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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Lionne posted 4/17/2018 08:02 AM

Really great post, Sami! Thanks!

Smjsome1 posted 4/17/2018 09:03 AM

Thank you Sami - I get it!

Iím going to read and read each of your answers. They are so much better than my RL simplistic advice Iíve been getting

sami1234 posted 4/17/2018 09:33 AM

number4 I was just giving more thought to breaking rules. I think that it all boils down to priority. Many of our choices do. The people who made those choices on the flight were making choices out of what they prioritized, their comfort (seats reclining) their needs (gotta get something out of the overhead, or go the the restroom), and they weighed it against the consequences! IF they get caught someone will simply tell them not to do it...no big deal. That's certainly an easy trade for getting what we want. So then, if the consequence is relatively inconsequential, and the reward is sufficient...why not???

Obviously my WH was rewarded for what he did, over and over, he wasn't getting caught, he was getting off ( ) on the porn, and the attention from others, feeling needed, feeling sexually desired..whatever. I barf again. So what were the consequences...virtually NONE...that is until D-day. IF his priorities were "doing the right thing" "establishing a moral code," "finding out what his wife needed." his behavior would have been driven differently. It was all about him...it was "me, me, me." Now arrives Dday and there are BIG TIME consequences. He feels horrible about it. OR does he feel horrible about being caught? Both I suspect. But now, the consequences outweigh the rewards. UNLESS he can keep the behavior hidden and once again he experiences no consequences OR he changes his priorities OR I attempt to fill all of those needs for him and make myself a 24/7 sex/adoration slave. (yeah, like that's happening )

Here's a haunting thought: Better to ask forgiveness than permission. Ouch...there's that forgiveness piece again. Not liking it. Again I say, behavior is driven by priority.

Smjsome1 posted 4/17/2018 09:49 AM

Sami - hereís the thing about ďmaking yourself a 24/7 sex adorationĒ. It wouldnít change anything. Iím glad you donít see that as an option. Iíve heard and read too many stories about that.

The only thing that can work is his priorities change, and he gets to work on fixing himself.

I completely get the rule breaking thing. Some days I think people should suffer for even the tiniest broken rule. I didnít use to be this way, DDAys have made me unforgiving.
I donít know how many times Iíve told him everyone who cheats should be given a tattoo, or a list should be published, etc. I feel like some days there should be huge consequences.
When I was super angry one day I told my daughter I was going to print the APs sext pics and mail them to her neighbors, and my daughter said ďmom you will get in trouble for revenge pornĒ. I ended up I a rant about how she can participate in the destruction of my soul so she should suffer consequences and as far as Iím concerned if she put those pics in my life on emails and phone she doesnít have rights and there is no way I should be punished for forwarding them.

I get it - Iím angry. But I feel I am right, there are no consequences.

sami1234 posted 4/17/2018 11:41 AM

Smjsome1 of course being a sex/adoration slave wouldn't work, I was being facetious lol! But I do admit to playing the pick me game a bit in the beginning before I had all the pieces, I have forgiven myself for that ridiculousness too.

Smjsome1 I know how you feel about the anger but I will tell you this that I believe. There ARE consequences and there WILL BE consequences for that AP's behavior. I'm just afraid that you will not be privy to them. She is unhealthy, unhappy, looking for something and it will not end up well for her if she continues these behaviors...she is messed up! And that is how I feel about all my WH's AP's...I don't want to be them, I don't want their body parts or their minds or any part of their lives...I feel sorry for them...they are unwell, but it did take me a bit to get to that conclusion rather than wanting to scratch their eyes out like a fertile cat!

Now WE have the chance to be healthy, growing individuals and to let this make us stronger than we've been before. Use it to push forward for what we want in our lives and in our relationship. That's the choice we get to make, but I believe first we have to process through what I call the "victim mode." I finally shook that off, thank goodness. That was not a fun place!

ashestophoenix posted 4/17/2018 12:10 PM

I was reading some pieces by one of the founders of SLAA and he really described the compartmentalized desperate dependency he felt on others (well, women, sex objects) and his fear of his wife. My husband does this too me all the time: whipsaws between fear I will leave him ("It will kill me") and fear of connection. That's the intimacy disorder. They truly are a mess. I have come to understand my husband runs away from himself...he fears himself. No wonder he is so desperately looking for his eroticized mommy. But that's his work, not mine.

On forgiveness. SMJ, at 8-9 months out there was NO WAY in the world I would consider forgiveness. It was just too raw. Too shocking, too many more disclosures, too awful. I'm creeping up on four years and I agree with Lionne, detachment is crucial before I could even consider forgiveness. I as well do not forgive my husband for lots of what he did, did not do, how he thought. It's unforgivable. I do accept it, though, and that has taken time and work. I release him from restoration and amends since I don't believe there is any way possible for him to offer them. Really, what could he do? It was too much abuse for too long with too much dishonesty that harmed me so deeply. But you all know what I mean.

I look at reconciliation, for me, as not reconciling, but choosing to be with a new man. I actually think if he was a healthier adult, we could share our mutual grief and understanding and care for each other. Not happening. I just don't think my husband has it in him to be anything but the selfish, little wounded boy he is now that he's not acting out.

SMJ, give yourself the gift of time. Be gentle with yourself. It takes time to process this trauma. I wish it didn't, but it does.

ashestophoenix

Smjsome1 posted 4/17/2018 12:26 PM

Sami - I am glad - I thought thatís what you meant, just had a panic moment for you!
Iím working the victim mode thru with my IC. At this point I feel like the worlds victim! Sort of joking!
And I feel no sorrow for anyone that gets mixed up with a married spouse, the most I can hope for is to not completely hate them.

Ashes - I am too early out for acceptance, etc, but it feels hopeless, hearing that others were able, why and how, gives me encouragement and to examine your ways, your whys, will help me.
In RL the answers are just so dumb. And short. And no one wants to really expose themselves. It makes me wonder if the really have? Which makes my hopelessness all the more real.

The two really successful Rís here that I see itís just, heís such a better person, she says - just like a drunk person killing your child, you would have to accept they didnít mean to and forgive so you can move on. She says her husband didnít mean to hurt her. She can forgive. Yay for her, but a drunk driver kills my kid, Iím not accepting or forgiving.

The other one says ďhe wasnít ready to get help, I waited ten years for him to be readyĒ and ďhe wasnít trying to hurt me or our kids, I see heís better because he now tells me about his relapses instead of me being surprised and just finding outĒ
That isnít a future for me.

Iím just facing I may not be able to accept or get past it.

sami1234 posted 4/17/2018 13:15 PM

Smjsome1 I think it's all a process and it's a journey. But most importantly it is YOUR journey for you to take and arrive where you will. I love what ashestophoenix said about being kind and gentle with yourself. Also, be patient with time. I cannot explain the fury that I used to feel, but now I am able to feel some compassion where once there was only anger so I do know that it is possible for things to change, with time. I still feel very angry, but more and more often I feel some compassion and I think that's how it begins. I also believe that the process is important and it cannot be rushed, hence the urging to be gentle with yourself, as you said you are "too early out."

ashestophoenix wise words. I totally agree. I have seen that wounded little boy standing before me as I screamed "I want a divorce!" I have never seen that little boy before in all the years we had been together, but all the while he had been buried, deep inside. And yes, "eroticized mommy" I totally get that.

Smjsome1 posted 4/17/2018 15:10 PM

Went to IC.

Had a panic attack on way there, my mind was inundated with all of it. She could see that when I got there so we did my session walking outside.

She said that my thinking of acceptance, etc, is TOO SOON, and the hated TIME word came up
She said you need to stop thinking of all that there is, and just work on you and your trauma, find your footing. Acceptance, etc, is a long way away. That I need to express to him what I need for myself, and he needs to respect my requests

Example - I need space, Iím sleeping in the chair, waking up to him on the floor made it so I was thinking of him thinking it would make me feel better if he was close to me, instead of me processing my feelngs. He didnít respect my request to be left alone.
That sounds confusing. But I get what sheís saying, him deciding for me what I need is not helping me. His guilt and shame and desire to fix me is smothering me and not allowing me to work things out for myself

Iím pretty sure you guys said all that, maybe I can stop IC and just have sessions with yíall, save some$

ashestophoenix posted 4/17/2018 18:45 PM

SMJ, I like the sound of your therapist! Honestly, I get the smothering...I'd be ENRAGED to find him sleeping outside the door. I STILL make a wide berth around my husband in the house. I walk the long way around him; I don't walk next o him when out in public; I walk ahead of him. (In the past he did this so he could scan and stare, the jerk). There are days when his mere presence drives me up the wall. Sometimes I leave the room. That's after almost four years.

And, I don't care if he can't stand it. I have a spare room where I read and close the doors and he has to respect that. It's hard on him, of course, since they have to be in control. I just need to get away from my husband's overwhelming neediness. That's what he has to work on...being an adult; managing emotions; being emotionally self sufficient. He's trying, he can be maybe an 8 year old. That's better than being his usual 2 year old self, but a LONG way off from being an adult.

Here's my reality: all those years I worked so hard at connecting and my husband was emotionally unavailable; then physically unavailable by spending so much time away from me; and NOW he wants me to be around him to take care of him. It's enraging, isn't it. And maybe, before I knew about all this awful stuff, I might have welcomed this time together. But not now. At this point, I am the one who doesn't want connection with him. He can't do connection; I can but I don't want it. I used to think that was sad, but now I'm okay with it.

I don't know if that will change and I'm not worked up about it. I'm more worked up about whether or not I have the confidence and energy to connect with any man any more. Now that makes me sad.

But that is my reality and I think it makes complete sense given what I've been through. I am really, truly learning the value of self compassion and self forgiveness.

ashestophoenix

Smjsome1 posted 4/17/2018 18:58 PM

Thank you guys-
Iím exhausted after my rollercoaster day. He was trying to give me a pep talk on ďwe can recoverĒ etc, I just said letís do this - you decided that risking our marriage, throwing me away was worth a piece of ass here and there, a connection with a live porn doll. So letís just start there
You threw me and our marriage away, I donít know if I want to try to repair it. Iím going to work on getting thru the anxiety and finding me again. At this point I donít see any reason for us to stay together. I have horrible mind movies, you took away our one and only and I donít feel special or valued.

And leave me alone

Iím also going to print the divorce paperwork and look it over

number4 posted 4/17/2018 19:01 PM

But they allowed themselves to get really, really sick. If my husband had a melanoma on his leg and knew it, and didn't tell me, and continued to get sun exposure, watch it grow, knew how dangerous it was...etc until, ok now we've got to have amputation and years of treatment...well I'd just think he was an idiot. But yes essentially that's what he's done. Ignored his own problems and nursed them along.

But what it he really didn't know he had melanoma? So that's why he didn't tell you. True story... my brother's ex wife kept telling him for months he had an ugly mole on his back he needed to get checked out, but because it wasn't so visible to him (on his back), he just kept pretending like it didn't exist, until I think she truly gave him an ultimatum. When he finally went to the doctor, yes it was melanoma and he had it removed. But he was in denial - we have a LOT of cancer in our family; in fact, he has been treated for prostate cancer in the last year. So you'd think it would be logical and reasonable to expect he would follow through as soon as she told him the first time around... it was not.

While I did NOT like this brother's wife at all, I think she eventually had enough of him and his grandiose behavior, and found someone else... then asked for a divorce (like I said, I didn't care for her; she was a bigot, so good riddance).

So now I can tie in the melanoma story with forgiveness. Fast forward a year after she leaves him, my world has fallen apart due to finding out about H's sexual acting out and I share this with my brother. I knew he'd had a couple of affairs with his first wife over two decades ago, and was not able to repair the marriage (melanoma wife was his second marriage), so I thought I might get some support from him. However, when we spent time together in February after our two other brothers died, he started hounding me with whether or not I'd been able to forgive my H yet! I wanted to throw up. I was, in fact, in the middle of reading How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To by Janis Spring. She also wrote After the Affair, which I really got a lot out of. So I told my brother that absolutely not, had I not forgiven my H, it was only eight months since DDay 1, and if I ever chose to forgive, it would have to be genuine and not forced because some religious belief system extolled its virtues. I also told him (and this is true) that H has told me he can only hope that someday he will be lucky enough that I might find it in my heart to forgive him, whether that's 25%, 50% or 100%, but he knows it will take time... years. But my brother kept telling me we couldn't begin the hard work of repairing the marriage unless I forgave him first. Needless to say, I now feel dismissed and invisible to this one remaining brother I have left and it adds to all the other hurt I'm experiencing. When I got home from this trip and started to vent to H about it, his exact words were, "What the eff do you care what he thinks? Look at HIS track record (two affairs of his own, a divorce, and second marriage where his wife cheated on him)." And with that, I felt affirmed.

As so many have pointed out (and the book warns against), forgiveness, if done too early for the wrong reasons, will backfire. So start thinking in terms of years, not months. It doesn't mean healing and repairing can't begin in the meantime, but forgiveness has to take its own course. Some of the literature I've read has likened it to the grief process (which it kind of is); when Elizabeth Kubler Ross published her first book on grieving and the stages one goes through, too many people saw it as a linear process, which is not what she intended. She has since clarified that, in our grieving, we move in and out of the various stages, and it's not linear. We can move two stages forward, then find ourselves back at the beginning. Ultimately, yes, over time, we do want to get to a place in our lives where the trauma doesn't consume us, that there is some acceptance, but that will take time whether or not you stay with your partner or not. To think you will speed up the process by leaving your partner is misleading. Separation/divorce might protect you from further trauma if the addict is not in a recovery program, but you will have to face the grief/loss no matter which you choose.

number4 posted 4/17/2018 19:12 PM

Smjsome1 - so, so sorry you had to have your session start out that way. As someone who is a life-long anxiety and panic attack sufferer, I get it. When I am in the middle of severe anxiety or a panic attack, I can't begin to process anything that is external. I can only focus on what's going on internally and physically with my body. Last Thursday I arrived at my therapist's office with anxiety ramping up; I actually took some xanax as I was walking in his office, but of course by the time it kicked in, it was almost time for my session to be over. I felt like it was a wasted session. It became more about, "what can we do to get number4 down from this state?" I just couldn't process anything. We, too, have done some sessions walking outdoors, but here in the midwest, well, Mother Nature has redefined spring, and getting outdoors has been miserable.

number4 posted 4/17/2018 19:38 PM

I forgot to preface one of my earlier posts about acceptance/forgiveness with a reminder. Fifteen months ago, H's best friend died, yes, as the Fatal Attraction bitch was ramping up her affair with H. But this death hit us both hard; for one, I was incredibly hurt that I extended myself more so than usual to H, to support him in his grief (I'd been pretty stand-offish from him for many years), and all he did was build higher walls. That hurt will take years to heal. At least I know he didn't go to her for support (I asked many times about this after discovery), either. He just kept his pain to himself.

But when this friend died, I made up my mind I wanted to find ways to honor his life; he had retired young, before 60 and had begun to do a lot of things he looked forward to in retirement, one of which was to take advantage of travel and doing things that, if you wait too long, you might not have the resources (health, money, etc.) to do. I decided my outlook on life needed a kick start, and that I wasn't going to wait possibly another ten years (at least that's what we thought it would be then; now it will be less since H is committed to finding a better work/life balance) for H to retire to start doing some things - if he wouldn't take all his allotted vacation time, I would start doing things without him. But part of my change was also my change in attitude. I decided there were some things in my life that I'd held onto out of habit - groups I'd been part of, etc. And I made some breaks with stuff that no longer brought me joy, and started to review things that I thought would bring me joy. Then four months into this, I find out about H's sexual acting out.

I don't need to explain to anyone reading this how traumatic it was; there was no getting around the fact that I was going to have to move through the pain, anger, hurt, humiliation, shame, etc. if I wanted to get to the other side. And I wanted to get through to the other side because 1) I'd just lived through losing a dear friend and was acutely aware that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow and 2) H was finally admitting he needed help, and was open to 98% of the recommendations our MC was recommending he engage in.

As he began his recovery, and I saw the engagement, I still felt a strong need to re-evaluate what was and what wasn't important in my life. We had 33 years of marriage, two awesome adult children who were launched and thriving, and I wanted to give him a chance to prove himself to me. He started the process, although very sloppily. He ended up agreeing to a rehab program that gave him an incredible jump start he wouldn't have gotten just doing IC. Many, many days, I am grateful for being given a second chance because I have a very dear friend who is not being given a second chance with her husband. It doesn't mean I don't set boundaries, or ignore/dismiss my anger and pain and humiliation and shame, but when we are able to create new positive memories, I try to allow that to happen, thinking our dear friend would want us to try everything possible to stay together. Again, I'm not doing so at my detriment. I have my bottom lines/deal breakers, but H is doing everything in his power to work a recovery program. Many, many years ago, a wise therapist saw something in me that I couldn't see in myself, was patient, and supported me when I rebelled (yea, I'll admit to showing up a few times drunk to some of our earlier sessions, which I finally admitted to and yes, that meant I was driving drunk, and yes, sometimes these were 10AM appointments - I am NOT proud of any of this). I remember him telling me when I asked how he could work with people who do such horrible things, "number4, I really do believe there is good in everyone, and we just need to look harder if we can't find something good in each person." It was probably one of the most meaningful things he ever told me, and it reassured me that, no matter what I told him (and I had some pretty ugly stuff to confess), he would stick with me.

I know a relationship with a therapist is different than a spouse or partner, because he need not take personally anything I was sharing with him (well, it was sort of disrespectful to show up drunk)... I wasn't cheating on him, but his attitude taught me a lot about understanding how people bring their traumas into adult life and if and when they're ready (many people die never being ready, unfortunately), a lot of good healing work can happen.

ratherbeacatlady posted 4/17/2018 22:10 PM

Smjsome1 - Please forgive me for my long rant/post. I'm farther out than you.† I came to SI tonight because I am so enraged and triggered again by all my STBXWH did having yet another shitty consequence today that hurts my DD.† It still helps to come here to remember I'm not alone in this.† And to all you guys who are trying to stick with your SA, your strength is beyond amazing. I couldn't do it anymore, not after the first round.† I had to give up and lick my own wounds.†
My STBXWH promised the world after DDay 1/LTA1. Then 4 years later came DDay 2/LTA2 and discovery of SA, PA behaviors.† What an asshole.† Please understand I don't mean to offend anyone who has managed to accept their partner's sex addiction.† I truly respect your path and you have SAs that are trying.† I just haven't managed acceptance yet and his total lack of remorse I'm sure is making it harder. I am still struggling with somehow ever achieving the detachment to see his addiction as something he was/is unable or not ready to seek help for.† How much damage that he has caused can he stare in the face and still minimize, blameshift, etc?
He told me recently that he doesn't need therapy and has "learned that transparency and communication keeps things from falling apart".† Of course he learned and mastered this all by himself with his barely legal girlfriend.
Don't get me wrong.† Most days my focus is not on him at all.† But at less than a year from DDay, my torment was constant.† I am so sorry you are in that place Smjsome1.† It will pass I swear.
Here's what little I have to offer you at your stage of this hell- your husband is trampling all over your boundaries.† If you say you need space and he won't give it to you, fuck that.† He just wants comfort and reassurance what he did wasn't that bad.† That screams that he only cares about how he feels, how you feel is not as important. Next time you wake up with him holding onto you when you said you needed space, kick him and hard. I started examining every way my STBWXH trampled my boundaries and found there was always a way to stop that shit and it definitely wasn't telling him to stop.† I had to act to protect myself.† Try it.† It feels fucking fabulous.† If he's really R material, he'll understand.
And don't do anything I suggest or anyone else does if it doesn't feel right to you.† Get lots of advice and then make your own plan.† Whatever feels best to you is right for you.† The whole concept of learning to trust your gut is huge I think.† I couldn't see that for a long time but it seems crystal clear now.† I remember my gut wasn't buying his promises after DDay1.† I was just too scared to trust it.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I can so relate to your questions at your stage in this. I still struggle with those same questions.† And I'm not saying to stay or give up on your SA. I'm just trying to say that you are on the right track and I really believe it will get you where you need to be, with or without him. After 2 years, my days are free from all the addiction insanity and I think it's what was right for me.
Sending you hugs and strength.

Smjsome1 posted 4/18/2018 07:11 AM

I was so tired when I typed that - I meant Iíve decided to start with the idea he was okay with losing me/our marriage, that he decided to toss it all for his selfish ďneedsĒ that Iím going to do divorce research so I know my options. I need to just be prepared to just go, not because he isnít trying, but because heís trying too late.
I donít feel connected or married. I feel like Iím watching and waiting even myself, not just him. Iím tired of hearing ďI always loved youĒ ďI never meant to hurt youĒ. To me thatís BS. Unless I can accept that his sickness/addiction was all encompassing.

Iíve been so fixated on wanting us to be together, heís doing everything he should, what if I canít accept or forgive!? I have to to be with him! I have to do this right, etc, that I was clearly making myself nuts. I just canít do it - I canít see myself accepting of forgiving. My IC says that it takes time. Let it go.

But even this AM Iím thinking about the lies, if he lied and hid he knew he was doing something wrong and hurtful. During the 3 1/2 weeks heíd tell me how much he loved me and didnít want to hurt me anymore and he was still seeing her! He says ďthat was all about me, not you, she made me feel alive, you are my foundation, my safe space, I thought I could have you bothĒ. That just kills me. Tears at me.

I know this is about me, etc, Iím also not getting the addiction part as a reasonable explanation. I just know I was not important enough to protect to my mother she told me it was my fault, my father left me with her and my stepfather, my husband was willing to throw me away, hurt me and tell me it was my fault, and Iím fixated on all my hurts right now.

Iím as confused as can be - I feel like some stirred up my soul and mind with a fork and my IC is right, you guys are right, time, slow down. I just canít not have a plan and a goal.

sami1234 posted 4/18/2018 07:41 AM

Ashestophoenix, I know what you mean. Early in my M I begged him to change, I needed emotional connection, that didn't happen. I could have left him, almost left him but did not. I accepted. Then his work travel began, he left me physically all the time. I was so lonely back then, but accepted, learned to cope. Now this...and I was thinking last night that now I'm the one who may not want the intimacy that he feels he is now ready to give. I agree. if he had come to this place without the A's, wow, life would be great. So am I letting that attitude stand between me and happiness? If I had absolute assurance it would never happen again then sure. But I am guarding a broken heart, who wouldn't?

Smjsome1 your husband is right about one thing, it has all been about him. What he wants, what he needs, what he gets. Now is your turn. The male brain (and I don't want to overstep that because I know there are women who do this too) typically (!!) seems to have an incredible ability to compartmentalize. I believe it is an evolutionary trait that allowed them to face extreme danger to hunt, protect whatever. If you believe in evolution of course. If you believe in God, then why did this happen...that's another dialogue. They can completely shut off one thing from another and so the A's, just simply don't affect the M. They are wired to be able to think like that. Not an excuse at all, because as I have said to my M many times, "you need to evolve!" The irony is, would he have accepted the same behavior from you? Would he have believed it didn't have anything to do with him? Of course not. In my case my H would have been devastated and I honestly don't believe we would be in R at all...so that's where that thought process just breaks down.

Smjsome1 I'm sorry you are hurting but right now your goals may be better served by being daily. I know mine were for a very long time. How do I serve my self, my peace, my sanctity best today, and I think that's a really good start.

number4 that's really interesting about the melanoma. Denial is a dangerous coping skill. My WH has used it for years. I like what your IC said about finding good. I'm sure it's true even in the worst of people. I believe my WH has a good heart, but it's a severely damaged one, not from me but from FOO. It's obvious, and very sad.

ratherbeacatlady I think this is what I fear. That all this wonderful R is going to go the way of another Dday. It makes me keep him at arms length. He has always been so charming, that's the piece that scares me. Charming, successful, driven...gotta watch that.

Yeah, my WH admitted he knew it was "wrong," well, there were so many wrongs I don't know where to begin! He also said he knew it was "getting out of control" by that, I think he meant it was escalating...yeah, I'd say. But he still let it happen so that's where I find the evidence of the SA. The inability to stop himself and escalation. I can see that he tried to stop/change behaviors several times but it just morphed into something else. Don't get it. It doesn't make sense so you can't make sense of it. Our MC said that early on. If that doesn't speak to SA I'm not sure what does.

allusions posted 4/18/2018 16:08 PM

Sometimes I wish that the I Can Relate forum could be further broken down into separate forums. I mean, we have a spouses/partners of sex addicts, but it's one continuous thread. It would be nice to be able to have our own subthreads so that everyone's issues get addressed and nothing is overlooked.

I'm just a bit down. Finding porn-addicted husband's been looking at images of scantily clad, provocatively posed women that one of his friends posts/shares on Facebook. I have a keylogger/image logger on that computer, which makes it difficult for me to say anything about it without revealing how I know. If I reveal my sources he just winds up doing something else. Sometimes I just wish the man would go away. I'm tired. Or I'm tempted to hand him a shovel and tell him if he wants to dig a grave for our marriage it might make it easier and faster. I'm so cynical.

Lionne posted 4/18/2018 21:30 PM

so that everyone's issues get addressed and nothing is overlooked.

It's tough. We are frequently a "just found out" thread, or something like it. And since lies persist for a long time, the JFO part lasts a long time.

Allusions, I'm sorry you don't feel we are addressing your needs. What can we do to help that? There is a thread for non-emotional infidelity if that helps.

My H acted out with porn and slippery slope stuff. Even after being active in recovery, he slipped four times that I know of. One with porn, one with a site that compared (trashy) cheerleaders from two NFL teams and another where he was surfing for female tennis players, nothing other than there basic profiles, no porn there. There's one that disturbed me the most. He had pictures of girls from his high school classes, and a picture of a family friend, also a teenager at the time. None of these pictures were inappropriate, not even suggestive. But, like the tennis players, none were male. I KNOW this was part of his scanning behavior, I don't even think he used most of it to masturbate.
I reacted poorly to each, as you can imagine.
They WERE slips. But he was in denial for a long time.
Why isn't his computer open to you? Is transparency not part of his program? Or is he not working a program?
You are right, he'll find another way to use if you reveal your source. But this isn't a way to live. I'll just bet you want him to go away. I don't blame you.
Holding you in the LIGHT...

ashestophoenix posted 4/19/2018 09:50 AM

number4, I started reading the forgiveness book by Janis Spring and it is excellent. She really explains the difference between forgiveness and acceptance. She also states clearly what the offender must do to evoke forgiveness and I can see where my husband fails. She says they need to initiate conversations about our pain. To really listen. To hold it. To NOT make it just be about them. My husband can't do that. He is still way, way, way too self centered. He has glimmers of ability to see beyond himself, but they are only glimmers.

smj, post discovery for quite a while I really had to think about getting through the day. Often I just had to get through the next hour. I desperately wanted to feel better and to know the future and that wasn't going to happen and that was overwhelming. When I focused on just getting through the next damn hour, I could make it work. Then I focused on doing one small nice thing for myself every day. That might mean just petting my dog. Some days I couldn't even do that. But over time, it started to work. I had to reward myself for baby steps. I mean, really celebrate baby steps. And it started to work.

What I have learned about trauma, is the longer it went on, especially our kind of gaslighting trauma, the deeper it is and the harder it is to get over. If we had other trauma in our life, our current trauma is amplified. The shock of DECADES of deceit and betrayal.... The shock of the secrecy and deliberate, conscious, relentless deceit.... The devaluation. The taking away of our choice and our dignity. Being able to really say out loud what happened to us, that has been an immense part of my healing. And this board, we understand and we don't judge. Most people can't wrap their minds around our experience. How could they? How could you believe this if you hadn't experienced it?

It's so isolating, being a partner to this kind of addict. I'm ashamed of my husband and my marriage. And who wants that? I don't underestimate the damage and I deeply respect all of us for the time and compassion we need to heal. The work to heal, it takes energy, and I was so depleted. Any energy I have has to be directed at me first (and our children or other dependents), not at our partners and their needs.

My first year of trauma therapy I heard every week "don't have a schedule or a timeline for healing." Had to hear that for a year to get it.

Wishing us the joy and serenity we deserve,
ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 9:58 AM, April 19th (Thursday)]

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