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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Smjsome1 posted 6/21/2018 13:15 PM

Just checking in - howís everyone?

Lionne? Howís the mindfulness and meditation coming along?

Iím doing okay, changed my meds again, I was super disconnected, so a lighter dose, moved from celexa to Paxil. Still have the Wellbutrin.
Heís doing all he should be, and actually some more. Iím still watching, waiting and detached a bit.

Iím tall, and used to be super confident, so I get that Strong! thing all the time. No one ever thought I needed help, ever. I think I must present differently now, after DD1 - still tall, but people seem to be careful with me, even strangers.

Itís funny but when we would go out to dinner say me and my daughter, and/or a group of friends, the waiter would always talk to me first, give me the check, etc. they donít do that anymore.

Anyway - just checking in - hope all my crew here are doing well - considering

number4 posted 6/21/2018 15:46 PM

Thanks Smjsome1 for bumping up this thread. I really, really needed it today. I am having an absolutely awful day. H finally emailed the start-up to tell them he's accepting the job yesterday. We are waiting for them to send him the 'official' offer that he'll sign, just to make sure everything ends up the way they presented it to him last week. Then he will approach his current company about a separation agreement.

Last Saturday I had a few really dark hours, but they eventually lifted. Today has been dark ever since my eyes opened this morning. I've taken 3/4 mg. of Xanax over a period of six hours and when it was time to leave to see my therapist, I was just so despondent. I almost couldn't drive there (so much anxiety) and thought I was going to have to turn around and come home and do the appt. via FaceTime. But I got myself there, and told him what a dark place I was in. I told him we needed to come up with a plan if this darkness continued into tomorrow. I told him I need to feel safe, and if I can't pull out of this quickly, I won't feel safe with myself. I just want someone to take care of me right now, and there just is no one. Most of my friends are trying to play cheerleader right now, telling me how great they think it is that we get to start fresh in CA; what I need is someone who can give me space to talk about how angry I am, how much grief and loss I'm feeling, and the fear and uncertainty of the next few months.

H is actually having dinner out tonight with a good friend of his who is in town to consult with the company H works for now, and it will likely be the last time they meet on this level. They were supposed to play golf tomorrow morning, but since the weather sucks, the friend changed his plans and is going back home tonight, so H wants to have dinner with him, and I agreed. If I can muster the motivation, I will either go to an Al-Anon meeting, or DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) that I've attended on and off for about six years. My therapist wants me to text him when I decide what I'm going to do, and he even said if worse comes to worse, I might have to spend the night in the hospital. I'm trying to avoid that, so am killing a few hours on the couch and am hoping I can get motivated to get to either meeting while H is out.

As of this coming Sunday, it will be a year since H had any contact with #4; almost done with first year anniversaries.

Again, H keeps asking me what he can do for me, and I have nothing to answer him with. My therapist said I should tell him to reply with, "I love you. We're going to get through this together," over and over again. I just don't know if that will help. I then feel guilty that he's trying so hard, and it's not helping me. Bleh.

marji posted 6/21/2018 16:06 PM

Hey number--just now seeing this and just wanted to say I hope you're able to get to one of the support meetings. Are they each fairly near by?

Is it the move, the impending change, triggering the anxiety? Im a change hater myself--don't do depression or sadness well but anxiety can be horrible so I try as much as possible to avoid whatever might cause it--moving would be near impossible. I've lived in the same 'hood for over 50 years now. So I think I can understand what you might be experiencing.

Do you have friends or relatives in CA? Have you contacted any SANON or AL-ANON, D/BP support people out there? Im asking because I think that's what I would be trying to do to deal with the discomfort the move would cause me.

I know this is ironically echoing your H, but please let us know if there's anything any of us here on SI can do to help. Maybe some SIers who have some tips about good places to visit, eat, walk, yoga classes in the area to which you are going. Even a MeetnGreet.

How long have you lived where you do now?

number4 posted 6/21/2018 17:58 PM

marji -

Al-Anon is nearby, less than ten minutes away, which will likely drive my decision to go out if I do; and it basically only lasts an hour with some fellowship afterwards. DBSA is a half hour drive away... not something I feel like doing, or even taking an Uber for, and their meetings last two hours.

We moved around often when H was in grad school and doing a post-doc. But we have lived in the same metropolitan area for almost 29 years now. Every move we've made has been for H's schooling or career. And until our last move when we downsized from a single-family home to a condo, we always had children at home, so it made for an easy way to meet other people.

We have a married daughter in CA, and as things are falling into place, the area where we would likely buy would probably be no further than 15-20 minutes from where she lives, so that it would minimize H's commute. But that in itself is causing stress. When H and I graduated college, we didn't go back to either area where we grew up; we moved 1000+ miles away (other than a year of post-doc when we lived in the same city as one of my brothers, but that year was a disaster). And neither of our daughters wanted to come back to our metropolitan area after they graduated college, so we've never lived in the same area as one of our adult children. I am all so very cognizant of maintaining appropriate boundaries with our D in CA. Yet all she knows is that H cheated on me. She and her sister do not know about his sex addiction, nor that there were multiple affairs (one going on during the time of her wedding). I sometimes worry that in a charged emotional state, I'm going to blurt out something to her. H's CSAT actually is recommending that he tell them about the sex addiction... not details, but the addiction so that it hopefully puts an end to the cycle for them if they are aware. So far he is very against that; I'm guessing he will eventually come around, but that's for he and his recovery team to figure out.

I have reached out to a COSA group via email to make sure they really exist, and have corresponded with someone from that group. I have one friend in the LA area that I met when I went to a week workshop at The Meadows earlier. I have a couple of other friends who live in Orange County, but that would put us geographically about an hour away just in minimal traffic from where we expect to buy.

I have already started to research psychiatrists and therapists through the Psychology Today website, excluding anyone who does not take our insurance we will have. But it will take actually physically living in the area and meeting/interviewing them before I can choose someone.

My worst case scenario if I can't snap out of this is either I go inpatient at The Meadows and the nitty gritty of the relocation falls on H, or do a hospitalization locally, and start ECT again; maybe I could do it and begin to recover before we'd have to move. It was my miracle five years ago. But my psychiatrist doesn't think it will come to that because this time around, I have so much more support from H. Last time around five years ago, he stayed stuck in his scientific brain and was not emotionally connected. That being said, I was in a hospital (teaching facility) that, in no traffic, would take about an hour to get to; he would leave work every evening, go home to feed the dog, let hime out, then head downtown - many times it would take him at least 90 minutes to get there; then we'd have a visit for an hour or two before he'd have to leave to go home. Rinse and repeat every day I was there for a month. So he does get credit for that. And he was not sexually acting out then (well, I'm guessing there was some pornography viewing going on).

All I kept saying to my therapist today was, "It's too much; everything is just too much." The two posts I've written here today are the most coherent I've been all day. He did ask me if I'm the kind of person who reacts emotionally to barometric changes in the weather; I'd never really given it any thought before, but we've had nothing but downpours for the last 18 hours, and it's expected to continue into tomorrow. Maybe once this system passes, I'll regain some footing if I am reacting to barometric changes. But that's not something I've really researched before, so I don't know how some people are impacted by that.

My poor pooch has been taken out once, just in our courtyard today to pee... no walks (well, it has been raining). I don't have the motivation to walk him, so in a few minutes I will take him back out to pee, and when H gets home tonight he will get to walk him for the poop mission.

marji posted 6/21/2018 18:14 PM

Number Would that more people who are dealing with far, far less than you, sound so clear, so calm, so sane.

It's good to hear that your daughter is living out there and sounds like you've more than done your homework. And hey, number, no matter where you are living, all of us are always here. Don't know if you've given this any thought, but when and if your daughter has her first baby you might be more than thrilled to be nearby.

Good to hear the AlAnon meeting is only ten minutes away. I know my SANON meetings can really boost my spirit; the group has a great sense of humor. Hope yours does too.

PS my dog's birthday is tomorrow; she'll be 13. She was my personal trainer--on D-day and the days after. They are wonderful, aren't they.

number4 posted 6/21/2018 19:13 PM

Thanks marji.

Unfortunately, this daughter and her H have decided they don't want kids (although there are two rescue granddogs).

The older daughter on the other coast does want kids, but is not married yet, although is very serious with someone. In fact, it is sort of implied that when H does finally retire, we would move to the East Coast where any potential grandchildren might be. So this move to CA isn't even our forever home. It's until H retires (5-7 years?) and then we'll head east.

Off to my Al-Anon meeting.

marji posted 6/21/2018 20:12 PM

Good. And then you'll visit me. Hope the meetings good.

number4 posted 6/21/2018 22:36 PM

Got myself to the meeting and really opened up. It felt good to be able to share everything going on in my life, as opposed to just the 'acceptable' addictions. When I got home, H was here and asked me why I didn't call him today when I was feeling so bad. I told him I didn't want him coming home when I knew this would be the last time he'd be consulting with this guy. Fortunately, he also had an opportunity to tell the guy what was happening to him at work, and he was flabbergasted; this guy is a big deal in their area of expertise. H says if any of his friends were ever to be nominated for a Nobel Prize, it would be this guy, so he highly respects him, and they guy affirmed to my husband that this is a horrible decision H's current company is making. So I'm glad they had a chance to talk in private. AND... H decided to take the whole day off tomorrow; it's the year anniversary of when he had to take #4 back to the abortion clinic for her three-week follow-up visit. So I'm good for tomorrow; will have him with me all day and see if I can pull out of this funk.

Interestingly, someone came up to me after the meeting to tell me about a treatment she has considered... one I had researched a couple of years ago, but had forgotten about... ketamine. When I had ECT five years ago, just prior to going under anesthesia for my first two treatments, they gave me ketamine to drink. They said it, in conjunction with ECT seemed to have better results. Now ketamine clinics are popping up all over the country. If I continue down the path I am, I know it is another option in my pocket to research. Its initial relief usually occurs within four hours of administration, but it requires booster treatments and insurance doesn't cover it.

Like I said earlier, I had my ECT at a major teaching hospital, and they were using ketamine five years ago. It is also indicated in the use of patients with PTSD. Very fascinating information out there about it; it's been well-studied and documented.

DogsnBooks posted 6/22/2018 06:24 AM


Iím glad you made it to your meeting and I hope it helped some. Itís great that you feel support from your H at least on some level.

Iím not there yet with mine. He isnít a comforting presence at all. I made the ďjokeĒ yesterday that itís like having an adorable puppy but itís covered in knives.

Iíve been a a real dark place myself. Taking it day by day ... sometimes minute by minute.

Lionne posted 6/23/2018 13:17 PM

Number, I have a gut feeling about your move. Maybe I'm transferring my feelings to you. I don't want to move, but clearly, my kids aren't going to come back to NJ. So, if I want to be in their lives, relocating is in my future. That means I'll have to give up a bunch of things I love, the NJ beaches, best anywhere, easy access to shows in Philadelphia, my cozy house, my great gym, my garden, etc. So I talk to myself about new plants I'd be able to grow in warmer climates, new home with fewer unused spaces, whatever I can to make that thought more palatable.
You can do this. I spoke to you. You have resilience and fortitude. And you recognize when you need help and you take it. That's HUGE. Think of how our spouses needed help and refused to admit it or get it. You aren't that person.
Dogs. I'm sorry. I hope you are finding time for self care. One thing I regret about my behavior is that I neglected myself.
Mindfulness?! Me?! I'm awful at it. I cannot turn off my brain for more than 30 seconds or so. I am persisting.
I'm on lyrica. It seems to help the chronic pain but I'm fighting the side effects. I'm at the gym almost everyday, I just made the decision to make my health a priority. Aqua therapy is lots of fun.
Onward and upward my friends.

ashestophoenix posted 6/24/2018 07:52 AM

Number, I went through a major, life changing move four years ago. No matter what is going on in our lives, a move is stressful. Just knowing that means I wasn't surprised. It's also exciting.

Given that I moved in somewhat of a panic due to my discovery of some of my husband's secret life, I was not at all able to handle the normal stresses well. What I learned was that my first goal was to develop an immediate plan for my healing. In my case, that meant finding an individual therapist and a replacement set of health care professionals. I put these efforts above unpacking. The second thing I learned, but was not as successful at doing, was to do something each day that was soothing and focused only on me. In my case, that meant spending time with my beloved dogs (who are no longer with me). Every day I needed to do this. I needed to find something that filled me with serenity.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 7:53 AM, June 24th (Sunday)]

number4 posted 6/25/2018 10:08 AM

ashestophoenix - thanks, yes, putting together a health care team is my first priority. My current health care team is mostly assembled via referrals I got when six years ago I switched to a concierge physician as my primary care provider. So I have decided to go that route again. He is actually connected to a practice in LA that I think was one of the early model practices for concierge medicine, so he has offered to reach out to them for referrals for me. Thanks for reminder I need to do something for myself every day; I'm sure some days that will be harder than others. Some days it may mean checking in here with an update.

We've had an interesting 12 hours. One of our daughters had recommended a binge-watch series that we'd not seen, so over the weekend we started The Americans. If you haven't seen it, it's a story of a couple in an arranged marriage, who are undercover KGB agents in the U.S. working as travel agents. From the first episode they make it clear the marriage was made only to present a facade to everyone. They have two children. As episodes progress, it didn't really bother me that they were sleeping with other people, because you knew they were doing it, not really emotionally attached to each other, and cheating because of their jobs. But they have a new neighbor, who works for the FBI in counter-intelligence. He tracks down another KGB operative and turns her - but in the first season, his wife makes it clear she is unhappy with their marriage and she finally realizes he has been cheating on him and confronts him, although he doesn't admit to cheating. In the first episode we watched last night (maybe the 9th), the FBI guy meets his KGB informer at their safe house, and tells her that the affair has to end, and says it's because his wife has found out. In the scene, she walks across the room, slips off her robe and starts to put her bra back on with her back to him. He follows her over, and just as she gets it snapped, he lowers a bra strap as if to say, let's just have one last go at it, so she turns around and they start making out.

At this point, I flipped, because Saturday night, we actually stayed up to midnight to celebrate it had now officially been a year since H had any contact with #4. The last night they spent together was because I had kicked him out of the house for a second time (within two weeks of finding out he was having an emotional affair, so I wasn't worried that he might go start a physical affair over my kicking him out since they'd supposedly been seeing each other for months with no sex - yea, stupid me), but he thought when I kicked him out, it was for good, and he spent three nights out before coming home. The second night was the evening he took her to the clinic for her three-week follow-up; evidently she was pretty upset about it, and so the last night he was out, she cried, and begged and cajoled to stay, knowing he was coming back to me. In fact, I had told him he could come home on the second night, but he didn't, because he said he was stupid, and weak, and felt guilty for the position he'd put her in, so he stayed. And of course I didn't know about it for weeks, even though that second night I did text him and ask him if he'd gone back to her. He lied through his teeth.

So when this scene came on last night, you can imagine why I flipped. It was every visual I'd ever imagined when I think of that last night H and #4 spent together. He telling her it was over, yet not willing to give up one more night of being with her. We spent almost two hours talking about how those two weeks unfolded; he felt awful, and said watching the scene must have been devastating for me... that just reminding him of what he did was so traumatic. I can't go back and change how he ended it. I can sort of forgive him for continuing contact with her between clinic visits - that's more than a lot of men would do after getting her pregnant, even though they knew they'd never see each other again after the follow-up visit. But yea, seeing the visual last night activated us both in lots of negative feelings.

Many mornings before he leaves for work, and I'm still asleep, he will leave a note for me on my bedside table. This morning I actually remember him kissing me goodbye. When I did wake up, there was a note that said he had bad dream last night (he RARELY remembers his dreams), that he had gone to CA alone, that I was still here. He was planning to make contact with #4 (who unfortunately now lives in CA, but in the Bay Area, so no where near where we'll be). He woke up very upset and angry that he was beginning the 'ritual' part of the sex addiction (for him, thinking of contacting her was part of the ritualization he went through before actually acting out). He said he felt a lot of shame that this even entered his mind, but in writing it down, he was able to clear it, and go back to sleep. Then he told me he loved me very much.

I think this was significant because, one... like I said, I can probably remember on one hand the number of times he's remembered his dreams, and two, that he told me about... he was transparent. It has been suggested the times he does remember his dreams he should write them down, but he sort of poo-pooed it.

I don't know about you all, but one of the things that really bothers me is how H has not been able to feel anger and resentment for what #4 did to him.. what she did was SO different that the first three. She told some HUGE lies throughout their affair to try to take him to me, including the pregnancy entrapment (she really was pregnant, but told him she was keeping track of her periods - where he was stupid was believing her, knowing she wanted to start a family with him). She lied about being divorced for over a year, when she didn't even file until four months into their affair. And she told him her ex had to live with her because he couldn't afford to buy her out of her share of the house, and on and on. And I don't understand how he can't be angry at her for all the lies she told him, had she told him, I don't think it would have hit the crisis point it did (we both do acknowledge had she not done all this stuff and had it not reached the pregnancy crisis, they might still be together). So I get upset with him when I ask him if he is angry at her for how she manipulated him, and he says not that much, that he's more angry at himself for falling for it all. I need to know he's enraged at all this crap she pulled, and he's not there yet; he's stuck in his shame.

Ugh... maybe more later. Off to meditation group this morning.

Smjsome1 posted 6/25/2018 12:28 PM


Finally happened. Son has been informed! This is jumbled

(My short story - daughter and son in law are active duty military family, between bases/homes so grandkids and DD, SIL where with us for DD1 and DD2, right in the thick of it all, know everything)

SAWH has been working on talking to our adult S for over 6-7 months, kept delaying, etc. S asked to move in with us for 2-4 months last week. He has clearly known something but gave us our privacy since DD2, he thought I had cancer due to weight loss and such.

So I gave SAWH a deadline, he booked extra IC appts, finally got it done yesterday. Our son is a kind soul, kept trying to reassure SA that, you are a good dad - itís ok.

But he has slept, went to work and couldnít, came home early. Just me here. Yay
We talked about - he has questions for his Dad and said ďI donít care if his why is bad, I just want authenticate answersĒ


Lionne posted 6/25/2018 18:19 PM

Number, I wanted my husband to be angry too. I found out a bunch or scurrilous info about the two women he screwed. It was obvious they were users. He wasn't. He WAS ashamed, but of his behavior. In regards to them, he really was indifferent. In retrospect, I prefer that.

SMJ... I've been thinking about your son. And realizing that your poor son is going to be flabbergasted. I hope he allows himself to get help.

Sadly, some kids blame their mother, not for the cheating but for staying. Be honest with him, let him have access to your thought process. I think he will be able to lean on his very sensible sister and brother in law, right?

Smjsome1 posted 6/26/2018 07:39 AM

Li - Iím high - group was strong and stressful. We are working on timelines of our lives. Right now B-12. Have to share.

Anyway, slept well, cause High, Iím on the tail end of the high.

S processed, now has questions, he was asleep when we got in, I was over into the memories flooding. We wonít be home again tonight so left him a note that weds at 4:30 we will set aside all evening. He did talk to his S.

Are there groups for adult children of SAs?

number4 posted 6/26/2018 09:29 AM

@Smjsome1 -

There is ACA (Adult Child of Alcoholics), that is really a misnomer. It is for adult children of alcoholics, but also includes dysfunctional families. It's a 12-step group I spent a lot of time in in my early recovery 20+ years ago. My group was really strong and big, on average 20-30 people per meeting. Some of them were young adults who did eventually share that one or both of their parents had cheated on the other spouse, but back then, the term sex addiction really had't gained much hold in the recovery community. I suspect if I went back to that meeting, I might hear more about sex addiction in parents. Neither of my parents were alcoholics; one of my closest friends now that I met through ACA was not the child of alcoholics, either.

It could be a good place to start.

Smjsome1 posted 6/26/2018 10:41 AM

The weird part is - we werenít dysfunctional. Except this secret no one knew about. I thought we worked really hard to raise our children in a strong family, nothing like where we came from. I had therapy in my twenties, he went a counselor years ago when I threw him out for secret porn use.

My kids always saw him a great dad, strong, loyal. Reliable. Maybe disconnected at times as my son said to me, Dads always been so busy.
This finding out our world was a lie is the worst. There are no bad memories for either of my kids.
No bars, no excessive drinking in the home, no raging and beating. One of us always home for them. Discussions about discipline, openeness about the abuse we were raised with, frankness about the fact that we didnít get taught proper child raising techniques, so letís discuss issues and come up with fair rules. My PTSD and triggers from childhood known.
I was the main parent, he was usually distracted.

My kids were proud of their Dad. This is so shocking to them both, and to my son in law. Heck even my cat, Zoe, for months she stayed between he and I, growled if he came near me.

Iím leaning towards having him go to see SAWHs CSAT for a few sessions

number4 posted 6/26/2018 11:02 AM

My kids are incredibly proud of their dad. He was around, although not really a companion in parenting. If I asked him to do something, he usually would. But if the kids had an issue they were upset with regarding school, friends, etc., I was the one they came to. Now why was that?

He never stopped at bars on the way home, either. Although for many years his work scheduled was less predictable, he was typically home every night for dinner. He had wholesome hobbies... bike riding and golf. He co-coached some of their sports teams. Came to all of their games.

But were we a dysfunctional family? Yes, in the reality that there were HUGE secrets being kept from one spouse by the other. Being dysfunctional doesn't mean chaos every day. But children pick up on things that we don't give them credit for.

Our kids still say we gave them a good upbringing, and think we were great parents. I know the ways they deserved better and see how, as young adults, it has manifest in their lives. Our oldest child has welcomed therapy in her life; our youngest, hasn't yet, but I think she would benefit highly.

Again, don't think dysfunctional families are chaos all the time; it's not necessarily that way. Check out the ACA website... read the problem, the laundry list, etc. You might be surprised.

btw... I don't think it's a good idea for your son to see your H's CSAT, unless it's in conjunction with your husband, or you and your husband. Your son needs his own therapist who is obligated to and loyal to your son only. Or you can all pick a separate family therapist. Your H needs to know his CSAT is his therapist only, unless the CSAT asks to see the two of you together, or your husband and son together.

[This message edited by number4 at 11:04 AM, June 26th (Tuesday)]

marji posted 6/26/2018 13:07 PM

Smj Adult children of SAs can join regular S-ANON meetings. The adult son of an SA has been coming to meeting for over ten years; he says the meetings are responsible for turning him into a healthy, happy human being. If there are several in your area--we consider that to be typically no more than 1.5 hours away--it's a good idea to try out several. They really differ from group to group and some just fit better than others.

Lionne posted 6/26/2018 13:46 PM

That's one smart 🐈 cat!

This finding out our world was a lie is the worst

It is. To us it indicates that our lives were a lie. That the attention, planning, affection we shared with our spouses was fake, knowing now that they were cruising for whores.

But to them, they SO successfully compartmentalized that it wasn't a lie, it was really a separate life and had "nothing to do with us."

It's sick. It's the mind of an addict.

Many sosas can come to understand and even internalize that, as can some kids. I've even come to believe it a bit except my husband was so nasty to me I can't quite manage it.

Number, SMJ, it's likely that this is the case with your husbands and their parenting. They were detached at times because of their fantasy world, but mostly just separated their home persona from the other life.

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