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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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DogsnBooks posted 5/22/2018 21:32 PM

Feeling really beaten down. Hereís my latest update ...

Just had another LONG tearful talk with WH tonight. I came right out and told him explicitly that he needs to figure out once and for all if he is an addict or not. To which he replied, ďI am.Ē (Which is a complete flipflop from when we last talked about it, and he said it wasnít an addiction but only a ďbad habit.Ē)

I told him that, since you are an Addict, you need to see a CSAT and/or attend meetings. Non negotiable.

He reacted to that about how I thought he would .... said he doesnít want to give up his current therapist (even after I explained that she is NOT qualified to give him the help he needs in this specific area and for all of our healing, he needs those legitimate resources). He doesnít want to have to find a new therapist. He says, our insurance wonít let him have more than once therapist (which isnít 100% confirmed btw just his assumption - not that it matters, since no CSATs take insurance anyways). In response to the meetings, he said, When am I going to have time! I already donít have time to myself!

I told him bluntly that if he is as serious as he claims to be about R, then he would MAKE TIME and wouldnít be complaining about it, but would be jumping at opportunities for healing and take all the resources he can get. I mean I donít expect him to be excited about his newfound addict identity but for godssakes, donít complain to me that you ďdonít have time.Ē

To which he gave his usual response ... ďIím just trying to tell you what Iím thinking. Thatís what you said you wanted. Am I not allowed to have feelings? Do you want me to lie to you about what Iím feeling?Ē

Iím so f*cking sick of this.

Eventually he agreed that he would look into the different groups and pick one. I made it very clear that I NEED to see followthrough on this. So not all hope is lost - at least he didnít outright refuse - but Iím just feeling so beaten down.

I guess you can officially welcome me as the spouse of an official Sex Addict now. He admitted to it finally. No take backs. This is my life now ...

number4 posted 5/22/2018 23:30 PM

@DognBooks -

so sorry you're a part of the club no one wants to be a part of. But he sort of sounds like my H, who is working a serious recovery program now... he needs time to process stuff people (meaning mostly me and our MC) are telling him. If you haven't read any books on sex addiction, you should, and you will learn a lot of what sex addicts also get out of their intimacy disorder is the need to feel in control and powerful in their own sick behaviors, so for someone to tell them what they need, well, that's asking for responses that are decades old.. they still need to control and have the power. I have learned that 90% of the time I have a request or wish for my H that is semi-serious, we have to go through the pattern of me asking, him putting up some amount of defense (many times now it barely registers as being defensive), me backing off, giving him space, then he comes around... sometimes in a few minutes, sometimes in a few hours, after he's had some alone time to process what we've said to them. He has actually had some of his most profound insights while out walking the dog.

I am now used to it, and as he sees himself in action operating this way, he is shortening the time it takes him to see my point of view, so I see progress.

As for insurance covering CSATs, my H's CSAT is also a Psy.D. as well as a LMFT, so she certainly meets insurance criteria; most CSATs have other credentials than the CSAT; in fact every one we looked at online did.

If he will just go to one meeting, my H said when he walked in that room for the first time, and saw that everyone looked normal, he was hugely relieved, and he now finds great relief on going to meetings and knowing there are people there he can learn from, even if it's only listening the first few times and not sharing. He said it was the first time he experienced hope that he could work a real recovery program.

And remember, recovery won't be a linear path. So even in a serious recovery program, you're still going to struggle as you both learn to create true emotional intimacy with each other, because I can tell you now, that is missing in your marriage if he is a sex addict not in recovery.

Edited to add... he was NOT telling you how he was feeling; he was telling you how he was thinking. He may not be very capable of telling you how he was feeling because he may not know yet. But the fact that they can even begin to have these discussions is huge... it's really Step 1 - admitting to the addiction and the powerlessness. That's how it starts; the feelings will come in time and that's where your true intimacy will begin to unfold.

[This message edited by number4 at 11:34 PM, May 22nd (Tuesday)]

Superesse posted 5/22/2018 23:35 PM

Ashes, how poignant your journey has been; I had no idea, and I have been here as a reader for over 2 years....always empathizing with you!

I agree with you about hindsight: if we'd known up front how messed up they were, we wouldn't have made the life-changing decisions we did.

How to correct this stage....that is the question I wrestle with.

DogsnBooks posted 5/23/2018 06:10 AM

@number4 -

Thank you. Are there any particular books you recommend?

Sounds like itís just lucky me with the insurance troubles then. Canít find any CSATs in the area who accept our insurance. I guess my only option is to see if my insurance will at least cover part out-of-network, or we will have to find a way to pay the out of pocket cost.

Lionne posted 5/23/2018 08:00 AM

Dogs, my best resource for a quality CSAT was from the others at my SANON meeting. My husband's CSAT wasn't actually "certified." It was a matter of taking the test or some other paperwork. She was awesome and took our ins. Mine was not a CSAT but an expert in addiction. I believe I would have benefitted from a trauma therapist but that's hindsight.
We also attended a very expensive SA workshop that met once a week for 12 weeks. It was very useful.

Yep. Power. That doesn't go away, I'm afraid, although it can be tempered. The key for my husband was two fold-learning to recognize that he's reacting, and my refusing to accept that bad behavior.

We frequently have arguments about cleaning. I want it done, he doesn't think it's necessary. I don't engage. I just get on with it, he feels guilty so starts to help, then kvetches the whole time about how unnecessary it is. Later, he admitted that it was needed, it looked good and "wasn't that a good idea that I had to clean that awning?" He thinks he's funny.

Last night, we trapped a skunk. We were trying to get a feral cat. He came up to the bedroom moaning and groaning about the issue, how he'd have to get up early and deal with it, whine, whine, whine. The alarm went off, he started complaining, I got up and dealt with it. He ENJOYS the complaining, he gets something from it. Not feeding the beast works for me.

DogsnBooks posted 5/23/2018 08:24 AM

@Lionne -

Sounds like my WH too. Just this morning, he reacted like that. He had to wake up early for a dentist appointment so last night, I asked him if he had multiple alarms set. He got offended and defensive ďof course I doĒ hugging and puffing.

Flash forward to this morning, well turns out his alarms WERENT set for the right time. At 6:30 he was supposed to get up. Didnít. I will admit that it was super tempting to just let his sleep and be forced to deal with his consequences ... but of course I didnít, I woke him up at 6:45 (to anger and not a bit of thanks) ... just like I always do, cleaning up his messes ... Iím so tired of it.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 8:30 AM, May 23rd (Wednesday)]

Lionne posted 5/23/2018 08:36 AM

just like I always do, cleaning up his messes ... Iím so tired of it.

Of course you are! You didn't marry to take care of a grown ass man as though he were a child.

Stop. Let him deal with the consequences. What you are doing is feeding the dysfunction. I get that sometimes the consequences affect you, but do what you can to alleviate that without enabling him.

You are so, so young...I understand not wanting to leave the relationship. But you need to set clear boundaries and deadlines, at least in your mind, and decide if you want to deal with this forever.

There are books and resources on the first page of this thread. Read up on codependency. Read the Steffens and Means book. Read parts of Mending a Shattered Heart, that will give you a broad picture of Sex Addiction.

PM me if you need me.

number4 posted 5/24/2018 00:31 AM

@secondtime -

Oldest child does have a therapist and has been working with her for several years - she hit the gene pool when it comes to anxiety and panic attacks, so I am glad she has been so open-minded to that kind of self-care. Youngest child does not, but seems to read a lot about behavioral health issues - when we were together during this trip, I told her one of my biggest fears of moving so close to her is that, if I really lose it, and experience overwhelming trauma until I assimilate, that I'd rely on her too much, and I NEVER want to do that; I told her I never wanted to put her in a situation where she is the caretaker (although, in reality, in most of our lives we do end up doing this with our parents as they age, to different degrees). I told her it was actually one of the reasons I'd vote for not moving... of all the places H is getting courted, it's just a huge coincidence that it's in the same metropolitan area she lives in. We have no family where we live now, and our other child is on the opposite coast.

As far as what I expect from them... really nothing. I don't expect them to be my comfort place. What I hope will happen is that they better understand what may seem like an overreaction to the possibility of uprooting our lives. Of the two children, I tend to butt heads with the older one - she tends to be more critical of me and I told her at Christmas that as I was learning to set new boundaries with H, I planned on doing the same with her and calling her out on times I feel insulted. H also told her he is guilty of allowing her to treat me like this without him having my back, so we're both setting new boundaries with her, which always causes a shift in connection and intimacy. While H was in that interview this week and I tried to imagine myself living in this new area, I became acutely aware of what a weight it would lift off of my shoulders if I no longer had to worry about #4 making any kind of stink that would place H's current job in jeopardy. I told H and our MC tonight that, I don't think I was aware of how terrified I am of this. Several times a week I worry, "Will today be the day when H walks through the door after work and tells me he got called into HR?" So while it's certainly not the only reason for us to relocate, I am realizing it ranks up high on my list of things that could mitigate some of my anxiety. H actually talked to a friend today who has made a similar career move and the guy told him, "Just do it. I've gotten my life back since doing this." So I suspect at this point there's a good chance it will happen, even if it adds more trauma to my life right now temporarily.

I have these fantasies of how a major relocation would happen (we haven't done one in 29 years) and I'm acutely aware of how fragile I was just five years ago in the darkest place of my anxiety and depression. Granted, five years ago, my H had no ability to offer any emotional support; now he does, and maybe that's the difference. I certainly am already creating a safety net in my mind of things I'd need to have in place to help me in this transition, but I'm not perfect; I can't think of everything, and I'm just not very confident with my resilience level, although most of my professionals say my resilience is quite good. So I've sort of played out this fantasy of my falling apart as it gets closer to the move, and feeling like I need to justify to my kids why, if I even thought the move might be too traumatic, I voted to make it anyway. I know the answer isn't just stay here, because if we do that, I will worry, until H retires that #4 could file a complaint at any point, and he'd be gone, and with no job lined up. I truly just want to tell them about this fear (and reality now that we've consulted with an attorney) of her showing up and having this power over our lives so things will make more sense to them and they won't judge me or criticize me without understanding my motives. I have no desire of telling them how many affairs he had over the years; I have no desire of telling him about his sex addiction. I just want them to understand my vulnerability. I don't even need them to comfort me (really, that's not their job; it's H's). And I don't need their advice or presence as a sounding board.

I doubt VERY seriously they will want to know more information, but if they do, I will refer them to H. He will have to decide how much to divulge to them, and believe me, he is on the error side of only offering minimal information.

I'd say the only time I ever really 'confided' in them was several years ago before H quit drinking. He was riding his bike after a few drinks at a brewery and crashed. He has no memory of the event because of his concussion. But his injuries were so severe, he was a trauma patient... was in the hospital for three nights and had surgery. I was so pissed (because both I and they had made it clear his drinking was an issue and he needed to stop - he didn't after this accident, but did about two years later and has been sober from alcohol ever since). But I was so pissed and was too embarrassed to call any of my friends to tell them he'd crashed because he was drunk, so I called my oldest child and vented. But each one of them, in their own way, had pleaded with me a time or two to get him to stop drinking. As teenagers, they didn't understand I was powerless over it, but they weren't interested in Alateen. I've NEVER shared anything remotely about our sex life or even post-menopausal symptoms that affect our sex life... ewwww! So I have tried to keep appropriate boundaries with them over the years. Did they miss the fact that our marriage really struggled for many years? Probably not, but I never confided in them about that.

@ashestophoenix - yes, in the course of a day, I am completely excited about the possibility of starting fresh, away from so many triggers, and a few hours later I am frozen with terror! H's recovery is going to be easier if he's fulfilled and happy in his job, and everything he's hearing about it excites him (today he arranged a face-to-face meeting with his boss's boss next week, who we've know for 30 years; he wants to hear directly from him what the company's plan is for him and thinks he'll get a straight answer, which will then allow us to make a more informed decision). Really, the only family we have left if one of my brothers, who knows just about everything, but lives far away, and H's brother; aside from a few ignorant comments, they have shown they still love us and are rooting for us to repair the damage. Other than our adult children there really is no one else to tell that we'd expect support from or expect to pick sides.

A bonus to moving is that I'd finally be able to attend the 12-step meetings of my choice, face-to-face - COSA. There are NONE in my state and there are several in the metropolitan area we'd be moving to. There is also a RCA meeting nearby, where the closest one for us now is at least a 40-minute drive in no traffic, and the time it starts is the worst time of day for us to head that way, traffic-wise.

Lionne posted 5/24/2018 19:50 PM

Can you rent out your current home instead of selling, and "trying" out the new location? I know that's tough, and may not be financially feasible. But it might be a safety net for you.

Lodestar posted 5/25/2018 09:57 AM

Ok, I'm new to this particular thread so any input or feedback is appreciated.

First off, I live in a place where there are no CSATs, no SA support groups or meetings or anything like that. WH hasn't been diagnosed by anyone and it's just my guess that SA might be involved.

My story is in my profile, but basically, WH cheated on me 7 years ago. I found out and it was rug swept. May 2017 I found out he has been having a PA with a common acquaintance for over 3 years. Since we were living abroad they met only once every two months or so. When we moved back home, they met maybe twice a month. Nothing emotional, pure sex. He also confessed to one more ONS some time in the past. But I believe there might be more. Now, after a year of trying to R I discovered he had taken a taxi to her place at 7 am to get laid instead of going to work. I trust there was NC for almost a year before that. I packed his bags and will file as soon as I have talked to his IC at his request.

WHs explanation in every single case has been lack of sex. That the women have just been 'holes', a change from masturbating. That he doesn't get enough sex and he needs it and feels like he is wasting his most valuable years etc. It's been about 1-2 a week for years now. I am of the opinion that I could have f***ed the poor bastard 3 times a day and he still would have found an excuse. I doubt it is only sex as in physical release.

Can you possibly point me in the direction of some resources that would help me determine whether he is dealing with sex addiction? I personally don't care much any more and am not interested in 'saving' the M or trying R. This ship has sailed. But I do care about him as the father of my kids and would like him to get proper help. So are there any resources out there that would help me help him? To diagnose himself and to get help without the CSATs and SAA groups?

Thank you!

number4 posted 5/25/2018 10:16 AM

@Lionne - we live in a small condo complex and they have very strict rules about renting

I wish it were an option.

secondtime posted 5/25/2018 12:46 PM


This doesn't have to be your life. It's your life if you chose it. It always helped me to remember that I am making a choice to stay. Delaying making any decisions is also a choice. Reminding myself that I am making choices reminds me that I am in control, rather than having something done to me, KWIM.

The book recommendations are on page 1 of this thread.

Is there a COSA group you can go to? I'd even go to al-anon.

DogsnBooks posted 5/25/2018 12:59 PM

@secondtime -

Thank you. I do feel trapped, but I just have to keep reminding myself that the choice is mine, no matter what action (or inaction) that choice is.

No COSA groups in my area unfortunately, however there is an S-anon group ... once I work up the courage to call the listed number, since they donít list the exact location or times on the website itself.

marji posted 5/25/2018 13:43 PM

Lodestar On the first page here there is an excellent resource page with most if not all of the relevant writings on the subject. Support groups are also listed. You have said there are no SA type support groups where you live. They can sometimes be hard to find. Is it possible that there is a group out there but not easily come by?? Im sure you're really good at research but SA is unlike AA in its social acceptability so you just might want to make certain on that.

If your H is an SA then yes, support/acountability groups are extremely helpful and without an IRL group to attend he might benefit from on-line meetings, and telephone groups. Clearly not as effective but better than no group at all.

Another group, BAN, Beyond Affairs Network might also have useful resources. While not specializing in SA it does offer help to people dealing with SA as well as traditional affairs.

You've also said that there are no ICs in your area that deal with possible SA issues but if your H is open to going there are diagnostic/recovery centers such as The Meadows here in the US that deal specifically with SA. These offer intense in-house programs of several weeks duration.

To help determine if your H is an SA there are online tests your H can take. The Carne's test is what CSATs typically advise. It's free and easily accessible; there are some others as well. They are as useful as the honesty of the person taking them.

The same goes for a "diagnosis" from an IC. SA is only partly determined by behaviors; the rest is about the mental state of the betrayer; it's about their thoughts, feelings, urges, temptations; it's about their fantasies and realities. The IC will base a diagnosis on a person's self reporting. Long term betrayal, even frequent and long term betrayal may indicate SA but is not determinative.

But Lodestar, it seems from all you've shared that your H definitely has some sort of serious problem and needs to be working with someone and some group that can help him come to understand himself, what he is doing and why and to help guide him in changing into a healthier more trustworthy person. It's about developing integrity and not just refraining from sick behavior. I think it's that kind of change that you are saying you want not for yourself, since you've had it and want to move on, but what you want for the father of your children.

But please know that if he is an SA, his road to recovery requires a great deal of work and a great deal of time and that is something only he can do. You can find some resources but ultimately it's all up to him.

So very glad to hear that you are feeling good about your decision. Here's hoping you feel better and better as you move on.

number4 posted 5/25/2018 15:44 PM

No COSA groups in my area unfortunately, however there is an S-anon group ... once I work up the courage to call the listed number, since they donít list the exact location or times on the website itself.

I do COSA telephone meetings. You can call in (every day if needed) and not choose to say anything at all and no one will know you are there; then you can choose to speak up when you feel comfortable. Because I'd had experience in other 12-step meetings, I felt comfortable speaking up relatively early.

I was technologically skeptical with the phone meetings, but H encouraged me because he does a lot of teleconference and phone meetings; so I did it and it was the easiest thing in the world. Like I said, you can choose for weeks on end to just listen and not say anything. No one will know you are there just listening, unless you CHOOSE to introduce yourself. Even in introducing yourself by first name only, you don't have to share anything until you're ready.

The first S-Anon group I tried to go to also did not list the meeting place; I finally got someone to return my phone message and was given the location. When I went, not a damned person showed up. I was devastated. So I would be sure to confirm this is a strong group with regulars that show up every week before you go.

marji posted 5/25/2018 15:58 PM

DogsnBooks The S-Anon members tend to be extremely nice people so do call and go to a few meetings. If there is more than one group then try out each one out. The group is only as good as its members and what's "good" for you may not be so for someone else. I was very fortunate in finding a very compatible one just a few weeks after discovery and it made a huge difference. You have absolutely nothing to loose and everything to gain. Truth be told a good SANON group can be helpful to anyone who has been hurt by betrayal.

There is a religious aspect to the meetings if there is recitation of the serenity prayer or language of a "higher power" but it's really how you decided to relate, there is no pressure, and you're free to take what works for you and leave the rest; sometimes with time and experience even "the rest" can start to be helpful too.

marji posted 5/25/2018 16:06 PM

The first S-Anon group I tried to go to also did not list the meeting place; I finally got someone to return my phone message and was given the location. When I went, not a damned person showed up. I was devastated. So I would be sure to confirm this is a strong group with regulars that show up every week before you go.

O wow. Fantastic and very important advice. Thank you number! I had the same experience with my very first meeting. No one showed up and no-one answered at the phone number I was given. It was a horrible feeling and that about a week after discovery. My H was at another initial meeting about a mile and half away and I remember walking down to meet him and feeling really panicky. Panicky and irritable. But I did it. And then found out that he had been sent to the wrong room and the meeting he was at was for gay people. But dam, at least there were people there and he got something out of it. I thought how super unfair. At least someone showed up at his.

Anyway, the meeting I would find a week or so after was fantastic. The person on the phone who gave directions and time had been attending for over 10 years and assured me that the group met every Sunday no matter what. There were ten people when I first went and then sometimes twenty.

So yes, to find out before going it the group is active. And yes, a internet or telephone group that's active can be more helpful than an IRL that is not well functioning.

Lionne posted 5/25/2018 19:55 PM

These support groups are tricky. SANON meetings are regularly trolled by people for prurient reasons, hence the security. The phone lines are manned by volunteers who vary widely in competence. My first meeting, after I finally got a call back from a rather unfriendly woman who told me the name of the church. It's a MASSIVE place, with a bunch of meetings going on all at once, church meetings and other 12 step groups. I'm glad I went exploring, I finally found them tucked away in the farthest, darkest corner. My ladies are awesome.

Lodestar, you have all the right reasons for looking for answers even if you are not looking for reconciliation. Living with an active addict causes all sorts of trauma in the family, even if the addiction is hidden. Addicts just ARE NOT normal. And you are 100% right, no amount of marital sex would have stopped him from grazing in the seedy world he chose. I'm betting he wasn't a very attentive and selfless lover, right? They rarely are, marital sex, the threat of real intimacy is too frightening.

Most SofSA exhibit some degree of codependency and enabling. We LEARNED this at the hands of the addict. They are talented manipulators, LOVE LOVE LOVE to make everything your fault. Learning how to identify your behavior, learning to live a healthier life through 12 step work even if you can't get to meetings, can be very beneficial. It's just a wise way of living. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself. His health or not health is, sadly, beyond your control. Do your best to support your kids here and do some age appropriate explanation INCLUDING a discussion about addiction in general and the genetic connection in addiction.

Educate yourself. Choose from the resources on the first page, look at online SANON resources, post here. This group is wonderful.

PM me if you like...

secondtime posted 5/27/2018 09:03 AM

So random, but last night, I realized I don't dream anymore. I don't even try. It's like I've given up on looking forward to the future.

Some of it is having a kid at 42, and realizing life goals will no longer be met as one envisioned. I can't exactly retire with a 13 yo old in the house anymore.

Some of it is DDay 2. Its unfortunate that these to things coincide.

number4 posted 5/28/2018 01:51 AM

I didn't dream for a long time (months after D-day), but lately I've been having dreams with people in them that have never been in my dreams.

Major setback tonight. At almost 1AM, I left my house and checked into a hotel. Something hit me square in the head tonight that I'd been in denial about for a while. I remember months ago, my brother telling me one of the reasons he and his wife could not repair their marriage after his two affairs was because, in the end, they realized they were two very different people. My brother is very outgoing and social, whereas my ex-sister-in-law is a very private person; they couldn't reconcile that.

Tonight we were invited to a party at a neighbor's house; we knew a few people, but there were many people we did not know. To make it worse, my ex-psychiatrist (who I resent for many reasons, and my therapist no longer refers any of his patients to this guy based on how he treated me 8 1/2 years ago when my major depressive episode started. He was condescending and patronizing, so thankfully I found a new psychiatrist. But 2 1/2 years ago, when we downsized to a condo, we found out five months later he lives in the same building as some new friends of ours that we hit it off with. So I've been to a few parties when he's been there, and it's been really uncomfortable. I told my friend to please let me know if he was included in invitations that we received from her so I could make an educated decision on whether to RSVP yes or no, depending on where I was at. Since this party was larger (20+ people), I decided to say yes. I kept telling myself not to give him the power of directing my social life. But from the get-go, I just felt uncomfortable with him there, and avoided any area he was hanging out at, which left me to one area of people that sort of moved in and out, but I didn't really know them. No problem for me, because I can strike up a conversation with new people fairly easily. But, as in most parties we've attended in the past that didn't involve work people, H exchanged a few words with a couple of people, but spent most of the time in his chair, not engaging with others. Every time I looked at him, he just looked incredibly bored. He was the only male present that didn't seem to care about making small talk with anyone.

He knows (has known since his 45-day rehab last fall) that he has a problem connecting with others (duh, sex addicts have an intimacy disorder) - he doesn't like, nor know how to do small talk. So I'm always left being the engaging one of the couple. He has said at least a dozen times since last fall that he realizes he struggles in this area, and keeps saying he's going to work on it. I really thought tonight would be a great opportunity. We haven't been to any social gatherings (other than my brother's funeral two months ago) lately because we're constantly going to 12-step meetings/support groups/appointments. But this one worked out.

So when we got home, I told him how frustrating it is when he tells me he's going to work on this, and is given an opportunity, and doesn't. And he accused me of being unfair, that he's really trying. Well, since February/March, since he joined a men's group, and started attending SAA, he has rarely (maybe 3-4 times) reached out to people in his group via phone. I think he's had dinner with his sponsor once, but no phone calls... ever. I got mad when he told me I was being unfair, so he went to bed, and eventually two-hours later, I had come to the conclusion that he was absolutely right, I am being unfair. Just like my ex-sister-in-law, he is a very private person, and it is unfair of me to ask him to change. I, on the other hand, thrive on intimate connection with others, but most importantly, need to feel like I belong to a community of people, whether it's my neighborhood, a church, volunteer group, etc. We have no family where we live, and over the years, I've developed my own sense of community with other ladies, but as a couple, I feel like we struggle, and I realized tonight it's because he is reluctant to participate in these kinds of activities.

So as I was throwing things into my bag to leave for a hotel (so I could have space to think things out), I told him he was right about my not being fair, and that he is a very private person, and it is unfair for me to ask him to change. I told him over time, I've come to resent that I'm always the one to hold up the conversation at gatherings so that we'd keep getting invited back. I was hoping tonight that I'd at least see a small attempt, and I did not, and I realized finally this is who he is, and for me to ask him to change is not fair.

As I was collecting some things to leave, he woke up and begged me not to leave; I told him I needed some time to think alone and explained what I now realized. I told him I need a sense of community, that because we had no family around, I often times felt very isolated when it came to us as a couple. I told him he'd been telling me for six months now that he knew he struggled in this area and was going to work on it. But again, he never participates in any fellowship before or after his SAA meetings (always has an excuse); he's reached out via text twice to men in his men's group, and had a phone call or two with someone he met at his rehab facility. I can't be his only source of connection; if I'm going to feel alone, it's going to be of my own making, and not because he is a private person and hates making small talk in attempts to connect with people. I told him I'd resent him for the rest of our lives if we continue to live this way and neither one of us wants that.

Funny thing is, when he used to drink, he was Mr. Social; would talk to anyone about anything... filter was gone. But when he's sober, he can't do it. Honestly, living with him for the rest of our lives, finally realizing this is who he is, is a daunting thought. If we split up and I end up being alone, at least it won't be for a lack of trying.

I'm just so tired of all the pain and disappointment... running into the psychiatrist pisses me off royally, driving by triggers in and around our community is still so painful, and I'm tired, tired, tired of living in pain. I've become such a Debbie Downer and I honestly asked myself tonight if I can really ever change. Am I always going to look at the rest of my life through the lens of a victim? If so, I'll always resent him. I'm a glass half empty sort of person, and I don't like it.

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