am ALWAYS aware of it. If I'm happy, I'm thinking, "How could you do this to me/us?" If I'm angry, I'm thinking, "How could you do this to me/us?" It's not any different, really.
Don't be afraid of your spouses anger. Underneath anger is hurt. My H is afraid of me being angry - he thinks it means I am leaving or breaking. Anger is just me fighting for me. It is me choosing me. If I don't allow myself to be angry at my H, I will never stop being an enabler to him. That's not going to help either of us.
My H has more of my respect now than he ever has. I love him more honestly. I believe him now when he tells me he loves me. He believes me, because he knows what the truth looks and feels like. It was AWFUL at first, I was very traumatized, I am on anti-depressants. But, honestly, I would not want to go back to the old marriage, as fairy-tale as I thought it was. I believe we will make it through.
Best of luck to you.
Me: Believer; 40s
Him: Liar; 40s
Married 19 years
1 year EA/2 month PA/incidental infidelities I can't begin to process
OC born 2014
In successful R, but still in just plain pain.
Posts: 808 | Registered: Jul 2013
Member # 36684
| Posted: 6:38 AM, December 14th (Saturday)|
You lost more respect that they were weak and became addicts.
We didn't become addicts, we are addicts. This was not a choice. I didn't wake up one day and go "hmmm I think I want to be an addict. I want to sell my soul for my next high."
We have no control over our addiction. We are not responsible for our disease.
Do you feel that it's your fault you are an addict?
Are you in recovery?
Got a sponsor? working the steps?
FWS me 36 (recovering addict)
BS him 39 AFrayedKnot
Together 7 years
"Your secrets keep you sick"
Posts: 1134 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: 221B
Member # 36622
| Posted: 2:20 PM, December 14th (Saturday)|
I am an addict- Clean Date 8/3/03 (No Drugs, alcohol, sex outside a relationship)
I am also in R with an Addict.
Addiction is addiction is addiction. It doesnt matter if it is alcohol, sex, drugs, gambling, eating, shopping, sports, porn, working, ect, its all the same. Addiction is a disease or mental disorder comprised of OCD and selfcenteredness. It is not something you catch. It is something you have, and always have, and always will. Not a weakness of character. Abstinence and will power DO NOT WORK.
Because I have an understanding of what addiction truly is I may not have a typical BS perspective.
1. Is your WS defined by their addictions - now, forever, for how long? To an extent yes, forever. I believe I will forever be vigilant in observing Obsessive, compulsive, and self seeking bahavior. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing. Most addicts can rationalize and justify anything, especially with themselves. Broevil and I are each others eyes and ears. We call each other out on behaviors that seem off and hint to each other to call our sponsors or go to a meeting. After initial defensiveness we are usually grateful for it being pointed out.
Do you resent them for their addictions? No, I resent that addiction exists but I do not resent her for being one, it was not her choice.
2. What was once sacred and special was not only ruined by infidelity - but further more by the addiction - was this a problem and how did you overcome that? This is an interesting one. We both have pretty shady sexual pasts. PreA I wanted to believe that there was something special between us sexually. Don't get me wrong we work well together, best ever but not necessarily special. Sex now is a lot more real, it is mainly physical with no intimate pretenses. And that is OK with us. We find our specialness and intimacy through communication, finishing each others sentences, our off sense of humor, snuggling, cuddling, holding hands, hugs and kisses. I think equating sex and intimacy is part of the addict problem.
(I'll come back to 3)
4. Be careful what counselors believe!!! Most of them are full of shit. The only people who can truly understand an addict is another addict. Get your ass to meetings.
This requires quite a bit of support from you the BS - how did you provide that support? The best support I can provide is to help with scheduling to allow us to make as many meetings as possible. To realize how important they are and to not be jealous of time spent recovering. I also try to acknowledge effort and positive changes. A pat on the back goes a long way.
5. i try to not think about the 'bad' stuff - i rather forget it and move on - just focus on correcting my issues and not skirt any issues that could potentially get me into trouble. This is a typical recovery view. I wrote this in R'ing with an Addict in ICR:
There are two very significant differences between Reconciliation we hear about here and Recovery from addiction.
The First One is the search for WHYs.
In Reconciliation we are told that the search for whys is one of the most important thing that WS have to do. Whether those whys are FOO issues, attention seeking, abuse, low self esteem, or whatever, Reconciliation requires that they be found and addressed.
Addiction Recovery says the why is the addiction itself. There is not a need to search for deeper whys. It is what it is. The addiction has always been there and always will be. The focus is put on changing the behaviors by building boundries and borders on the negative behaviors and replacing them with positive ones.
I tend to agree with the Recovery angle on this one. It is a live your way into a better way of thinking, instead of a think your way into a better way of living solution. Just my two cents.
As a BS i need to see progress to help me build trust. The communication of the search for whys helps me to believe that progress is being made. Communication about boundaries and borders and how they are defended also help build that trust
6. Can you forgive your BS for their infidelity and SA? I understand that the love you had for your WS before the A/SA was pure and that is lost. But did you find a way to love your WS again? If so, what did it take? Yes and Yes. The love never wavered even when I hated her. The forgiveness came from an understanding of addiction realizing it had nothing to do with me. I may have been tortured for a few years by her addiction and A, but she has been tortured by it her entire life. I came to a point of pity first, then compassion, then empathy, then finally forgiveness. For a deeper understanding your BS may want to attend Al-anon or S-anon.
Back to 3. You lost more respect that they were weak and became addicts. I covered this in the beginning. Someone doesn't become an addict and it has nothing to do with weakness or strength.
**Why did you still stay with them? How did you feel safe again?**
I am grateful that Broevil is an addict. I think that it makes R easier. She does not need to self navigate this stuff through books, IC, SI.(Don't get me wrong those are all great sources of info and support).
Being an Addict she has a sraight forward, time tested, proven path to recovery, it is called The 12 Steps
[This message edited by Chicho at 2:26 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"
Posts: 2647 | Registered: Aug 2012
Member # 19636
| Posted: 7:11 PM, December 14th (Saturday)|
1. I view H as a person, a man, my husband. Look, everyone has something they deal with. Or that they don't deal with. He could've been NPD, or a jerk, or SA. Hell, at least there is a recovery program for SA, there isn't one for jerks- lol
I only resent when he goes through spells where he is going through the motions of working his program, but not **really** doing the hard work. It is a lot of money, time and support that needs to go into the recovery effort, and when I am holding up my end and he is slacking off, I do resent it. It has happened a few times over the course of recovery, seems no path is ever a perfectly straight line.
2. Sex ....hmmm.. tough topic. H is still recovering, not through all 12 steps, we've done the 90 day abstinance, I dunno. It is an area I feel cheated out of sometimes, most times. We are working toward a healthy view of this for him/us. I kinda feel like the whole recovery process can relegate the spouse's needs to the bottom of the list while the SA is treated. We have a CSAT MC, and do talk and work on this stuff, but I do find it frustrating sometimes.
That said, it isn't the end all be all of our M or our life. About a year after DDay H was diagnosed with a severe illness that required surgery and pretty serious treatment for almost a year. Sex was off the table then, and it didn't occur to me to even think to resent that. The tough part with the recovery process for SA is H can control to some degree, how much progress he makes and how quickly. With his illness he could not. So when he slacks off in his efforts, I do resent it.
Short answer. You overcome it by working a program with a CSAT, meetings for the SA, and a CSAT MC and real effort by both partners.
3. My H had been an SA since adolesence. I did not discover it, nor did he really, till we were working with ICs to get to the why of the A. He did not choose this. He developed this incredibly poor coping mechanism in late childhood/early adolesence in response to an incredibly abusive, neglectful, sick FOO environment. Point is, I did not lose respect for my H because of SA. The lying, cheating and A, yup. That does not magically come back. It slowly grows with consitent behavior that is worthy of respect. I don't believe that is different for SA's vs non SA WS.
If we were to have D'd, I would want supervised visitation if my H was not sober and working a program.
4. The whole BS has to be supportive is iportant, however, to me it was much more important that I attend to my own healing first. I had an IC who specialized in treating partners of SA's, she is a CSAT in a practice that works closely with Carnes. I put on my own oxygen mask first. I told my H on DDay that I wasn't interested in being the best supporting actress in the trauma series of fixing him. He needed to do that whether we stayed together or not. I would evaluate over time if I wanted to re-commit to the M, it is better than it was then, but we still have plenty of ways to go before I will say I'm all in.
The support I provide? He'd probably be able to provide a better answer than me. I think providing a safe place to be honest, to be emotionally intimate is probably the key.
SA is primarily an emotional intimacy disorder, not a sexual disorder. It takes a lot of work to get to the root cause and work through that with IC and a separate group therapy with the CSAT, and homework. That is the real work. But he's doing it (most of the time ). It is slowwwww.
5. Work the program. Get in a trauma recovery group with your CSAT. Do your work. I don't need my H to tell me things about SA to help me "move forward". We move forward by doing the actions requred to move us forward. Talk is cheap. Actions. Be sober. Work your steps. See your CSAT. Maybe tell her when you've learned something suprising, helpful, crazy different from what you always believed. But for the most part, show her the transformation. It is slow. You will need endurance and persistance and patience. Do it.
6. Forgiveness is easy, in my mind,
Reconciling is a whole 'nuther matter. We're working on it. I think I might have to hold off on the long term answer here cuz we're not there yet. And I'm not sure even about the question. Turns out on DDay, I found out my H didn't love me - love - the VERB - not the cheap feeling - but the real live healthy thing. What I struggle with isn't whether I love him or not, it is whether or not he will do the work to be healthy enough to actually know how to love ME. None of this came from me not loving him.......
Peace, best wishes to you, and work your butt off.
H's CSAT says only 1 in 3 SA's will complete theiir recovery and get to a healthy place. You need to work like hell to beat those odds.
[This message edited by JustWow at 7:30 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]
BW - Reconciling
edited for typos (I always have to!)
Posts: 3637 | Registered: May 2008 | From: Midwest
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