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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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allusions posted 4/19/2018 11:16 AM


His computer is open to me. It's actually one of my computers but I let him use it. I do get on it from time to time and look at the computer history. The problem is if I go to his Facebook page it's really impossible to see what he's looked at on someone else's Facebook page feed. I can see with the keylogger if he clicks somewhere (it takes a screenshot). Transparency is part of his program but he is good at being transparent in some areas but opaque in others, similar to how some wayward spouses will turn over their cell phones to the betrayed spouse, yet have a hidden burner phone.

I've gone through this crap with him for years. We had separated for 8 years with no contact, then we got back together several years ago when he started seeing a CSAT, started going to SAA meetings and got a sponsor. He's had slips/relapses at times which wouldn't bother me so much if he was honest about it. But he wasn't. And just like when having an affair with a flesh-and-blood, he lies, gaslights, minimizes, blame-shifts, doesn't take responsibility, etc.

Mentally and emotionally I've taken a step back (A step? More like a mile!) and see that he is an emotionally damaged individual. I don't see him, at age 67, ever really changing. It doesn't affect me like it did before. I have great self-esteem now and I am very independent. I am just tired of it.

I don't really feel like my needs aren't being addressed here on this thread, it's just fragmented with a number of people discussing different things. I almost feel like I am interrupting a conversation if that makes sense.

sami1234 posted 4/19/2018 14:34 PM

Reading through the last few posts and thinking: I used to believe that people got divorced because they argued too much. Wow, was I naive. I also used to think THIS sort of stuff (SA) only happened on tv, or certainly to people I would never know. Well, that fairy tale was shattered.

Hope everyone is having a great day. Do something for yourself today. HUGS

Lionne posted 4/19/2018 14:53 PM


I almost feel like I am interrupting a conversation if that makes sense.

That is the problem. We are all from different and the same place. We have all "interrupted" the conversation from time to time. Speaking for myself, please interrupt. This place is one tool in our arsenal to survive this trauma. Use it!

I decided early on that I was going to find in this forum something I didn't have IRL. I allow myself to whine, vent, bitch and feel sorry for myself. IRL I am the fixer, the "strong" one, the finder of all lost things Here, I can be vulnerable and ask for empathy. And I get it.

You can always PM someone if you want. Use the site and our group like an addict is supposed to use their phone lists.

It's great that you are reclaiming your independence!

Lionne posted 4/19/2018 14:54 PM

Allusions, IMO your husband is white knuckling and not doing that particularly well. You have the right to live in a marriage that is free from these kinds of behavior.

secondtime posted 4/19/2018 15:03 PM


You said

I don't really feel like my needs aren't being addressed here on this thread, it's just fragmented with a number of people discussing different things. I almost feel like I am interrupting a conversation if that makes sense.

I feel like that, too. Sometimes. That I'm interrupting. But, posting here helps me find clarity on what the real issues are. Reading here helps remind me on what I think is important for me, etc.

What are your boundaries for when your husband relapses? Is he honest with anyone or just not telling you? How else might you know whether or not your husband is working his recovery?

I don't blame you for being tired of dealing with all of this. What do you want to change? Can you make the change?

ashestophoenix posted 4/19/2018 19:52 PM

I agree with Lionne. Interrupt! Often. Whenever you need to.

I've never felt interrupted and I've never felt anyone "owned" this board. All partners are welcome here. I don't think addicts are welcome here, since they need their own support groups.

I think over the years we partners were silenced. Partly I did this too myself in reaction to the gaslighting (which I was clueless was gaslighting at the time). And partly, my husband did NOT want to hear what I had to say. Over time he didn't want to hear me talk about much of anything. Remember his fantasy was about the perfect young/hot/girl who would listen in ecstasy at no matter what he said and she would be silent except to tell him how great he was. I clearly couldn't do that fantasy, so best for me to be silent.

I think there are so many pages on our board here because we need to talk. We need to be heard. We have been silenced, minimized and gaslighted for too long. The healing of this board is our ability to say some hard truths with a group who understands and can hear.


sami1234 posted 4/19/2018 20:10 PM

I believe this forum serves it's purpose for anyone to say what they need to say. I love reading everything that you all post!

Remember his fantasy was about the perfect young/hot/girl who would listen in ecstasy at no matter what he said and she would be silent except to tell him how great he was.

Ashes: this made me laugh out loud. My WH actually wrote a list after Dday of all the things he expected me to say he was wonderful IC said "how narcissistic!" Still not saying them.

So, has anyone's WH asked to redo their vows? Like a recommitment ceremony? My WH has brought it up several times. I don't wanna do it, no way. I'm not in the "oh I'm so glad I've got my husband back" camp. First of all I'm not convinced that I do. Secondly, what's the point of watching someone make vows they didn't keep the first time?

Lavender0916 posted 4/19/2018 20:29 PM

I am huge at tangents and since I am so blasted busy all the time 10 messages (or in this case 3 pages) are posted and I wanted to comment on page 6.

First off - SMJ - Huge hugs girlfriend. I agree with same or second - can’t remember who said it..haha - catching up. BUT your SAWH IS NOT respecting your boundaries and super super needy. Sounds to me you need detachment. He needs his own room. I would try that for a couple of months. I was where you were at in November and when I screamed at the hills to “STOP the madness” it did. Got him out of my room. I stopped looking at his crap. Stopped monitoring him. Even when I stopped I still noticed the BullShit. It quiets down a ton. I have chosen to go NC except for finances and kids and it was amazing. Now that I caught him again (easily) D was eminent. (January) . Sadly he still lives here though..partly me for not moving faster in determining the property settlement.

His sorry butt has every excuse in the book to not leave the house. The good news is he is rarely home now and only comes home maybe 2 days a week. Lies to kids he is working all the time (3 jobs now. OMG - whatever) but no money to show. I hate it. Such a deadbeat dad. Never at one ball game, one concert, nothing FOR the kids. The only thing he does with his very OWN son is a monthly dinner with a bunch of old Italian guys at this exclusive club. I say own son because he is technically my stepson, but I pretty much raised him.

Yes, like Ashes I cannot stand it when he is here. I grates at my every nerve ending. I walk around him, don’t talk much at all. Just last weekend he had the balls to ask me if it makes me uncomfortable that he is here...WTF!?! Of course I said yes, then proceeded to ask me if I want him to move...I said YES again - again we are divorcing dude what the heck?!? Throws the kids stuff in my face, kids don’t want me to leave...have no money...can’t find affordable housing (it is the SF Bay Area - sucks) oh and my favorite - don’t want to change the kids “quality of life”. I almost fainted at that one. Finally i got a WTF, out of that one. Basically told him no control over that. Will go where I can afford.

When you stop holding them accountable for THEIR shit, it is a huge weight off your shoulders. I would definitely have a plan in place for D. See what that looks and feels like.

I am so looking forward to him gone and being the best version of myself. No matter how financially difficult. Where there is a will there is a way.

JadeC posted 4/19/2018 22:56 PM

Lavender...I know this is not probably what you want to do, but would it be possible for you to move out? Get a change of scenery and a place that isn't tainted by him and his antics.
And I realize that presents its own share of problems.
I guess I'm just thinking of the satisfaction I would get from telling him that when you move, he can't go with you.
Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping for the best possible outcome for you and your kids.
Could not care less about him.

secondtime posted 4/19/2018 23:17 PM

So, has anyone's WH asked to redo their vows? Like a recommitment ceremony? My WH has brought it up several times. I don't wanna do it, no way. I'm not in the "oh I'm so glad I've got my husband back" camp. First of all I'm not convinced that I do. Secondly, what's the point of watching someone make vows they didn't keep the first time?

After DDay1, I wanted a new ring. My first wedding ring, I think had bad karma. (It's a long story). DH bought me the ring about 18 months into recovery 1, as a sign of a new marriage, fresh start and all that. I wanted to renew vows and have a priest bless the ring.

After DDay2 (the relapse discovery), I really was thankful that I didn't renew vows.

Honestly, now renewing vows is the furthest thing from my mind. I mean, no sense in asking my husband to make promises that he may not be able to keep.

I still like my ring, though. It's what I wanted in the first place for a ring, but I settled for something else to try to make everyone else happy. Which of course completely backfired on me..

Unfortunately, now I don't see my ring as anything more than a beautiful piece of jewelry.

allusions posted 4/19/2018 23:31 PM

Ok, I am officially “interrupting”.

I have no idea how honest he is being with anyone about anything when it comes to his addiction and all of that behavior. He meets with his sponsor almost weekly, but I have no idea what they are working on (and I had mentioned a while back that after oh, 6 years now, he still isn’t finished with his 4th step). He sees his CSAT monthly.

Boundaries (and I suppose you mean consequences) ---when I found out a few years ago that he’d been lying about porn again, I told him no sex indefinitely because I wasn’t going to have sex with someone I didn’t trust. Indefinitely turned into a year, and after we had made a lot of strides in that area and had I found nothing concerning to me, so we started having sex again.

But last summer I became aware (thanks to the keylogger) that he was making plans to go to southern California to “see his son” and it just happened to be on the weekend of his ex-girlfriend’s birthday. They were high school sweethearts and she is the mother of the son my husband was going to see. In emails to his sister, he said that he was hoping to take her out to dinner on her birthday (with his son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter). The thing was that he kept the entire thing from me. His explanation for not telling me was that “it was awkward”. We have discussed this a number of times and he will not accept that it was wrong to do that. Or I should say that he thinks it was wrong, but probably not any more wrong than forgetting to buy bread at the store when it was on the list. He thinks he should get credit for talking about it in his SAA meeting before he went down there, and that he “thought about” telling me. He says he “didn’t lie” to me by not telling me. His CSAT called him on that.

He claims he’s not attracted to her and it was all mostly a coincidence in timing that it happened to be her birthday and he just thought it would be a nice thing to do to take her out for her birthday with their son and family. According to the history on the computer, he has done searches for her from time to time. He searched for her on her birthday in 2015. In 2016, he searched for her on Intelius and sent her a message on her birthday on Facebook that he was trying to find her number so he could talk to her. Then in 2017, he went down there for her birthday. He told me he only had her phone number because she wanted to text him about some religious meeting he was going to with his son, and he hadn’t been talking to her on the phone. He doesn’t know that I got access to his phone records and found that was not true—he had called her when he was housesitting away from me and spoke with her for 70 mins on the phone about 6 weeks before he went down there. I told him I knew he was lying. I didn’t continue the discussion since then because I was finishing my doctorate and had to focus on that. I’m done with school now and trying to gather my thoughts back together to revisit this issue. In the meantime, I haven’t had sex with him since August because I really don’t know what the hell happened when he went down to So Cal.

As you know, this is a difficult thing to talk to others about. I don’t want my IRL friends to know about this. I went to COSA/S-Anon for over a year, but I really can’t stomach the 12-step meeting approach for partners anymore. I’ve read about the trauma model and that makes more sense to me. The 12-step model makes it sound like I’m somehow at fault---blaming the victim. What a crock! The CSAT we’ve been going to is insanely expensive and not covered by our insurance. I probably need to find someone for myself.

number4 posted 4/19/2018 23:37 PM

Speaking of tangents... would love to get some opinions. I had endometrial cancer four years ago... caught very early, so no radiation or chemo. However, I have a ton of cancer history (breast, melanoma, ovarian) in first degree and second degree relatives. I have dense breast tissue and have had several biopsies that have come back negative.

A few weeks ago I was due for my annual appointment with my breast surgeon who follows me due to my high risk category. Long story short, I find out he has closed his office because one patient (he's been in practice for over 30 years and this is the first time it's happened) complained that he engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with her. I found articles in our local newspapers - he was never convicted... judge dismissed because there was no evidence, but the state pulled his license. Evidently he is doing everything he can to appeal and get his license back. So the reality that this is a possible sexual boundary violation (she even admitted she consented to a few kisses in the beginning) and it sets off warning bells everywhere for me. In the meantime, I find a new doctor and see her this week, so I've got someone looking at my case with a new set of eyes. She is strongly encouraging me to meet with a genetic counselor (previous doc had suggested it, but never pushed it on me); I did agree to add another diagnostic tool annually that insurance will cover - whole breast ultrasound.

So today I decide it's time to at least meet with the genetic counselor. I know full well what path this could take me down. I have two adult daughters that, if I had genetic counseling, could benefit from the results. I am finally pulling out of the fog of the last ten months enough to decide to schedule the ultrasound appointment, AND an appointment with the genetic counselor. I was telling H about it tonight, and it occurred to me the last major scare I had was exactly two years ago, when he was in the middle of affair #3. The radiologist scored my diagnostic mammogram in a way that suggested I had a 78% chance of having breast cancer, so I had the biopsy; remarkably it came back negative, and the past two years I've been clean. So as I recalled going through this two years ago, I began to feel and express all my anger at the reality that, while I was going through this (and he was there for me and admits he was terrified at the time, but couldn't admit it to me), he was having fun with #3. And of course, out came the usual questions of, "How could you carry on with someone while I was going through this?" "I'll bet you were hoping it was cancer so you could finally be free of me without any guilt." "What would you have done had it been cancer?" etc., etc., etc.

And tonight he breaks down and tells me that even having this talk about genetic counseling has him terrified...that even seeing the literature on the kitchen counter scares him, much less our talking about it. He says he will support me in whatever I choose to do, but the thought of me even having to consider genetic counseling upsets him terribly - he hesitates a few seconds, then says, crying, "I can't even think about a possible increased risk of you getting cancer again and losing you, because I've just found you again."

Now, H is in the medical field, so in some situations it is helpful to have him come along with me for appointments, especially ones that are fraught with possible bad news, or difficult decisions need to be made. He is familiar enough with medical jargon to know what kinds of questions to ask, that wouldn't even come to my mind. So tonight I asked him if he wanted to come with me to my genetic counseling appointment, and he said yes. So that's in a couple of weeks. But it's clear he doesn't even want to think about the possibility of me finding out I could have an increased risk over my lifetime.

In the meantime, I'm still struggling, knowing I will have to make a decision on whether to have the genetic test at some point (it could be next month, next year, five years from now, or never). I am leaning toward having it done, again, if only for the information it will provide my daughters. However, I still feel like I'm so incredibly fragile from the trauma of the last ten months, that I'm questioning my resilience at this point to get through another crisis if I do have the testing and I come back positive with something (they can now test for more than just the BRCA gene). I honestly feel like in the past two weeks, I have started to come out of the fog (which is probably why I've even scheduled the appointment); do I really want to risk the possibility of walking into another crisis?

I am of the strong belief that major stressors/trauma are risk factors for many diseases, including cancer; in fact, it was nine months after I came out of my major depressive episode four years ago that I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. So I do worry (I think I've mentioned I have some health anxieties) that this latest crisis with H has perhaps been an incubation for another kind of cancer that I might be at risk for due to my genetics. I don't think I'd go all Angelina Jolie if I found out I had a positive genetic result, but I would definitely increase my screenings more than they are now (twice a year).

I think an argument could be made either way, going ahead with the genetic test, or not going through it, could be a sign of self-care. And I'm really torn.

number4 posted 4/19/2018 23:42 PM

He says he “didn’t lie” to me by not telling me.

Lies by omission. Lies all the same. They just don't get it, and until they do and understand lies hurt no matter how they're told, trust cannot be rebuilt.

JadeC posted 4/20/2018 00:48 AM

number4...speaking as a two-time cancer survivor, I would get the testing done. If only for the reason that you would have more control, so to speak, if you find out there is something you would need to address. To me, that would be much preferable to finding something concerning, then fret on whether it's worth seeing a doc about, then going and finding out you, then ruminating about getting the tests done, then obsessing about what the results could be, etc., etc, etc.
I think knowing one way or another would be of some sort of value or comfort, as opposed to always having that possibility hanging over me and the feet of waiting for another shoe to drop, that might not eve, in fact, be out there.
(And I don't knead that made any kind of sense or not....)

Lavender0916 posted 4/20/2018 05:46 AM

Number4, I agree with JadeC. Get the testing done. Taking care of our health is self-care. Plus you have kids. This is taking care of you. Fear of the unknowing is worse and fricken scary - that is what eats at you. Totally get the fog and how that shit immobilizes you.

JadeC, wish I could move. Our options are he moves and I buy him out or sell. If my backyard did not look like dark forest from Harry Potter I would jump on the sell without hesitation. There is too much work that needs to be done and would not get much. STBXSAWH never lifted a finger around the house and only added more mess and clutter. I was trying to at least clean up the front yard and he dumped 10 kayaks in the front lawn closing his business. It might be beneficial now to get the appraiser in here to see what we are up against. It is scary, our house looks like a trash heap with all his crap. I may have to pack his shit too. Which don’t want to deal with that fight right now. Knowing him he would sabotage that somehow as well. I am hiring the appraiser tomorrow. Just spending money now makes me sick. However, I have to shit or get off the pot. It’s better to know what I am up against.

Allusions - i am curious why you have not told him about the phone records and what you discovered? Are you concerned he will find other methods to hide? Sounds like he is rugsweeping. I have not attended s-anon but I attend CODA meetings. 4th step should not be that hard. However from what I hear it the hardest step, because of the shame and guilt. Sounds like you have not received full disclosure. Again I could be wrong. I understand the hurt and pain. My STBX never wanted recovery, so I am not much good on some of those trials and tribulations. I am good with Hugs...

secondtime posted 4/20/2018 09:14 AM

What does your gut say?

Do you feel like your husband's behaviors indicate he's in recovery?

For me, I think the bottom line in all of this as a spouse of SA is do we want to live with an addict in recovery? Do we want to live with an addict that is not in recovery?

Or, if we have to share our lives with an addict..what do we do to stay emotionally and physically safe.

When I knew something was up when my husband was relapsing...things were off just a tad. But..I knew they were off. I still didn't try to look through his devices. And, I can't really monitor his thoughts.

Which brings me back to his behavior and my gut.

Lionne posted 4/20/2018 09:36 AM

I'm posting on my phone which limits my post. So this will be in segments.
I love the tangents. It mimics how I think.
I had breast cancer scares, and yes, thinking back to what he was doing while I was lying awake/having biopsies, or waiting for results, infuriates me.
I had the genetic testing. My dad was Ashkenazi, my risks were high that I had one of the cancer genes, I don't. My sister, whose father wasn't mine, had BC before menopause.
The additional testing showed an increased risk of BC. But not BRCA. That diagnosis allows me to get extra screenings covered by insurance. I also took evista, raloxifine, which theoretically reduced my risk by half, after five years treatment and incidentally helped to minimize bone loss, I have osteoporosis. Get the test. Knowledge is power.
Jewelry...and vows. My husband throws jewelry at me when he feels guilty. I'm not a high maintenance person, I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I did get a new set, actually threw away two diamond rings, accidentally. He had also give me a quite lovely three diamond ring right after he started a PA with whore #1. Between trading that in a insurance money I bought something I liked. We repeated our vows privately, I'm Quaker, our vows are simple and spoken to each other during a Meeting, no clergy. I don't like being told center of attention, wasn't too happy with it during my original wedding, so this suited us. It was SEVERAL YEARS after he started recovery, he hadn't worked through all the steps but was making progress in them.

[This message edited by Lionne at 9:47 AM, April 20th (Friday)]

10YrsNowWhat posted 4/20/2018 14:03 PM

Hello all. I am not 100% sure i belong in this forum yet, but to be honest I’m anxious to post in general and rile up posters who don’t even come close to this situation. Short version - after a lot of detective work I found a bunch of different stuff on my WH - a lot of porn (including taboo subjects), at the least a lot of looking up personals and escort services, lots of pics of topless women from a few years ago (electronically dated) and a few that are more than that, knowledge of current PA, plus knowledge of current EA (only not PA b/c she lives abroad).

Confronted WH last Saturday. Between that and a soul-baring talk he started Monday I found out about strippers (allegedly more than watching but not sex) and admission of one affair a few years ago and “a lot of bad acts” he justified because “there was no penetration” During Monday talk he tells me his life is a fraud and he had these deep dark parts of him he hides, never wanted me to see, thought he could keep from me. He never came clean on stuff I know, I haven’t told him what I know. He says he’s terrified to just tell me everything. That he knows his sense of morality is twisted, he’d go see IC, give me full access to his phone (doesn’t use computer) and where abouta via find my friend (has folllwed thru on those)

I talked to my IC, told her all of above. She admits she’s not CSAT, but said he should consider being evaluated. So she gave me a recommendation for a licensed Ic for WH, gave it to him and he made his first appointment for next Wednesday.

I really want to confront him about what I know, force him to tell me, admit it. But now I’ve read about a therapeutic full disclosure for SA. So I’m wondering if I should just wait. See how his appointment Wednesday goes. Thoughts?

Also, I haven’t told him I suggested this IC to him b/c of possibility of him being SA. Should I?

At some point I’m going to set aside a few hours and try to “catch up” on all these posts. I can only imagine the wisdom and perspective on here will be as crucial to me as the rest of SI.

sami1234 posted 4/20/2018 20:07 PM

secondtime: nothing wrong wit a beautiful piece of jewelry...and it is all yours. Two wins!

Number4: I vote have the testing done. Without it you could just be living thinking everything is fine, but beneath the truth lies a bad secret. Sort of like before we all experienced Dday. I think it's better to know the truth.

10YrsNowWhat: Your story sounds familiar to me. Many here will have better advice than I do. Sorry you are here, but welcome.

Lionne posted 4/20/2018 22:25 PM

10years, I just read through your post in General. I also see that you are posting in EI. My gut tells me you belong here and in EI, although I think it's probably true that your h had some sort of emotional attachment to the old gf and physical affairs with people. Why else have Viagra.

Nonetheless, the diagnosis of sex addiction is best made by a certified sex addiction specialist, a CSAT. However addicts self select all the time and make a start in 12 step groups. SAs benefit that way, too. But only, of course, he they are open-minded and willing to be vulnerable.

Sex addicts cannot be vulnerable, cannot be truly intimate in that way. The shame and guilt they feel is intense and drives their behavior. It sabotages sobriety and puts them into a shame cycle which drives the addiction. It often manifests in childhood as masturbation as an effort to deal with dysfunctional families. I don't believe it can me remediated without intense and specialized treatment.
As far as disclosure, well, you aren't going to get the truth from him anytime soon. The shame will prevent that. You know enough to know he is cheating in some way, you don't know the particulars or details. Maybe you never will, or maybe with the help of CSAT, he'll prepare an honest disclosure. At some point, you may decide that you have what you need to move on, or reconcile, that's a decision for later. I finally got the broad strokes, but details were something I decided I didn't need. That's up to you.
Truly, you are doing well. The 180 is a perfect way to behave,not just because he might get a wake up call, but because the only thing you control here is you. The advice to detach from an addict is wise, and pure self preservation. Keep it up.
Get a good IC for yourself, preferably one that is at least knowledgeable about addiction and specialized in trauma therapy. Practice extreme self care, be selfish, eat healthy, exercise, avoid alcohol, get a massage, a main-pedi, buy flowers for yourself.
And post here. Yeah, those folks who haven't been there,done that aren't too empathetic.
Educate yourself, read some of the resources on the first page. All have been vetted by someone here. (I'd start with either the Means and Steffens book or the one coauthored by Means and Magness)
Keep posting. The women here are amazing, kind, smart and strong.
Holding you in the LIGHT.

[This message edited by Lionne at 10:26 PM, April 20th (Friday)]

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