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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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BriarRose posted 4/7/2018 11:48 AM

Hey everyone, quick question. I need to honestly know if I am making something out of nothing.

So, SAWH has a horrible memory. It has been this way for a very long time. The whole time I have known him, it had been this way. I just realized how much he actually blocks out on D-Day,19 months ago. Anyways, he works with a CSAT and finds memories all the time.

Last night he remembered a story. When he was about five, he was playing with Barbies. He was the little boy Barbie. As the Barbie, he kidnapped all of the adult women Barbies. He locked them in a cave (under the bed) and tied then up. Then he removed all of their shirts, exposing them. He would go in the cave and feed his prisoners, but they had to remain exposed. He remembers liking that they were exposed and that he could just go in and look at them for his own pleasure whenever he wanted since they were his prisoners. He was discovered by a parent, but nothing was spoken of about it. In fact, they mocked him for years about it.

I was shocked. I can't imagine any of my children at five playing sexual assault or rape. Of course, I hope I raise my own kids to never think such a thing is okay, but FIVE?! I told him I was concerned. I asked him if he was sexually abused as a child, he says he doesn't remember anything happening. I still think something might have happened to him.

Let me also point out at dday I discovered that very violent things (like rape/murder/assault) are very arousing to him. It has been that way since he was a child. He is not a violent man though, and he only likes the violence in movies and stories, real life violence makes him ill. He gets aroused when a girl swimming gets eaten by a shark or a murderer goes after the couple that goes off in a field to have sex. We have removed such media from our home. Our boundaries on media are very strict. If our young children can't watch it, neither can we. We usually stick to Disney/Pixar, because everything else is filth and I can't allow filth in my home anymore. He has never abused me physically, or our children. He is very gentle and kind, just has an addiction.

He will ask his therapist this next week, but I think he was sexually abused and doesn't remember it. Thoughts?

As a side note, I also was sexually abused as a child, so I do know of the shame and damage it does to children.

number4 posted 4/7/2018 15:59 PM

@BriarRose - my H was sexually assaulted in some form when he was around eight or nine. He has no memory of it whatsoever. The only reason we know the little we know, is because his younger brother (16 months younger) was present when H's mom, alarmed that H was missing, went over to a neighbor's house and H and another kid came out of the woods and H was crying. His brother later asked his mother what happened (brother was sent home as soon as the boys came out of the woods) and all his mother said was that some sort of 'strip tease' had happened with some older boys in the neighborhood. The only thing H remembers is that there was a certain point in time in which he was no longer allowed to go over to this little boy's house to play and he never understood why. But he has no memory of an assault happening, and he was eight or nine, much less five; so yes, I truly believe trauma can be totally repressed and never accessed (I'd be surprised if H ever accesses those memories).

allusions posted 4/7/2018 16:09 PM

BriarRose, It's hard to say if he was sexually abused. I think these days we (children) are exposed to a lot of things through TV and movies that could be interpreted strangely. I remember seeing movies as a kid where women were kidnapped and tied to a tree, or something like that. Nothing sexual was ever mentioned, but there was a hint that something was going to happen. I think he needs to talk to his therapist about it.

allusions posted 4/7/2018 16:19 PM

I do have a question.

What do you think is a reasonable amount of time for an SA in a 12-step program to finish his 4th step? I know it would depend on how much stuff there is to dredge up, but several weeks? Several months? 6 months? A year?

The reason I'm asking is that my husband has been seeing his SA therapist since 2012. He meets with his sponsor usually weekly since then also. He has yet to have finished his 4th step in almost 6 years. I don't want to be "working his program for him", but come on, six years??? WTF?

secondtime posted 4/7/2018 19:19 PM

Allusions-

From an outsiders prospective it does seem like your H's recovery has stalled, or maybe he's being complacent.

I don't know what your boundaries are..but, I do think it's OK to share your concerns and ask for information about the status of his addiction.

I know my husband needs to do things at his own pace...but he needed to make (what I personally considered) reasonable progress with working his recovery.


secondtime posted 4/7/2018 19:31 PM

I had a very bad Thursday morning. Completely crashed and burned. Was very close to going back to self-injuring to cope.

DH is cutting back on some work on Monday so that he can come home and I can start making more calls to therapists. Otherwise my choices are to do it at work or potentially over a crying infant..

I did not anticipate a relapse taking more out of me than the initial discovery.

I'm not so optimistic we'll make it out of this. I'm not sure DH will be up to the heaving lifting to repair our marriage.

Lionne posted 4/7/2018 20:13 PM

The 12 steps aren't necessarily worked "in order." And they are worked over and over again throughout the life of the addict emphasis on one or another depending on his/her needs. Remember, as he works the steps the first time, writing and reading and talking with program folks, he is attempting to LIVE the 12 steps.
He may be further along than you think, even if he hasn't formally worked all steps in detail.
It took my H AT LEAST 4 years to internalize step 1. But he worked others anyway. My barometer was his behavior, words and actions.
IMO, an addict who feverishly works through all the steps in a short time, and declares himself "recovered" is dangerous. No one has the luxury of one and done.

Lionne posted 4/7/2018 20:20 PM

Did you all see in the news where the Backpage website has been shut down and the founder is the subject of a human trafficking investigation?

Yep. I am very concerned about loss of first amendment rights. But this was KIDS!
Still, I don't think we can regulate morals, unfortunately. But I absolutely believe that adultery should be penalized monetarily and/or legally. It's a contract. One party violates that policy.

Lionne posted 4/7/2018 20:26 PM

Briar, I have two adult sons. I raised them gender neutral, they had dolls and tools and trucks and other toys as their interests changed. The first thing they did with dolls was undress them. My friend's daughter and son did the same thing.

But none ever engaged in overtly sexual play. There was princesses vs dragons and a hero (or heroine) who rushed in.

If a child in my class or my family did what your H did, I would worry big time. I think that's a clear suggestion of AT LEAST inappropriate sexual exposure. I don't know enough to know what the treatment should be.

BriarRose posted 4/7/2018 20:43 PM

Thanks everyone for your input. We will be exploring this more for sure. I also let my children play with boy and girl toys, but they have never played like this. I would probably rush any child of mine to a therapist the second they showed signs like this in their play.

He came from a messed up home, and we have cut all contact with his family for years, so we won't be getting any insight from them, unfortunately. Not that they would have been honest if something happened.

Smjsome1 posted 4/7/2018 21:49 PM

Secondime-I get it! Iím so sorry! I came to post that m hopelessness is getting worse, my pain is no my better - I lost my mind today and crawled into the back of my car while he was driving to grab an xacto knife so I could cut myself, he got it away and driving 70 miles an hour down the highway Iím fighting him to get it back. I finally broke my glasses and tried to use that - freaking plastic just scratches
When I finally took a pill and went into the calm high place I realized he was right, he was screaming at me to just leave. I need to leave because Iím not getting better, but he is and my pain is damaging him.
Now heís crying because I think I should leave
I canít do anything right

marji posted 4/7/2018 22:34 PM

Was surprised that not more was mentioned here on SI about the shut down of Backpage and arrest of one of the founders. for trafficking despite the careful editing of the ads to avoid arrest. BP realized significant rise in profits after Craig's List shut down its "adult"'section. Maybe there's not more applause for the shut down because many of us think something else will take the place of BP. The trafficking never stops.

allusions posted 4/8/2018 13:37 PM

Secondtime, I do think he is just not motivated to put a great deal of effort into it. And I agree with Lionne, if he whipped through the steps quickly it would be too superficial. His habit in many things in life is to procrastinate. He does not admit when he is wrong. He minimizes things and plays the victim.

There's a lot of things I want to discuss with him. I put off heavy conversations for the past several months because I was going to school and didn't want more stress. Now I'm done with school and I'm looking at some of the things that I want to address. Discussing his recovery work will be a good place to start.

ashestophoenix posted 4/8/2018 19:39 PM

Smj and secondtime, I'm concerned about you. I know how painful this is but you both deserve support. I strongly recommend getting into IC. Please find a trauma therapist. Cutting yourself is a warning sign. Don't let your partners' addiction create even more suffering than it has. I know how fragile I was early on. Please know that IC can help. Medication can help.

Honestly, these men aren't worth this. (And apologies to our betrayed brothers). I took in the message my husband was sending that I was ugly and worthless. I dearly wish I had not. I'm working so hard on shedding those messages. I don't want you to believe that either.

I believe in all of us. It takes time to heal, but we MUST focus on ourselves and we MUST find support. We all deserve it. Please focus on being gentle with yourself. If anyone deserves compassion right now, its all of us.

ashestophoenix

ashestophoenix posted 4/8/2018 19:45 PM

BriarRose, I'd be concerned as well about a five year old engaging in that sort of "play". I have learned that people who suffered from trauma as children can have fractured memories. The timing may be off; the memory isn't so much manufactured as fragmented. It's definitely a sign that something was wrong.

That said, your husband needs to do intensive therapy to understand all of this, and more importantly, to heal. I firmly believe that the addiction is the least of our partners' problems (and isn't that saying something). The underlying trauma and the intimacy disorder, that's a gigantic problem for them and for us.

allusions, my husband's memory has always been bad. My trauma therapist tells me this is a classic sign of a trauma survivor. My MC also tells me it's a defense mechanism my husband has always used to avoid taking responsibility for his behavior. My husband also lies and says "I forgot" rather than "I didn't do it" or "I don't want to do it." Think three year old behavior. As well, my husband doesn't listen and in the past was so consumed in his addiction I don't think he was aware of much in his environment except for the bodies of women and girls. Everything else was a distraction, annoyance and something he spent little time on.

I'm always amazed by the things I've learned. I'm amazed at how screwed up my husband is. It sure makes sense, though, for what happened to me with him.

ashestophoenix

secondtime posted 4/8/2018 20:50 PM

ashes-
Thank you. Finding an IC is top on my priority list for tomorrow. Actually, it's the only priority, other than snuggling with my baby.

I'm also making poor behavior choices. When I am really hurt, I also try to bait DH...making him feel worse..on purpose..I get quite a bit out of that..That's not good, either. I've done this before, prior to DDay 1, and about a year after DDay 1.

I'm not sure remaining married is the best thing for us. I shared that with DH last night. I mean, I'm not a saint of a partner, either...if I have some desire to punish my husband. He offered to move out. But we'd just be trading in one set of problems for a whole different set. Both courses of action, right now are equally poor.

Lifeexploded posted 4/9/2018 08:44 AM

My husband also has bad memory. He cant put things in a timeline, for example. He has a sexual abuse memory that came up 30+ years after the event. So you never know. What brought it out was writing down things that had happened in his childhood. He kept remembering more and more.

I havent been posting here in a while. Being here is hard. But i dont have many avenues of support right now. I saw the porn thread too. Pissed me right off.

Last night I really got my feelings hurt. He offered to rub my feet before bed which was really nice because my feet have been hurting due to needing new running shoes. Afterwards, when he goes in for the goodnight kiss, he starts in trying to really kiss me. Like, asking for sex kissing. Mind you, we havent had sex in 6 months and he knows I am not interested. So I backed off and I thought he got the message. We laid there for a while. It was hard for both of us to fall asleep because we took a nap earlier in the day. After a while, he asked if I was having trouble falling asleep, so i said yes. Then, he proceeds to suggest i get my vibrator out and make myself get off so that I can fall asleep. He tells me that an orgasm will make me feel better. This was so far out in left field its not even funny. In my mind, its so obvious what is going on here. I am sure he has been masturbating and fantasizing. Why else would he all of a sudden think this is an ok suggestion? I just firmly said no and rolled over and got as far away from him as i could. He asked if i was ok, i lied and said yes.

Ugh, the old footrub for sex trick. I cant believe he thought i would fall for that!!!

secondtime posted 4/9/2018 12:27 PM

I have called 3 potential therapists and left messages. One I'm going to email.

Here's hoping something comes about from this.

number4 posted 4/9/2018 14:19 PM

ashestophoenix - You wrote something so profound:

"I firmly believe that the addiction is the least of our partners' problems (and isn't that saying something). The underlying trauma and the intimacy disorder, that's a gigantic problem for them and for us."

While I've known this in glimpses of the last many months, to actually see it, written by someone else, was a stark reminder of what we have to deal with. If all of our spouses/partners quit all of their sexual acting out, but didn't deal with their intimacy issues, would we really be in a better place? I don't think I would be. After all, I've always referred to H's career as his first mistress - the good news is he's made changes in that since last summer when he hit his first bottom. He is taking his first business trip this week since last summer; he used to travel about once every month or two on average.

Anyway, your words were so helpful. I was on my way to my meditation group this morning when I read your post. People in my group don't know the details of what my marriage is going through; they only know there are problems and addictions play a part of it. We always have a check-in at the beginning, and I shared what you wrote and how it reminds me not to get so caught up in the details, and to remember H (like me) has deep trauma wounds that he hasn't dealt with yet. I remember how incredibly overwhelmed I was when I first started dealing with my own issues in therapy 20+ years ago, and I was only dealing with my FOO stuff. H is dealing with (for the first time in his life) his FOO issues, as well as the devastation his behavior has brought to our marriage. At least I was really only focused on one of those when I started this process so long ago. Honestly, I don't know if I could have survived had I had to process how badly I hurt someone at the same time as my FOO issues were being discovered.

So thank you for your words - I had lunch with one of my friends from the meditation group (today's my birthday), and she brought her notebook in the restaurant, and asked me to repeat what I'd shared during check-in, so I actually pulled the post up on my phone and read the two sentences verbatim as she wrote them down. So you have reached people beyond this board.

sami1234 posted 4/9/2018 14:54 PM

When my WH first went to IC he came home with a chart the IC gave him. It looked something like a bullseye. It showed the "Pull of dysfunctional behavior" or something like that. In the center of the bullseye was PA's with random women, nearer the bullseye were things like "loneliness, tiredness, missing wife" further from the bullseye were things like, laughing with wife, dialoging with wife, happy times etc. I clearly, from the very first moment saw this as an addiction type model. I know there are addiction theories that address focusing on lifestyle/behaviors that keep you far from the addiction. In other words, the more good times we have together, the less likely he is to do these behaviors. Only thing is, this really haunts me. It makes me feel like the onus is on me to be sure he doesn't fall into these behaviors or conversely, that if things are bad with me he will fall into these behaviors again.

I do not want to be his prophylactic for these behaviors and I have told him exactly that from the beginning. I'm sorry, but these sound like excuses. Life is not pretty, we will have hard times again...at the time of his worst acting out I was dealing with a parent on their deathbed!! Does anyone else see anything wrong with the target model or am I just taking this all too personally. He continues to tell me how much he needs me. Even the term "need" terrifies me. It scares me and makes him seem desperate. It also makes me want to push him away. I want him to be strong on his own because I feel only then can we connect. I told MC I was concerned what type of person he would be if I dropped dead tomorrow.

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