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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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number4 posted 7/5/2018 10:15 AM

Again, why do I care? 1. I showed him and said, real winner there.
2. It makes me happy to see shes working her way to the justice she deserves

I still occasionally google #4; I'm sure it still comes from my insecurities that were created by H allowing himself to get so fooled by her antics. The other three, I don't so much worry about because they didn't really do anything that raised red flags indicating the level of manipulation #4 did.

Mostly I still google her house listing to see if it has sold yet. It went on the market in mid-November, and finally listed as contingent about a month ago, and is now listed as pending, so I expect the sold status to come up any day now.

Anytime I fantasize about all the ways I could make her life miserable, I do stop and take count of what it could do her. I know I shouldn't give a flying shit about her consequences, but because I know how berserk she went when H ended it with her, I suspect she might have been suicidal (in the final three weeks between the abortion and clinic follow up visit she was seeing a counselor several times a week). So I have mostly resigned myself to knowing I can't really do anything to provoke her because if she were to attempt something life-threatening, I'd never be able to forgive myself. Yea, I want her to be non-existent in our lives forever, but I could never be OK knowing my bullying led to something like that.

I think someone who is engaging in the type of behavior Smjsome1 is describing is in essence looking for a way to escape life and is very self-destructive. Doesn't mean we can't hate them; I have told H a few times how much I hate #4; I told him he had to get used to hearing me say it. But any stalking I do that could lead me to acting on it (contacting her anonymously) has to be a 'no' in my book. I certainly have my days where it's harder than others not to follow through on some of my fantasies, but they are more far and fewer in between than six months ago.

Smjsome1 posted 7/6/2018 10:39 AM

No, this woman made my life miserable after NC with constant stalking. When Id meet him at work, shed stand and smirk. Etc. her best friend tried contact a few weeks ago. They were moved away to a different location in Feb.

I told my IC Ive never had my say with her, and surprisingly she encouraged me to write, rewrite, rewrite, edit, and send her a letter on the anniversary. For my closure. For me to be heard. So Im doing that.

Lionne posted 7/6/2018 17:02 PM

she encouraged me to write, rewrite, rewrite, edit, and send her a letter on the anniversary. For my closure. For me to be heard. So Im doing that.

Do it. Just make sure you block any way for her to respond back. I know how difficult that is, but do it, and if she responds anyway, don't open it.

I actually hired a PI to investigate the two OW. Very sordid and interesting stuff. One had been fired from a lucrative state job because she was blackmailing married men she slept with, and tried to start a modeling career, nudes too, and with dogs licking her thighs. The other had been transferred because several women stood up and board meetings to complain she had slept with their husbands, and "accidentally" walked into the boys' locker room while teams were in there (she was a custodian) She's ultimately fired, but not until my husband walked into her life. She clearly wanted my life and her halter tops and tight jeans were her ammunition. He was an idiot, completely. He really fell for the "working their way through college" routine with the strippers, none of whom I bothered to research. They were just doing a job, albeit a yucky, exploitive, manipulative one.
My husband was SO STUPID. Apparently, he has a lot in common with a bunch of people..

number4 posted 7/6/2018 23:45 PM

I actually hired a PI to investigate the two OW

Did you tell your H you were going to do this? Or just do it without his knowledge? Just curious as to how much something like this cost. The idea has certainly crossed my mind.

DogsnBooks posted 7/7/2018 20:08 PM

I know its slow here on the weekends but hopefully Ill get a reply.

Is it wrong of me to secretly read WHs text messages? Mainly, his text messages to his SAA sponsor?

I read them today and in the texts he said that he had a (porn) slipup the other day. Which of course he didnt tell me about. So now Im doubly mad.

Also, how in the loop should WH keep me with his SAA recovery? Should he tell me about things like porn slip ups, or is that me just trying to control the addict/addiction?

Lionne posted 7/7/2018 20:24 PM

I did not tell him. Mind you, this was several YEARS after their last contact but I was just finding out the truth. It was $500. I just wanted background info, stuff I couldn't access, and didn't want to.


Your husband did what he was supposed to do, take his slip to his sponsor.

Imo, don't read his text messages from/to his sponsor. He needs a safe place to talk out his processes. And, also my opinion, unless a porn slip is a deal breaker for you he shouldn't be telling you. He's struggling with shame, struggling with inappropriate urges, struggling to change an addicted brain. That takes TIME, lots of it. A year, two? That doesn't mean he'll slip, doesn't mean he isn't working toward recovery, it just takes time to change that stinkin thinkin.
Of course you'll be upset and traumatized if you discover a slip. But sadly, slips, even relapses are part of recovery. My bottom line was any contact with RL women. I'd be out the door. Porn slips happened.
Our thinking is this (when our partners are in early recovery) "I have to keep an eye on all of this, have to watch for any deviation. If I don't he'll just do whatever he wants. I have to protect myself so I'll check everything all the time." That's our stinkin thinkin. We CANNOT CONTROL WHAT THEY DO AND DON'T DO. They have to want this change. What we do is make ourselves stronger, get healthy, learn to trust that if he goes off the rails, we trust ourselves to do what's right for us.
You'll know if he relapses. You've learned to read the signs.
But don't focus on a slip. Let him take it to the sponsor, that what the program is for.

ashestophoenix posted 7/8/2018 08:47 AM

Dogs, all good questions. First, be gentle with yourself. I snooped at the start of my discovery of my husband's secret life. I saw it as less "I want to control my husband" and more "I'm seeking safety from trauma and uncertainty." I didn't get a full disclosure. Did you? I was in shock about my husband's secret life and he was still being secretive and dishonest. And he was still an addict. I agree with Lionne, it takes them time to stop the crazy train of addiction.

That said, I was traumatized. Who was this man? What did he do? What was real and what wasn't? What risks and harm did he do to me and was still doing to me? What do I need to feel safe? There wasn't a chance in hades my husband was going to help me with any of this and even now, years after discovery and recovery, he is better but not much help.

So, I think at the start, I needed to snoop. It actually helped me. In some ways what I found wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In other ways, it shocked me. I also got much more of a sense of how much time he spent on his addiction and the levels of his betrayal and dishonesty. That was painful, but helpful.

Here's where the snooping didn't help me. What could I do with it? I didn't want him to know I was snooping so I had to sit with this. It also felt like I was immersed in his, what is the word, filth. In his suffocating, ugly, objectified, cheap world. I didn't want to be part of that. I needed to get away from it. At the point I realized that it was damaging to me to be in that world, I really wish I would have separated from my husband. I so remember wanting to live in a life-affirming, clean, joyful, loving world. My husband's secret life: ugh, none of that was what I wanted. So, I stopped.

I reserve the right to snoop again if I feel something is off and I'm not getting honest answers.

What is it fair to ask for? This is a really good question. I think it is fair to ask him to inform you of slips within 24-48 hours. I wrote a contract with my husband about things like this. Of course he violated this contract and is that any surprise. And there was my work. Starting to set limits and boundaries. Making my needs known and important. Then, when my husband showed no respect or caring for my needs and boundaries, I had to do the really hard work of figuring out what would I do if he continued to violate them. Would I divorce him? Would I separate? Would I detach further? This was critical work for my well being.

Dogs, your husband may tell you more over time. He may develop integrity and empathy. He may not. It's slow, is my experience. But, you will eventually trust yourself as to whether or not he is being honest. You will know clearly if he cares about you and has any empathy. It will no longer be confusing. You will no longer be gaslighted and you will trust yourself. At that point, you won't need to snoop.

This takes time. It's taken me years with intensive therapy. It has been worth the effort.

Be gentle with yourself. Focus on you. Get away from the craziness and ugliness of your husband's addiction, even if just for a few minutes each day.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 8:47 AM, July 8th (Sunday)]

marji posted 7/8/2018 14:05 PM

Dogs Hope you're doing ok today.

Just read Ashes post to you and think it's great. I hope you find insight and solace in it too.

secondtime posted 7/8/2018 18:23 PM


My boundary is that DH must tell me if he relapses. If he lies about a relapse again-especially for years, I am done.

I can tolerate slips and relapses. I cannot tolerate the lying and the poor decision making on my part, because I'm not given the whole story. I need to stop digging my own hole, KWIM?

(Example, we underwent fertility treatments to have a third kids during his relapse. The best decision was to not actually have her. But, I couldn't make that decision because DH was not honest about his relapse. It would have been better for me financially if I could have divorced before the 10 year mark of our marriage. He did not tell me he relapsed, and now I've missed that window.)

I'd prefer that he tell me when he slips, so that we can coordinate child care if he needs more time to work his recovery. We have young children in the house and it's not appropriate to leave them alone, and depending on his recovery activity, it may not be appropriate for him to bring them along.

Otherwise, I pretty much just stay out. DH's sponsor offered to meet me once. I declined. I also met with DH's CSAT once. I should have declined that.

[This message edited by secondtime at 6:03 AM, July 9th (Monday)]

Crazymum posted 7/9/2018 02:35 AM

Just a quick query. Does being an addict change the way an addict reacts to his daughter growing into a woman? I am asking because our D is maturing into a beautiful young woman and WH over-reacts to how she dresses. We are teaching her how to dress appropriately when she goes out. I understand that. But when we are just family at home and shes in her PJs which are getting tight - WH really reacts crazy. Telling her not to dress like a whore really angrily and forcefully. Is this a typical father thing or is it exacerbated by WHs life of experience with pornography? Thanks

Edited to add that D is too young to remember WHs goings on and so they have a fantastic relationship. They both enjoy each others company the rest of the time.

[This message edited by Crazymum at 3:16 AM, July 9th (Monday)]

secondtime posted 7/9/2018 05:57 AM

I have 3 girls myself (and one boy), one on puberty. DH does not call our kids names, period. That's behavior I would not accept.

I'm more concerned about making her friends uncomfortable (scanning/staring/leering/etc) and thereby making DD uncomfortable. I don't want any of our kids to feel unsafe in our home.

Which reminds me that I need to double check with DH to make sure he wasn't watching bare-legal/teen porn during his relapse.

I'd been hedging about a course of action in my marriage. This may push me closer to a decision.

number4 posted 7/9/2018 10:01 AM

Telling her not to dress like a whore really angrily and forcefully.

IMO, this is emotional and possibly sexual abuse. I remember hearing stories of other people at one of my workshops at The Meadows last fall... very similar stories of (now adults) children remembering stories of how they were spoken to as children... this is incredibly traumatic to be told you're dressing like a whore, particularly with an angry and forcefully tone, no matter how wonderful the rest of their relationship is. He needs to stop that now, and there need to be some consequences if it doesn't. She may eventually develop anger toward you for not protecting her from this (again, I heard this in stories from other Meadows participants).

I would do everything to get your daughter into some counseling. Any counselor would tell you (and her) that needs to stop immediately. This significantly impacts how she develops a sense of self... messages coming from parents at vulnerable ages are very, very powerful.

Superesse posted 7/9/2018 10:29 AM

^ ^ ^ ^ This!

I haven't got the experience that number4 has to offer you, but my first thought when I read your post, earlier today (and didn't reply) was that your DD's self-concept as a woman will reflect the way her father says he sees her. If he is saying this to her, it can imprint a really sordid concept of femaleness. Serious stuff. She might react to that in extreme ways.

Do you think she dresses provocatively? Or is it just the sex addict father's reaction to his daughter? In any case, please do as number4 suggests, ASAP.

When I was a teenager, I had already reached my full height (tall!) and felt so awkward about it. Being a head taller than the boys in the 7th and 8th grades was not helping me transition to my adult self-image. So, my mother and my father both made what they thought was a complimentary description of my body, and it made me cringe every time I heard it, especially from my father. I ended up slouching with slumped shoulders, as I was not happy to be this "statuesque" woman he was calling me! And I believe my father meant it as a confidence-building compliment! I cannot imagine what I would have reacted like, had I been told I dressed like a whore!!!

ashestophoenix posted 7/9/2018 13:16 PM

Crazymum, bless you for protecting your daughter. I think you are getting good advice here.

I do think your husband's reaction is related, partly, to his addiction history. He's objectifying your daughter and showing no empathy. In his mind, he may think he is protecting her knowing how he looked at female bodies. But that's not true, as we all know. I think it's also just a general cultural ugly view of women that my partner has and refuses to look at.

Is your husband in therapy? He needs to work on this. If not, you are in the painful situation of protecting your daughter.


number4 posted 7/9/2018 16:46 PM

@crazymum - In rereading my post from earlier, I want to apologize if I came off too harshly. Having spent years in therapy, I know how damaging well-intentioned comments from parents can be and it can push my assertive level to a place that someone new to all this stuff doesn't need. They just need supportive words and encouragement.

But the fact that you even asked if it were something to be concerned about, makes me wonder if adults in your life said something to you about your body back when you were developing, that you brushed off as well-intentioned... that you may have given some adults in your life a pass for similar remarks. Just wondering.

We need to educate parents that it's not OK to talk to our kids in certain ways due to our own upbringings. Some parents are aware of how their upbringings impacted them, and some aren't. The ones that are, do practically anything (sometimes going to the other extreme, which isn't always good, either) to break that cycle. Those who aren't aware, but who start to intuitively question things, have a head start on those who are clueless that this is abusive behavior. I'm not sure where you are, other than you obviously aren't clueless, because you've come to this message board to ask. I wish you strength and courage to take the steps you need, to face what your husband is doing to your daughter.

marji posted 7/9/2018 17:10 PM


You're asking about "typical" and if addicts act a certain way-but does that really matter? Isn't what matters most the way your husband acts with and speaks to your daughter? I think you must think his way is very wrong; very in appropriate; a very bad way for a father to speak to his daughter--your daughter. Have you told him how you feel? Have you told him to stop? Is your H working in a program for addicts? working with an IC? Has this behavior of his been brought to the attention of any third party--a sponsor, a therapist? Someone who can teach him how to better behave--how to be a better parent.

Lionne posted 7/10/2018 17:28 PM

Protect your daughter! He is being totally inappropriate, and, imo, abusing her. Her body is changing! That's what is supposed to happen. We women were body shamed ad naseum.
At age 10 I started to develop, long before my classmates. My mother insisted I wear a tight bra and a girdle! Who remembers those! Apparently, my 5' 90 frame "jiggled." I was forever worried about jiggling. It's ridiculous.
In our town, girls shorts must be "fingertip length. But there's NO restrictions on the boys. Muscle shirts, dangling pants, nothing. So one day, the boys at the high school came dressed in short shorts. Those hairy thighs were a sight.
Both genders can be taught to be modest without the female body shaming that persists.

secondtime posted 7/10/2018 18:16 PM

I think I may have found a therapist. I'm pretty happy, as there are things I cannot reconcile right now, and it's messing with both me and DH.

I had a list of "requirements" or "dealbreakers" when looking for a marriage partner.

Addiction was a complete non-starter. I wouldn't even date someone that lied about pot usage to me. I never would have given a recovering addict the time of day, Someone who uses women and could not adhere to wedding vows because of their interest in other women also, a complete non-starter.

I like simple. I don't like complicated. Complicated is too emotionally draining. I did emotional draining growing up. 18 years of it was enough to cure me of wanting more "complicated."

My other "requirements" were being a saver, being OK with the SAHP lifestyle, and wanting a larger family. DH hit all all of these.

It also doesn't help that I'm a black and white thinker. So all of this grey is really hard for me to grapple with, combined with all the complications of me being the breadwinner, and figuring out much punishment my kids should take (like going from a nice middle class lifestyle to pretty much abject poverty), especially since right now they are emotionally/mentally safe..because of what I can and cannot live with.

I also wonder what that says about me, if I choose to stay with a man, who will always be engaged in deal-breaking behavior? The question isn't if, anymore it's when.. I won't be naive enough to think that people are capable of change. I did that once, and it served my poorly.

So, I'm thankful to finally have a place to talk about this freely.

number4 posted 7/10/2018 19:16 PM

Interesting and good update... and question about how PTSD affects you physically.

Last Friday, H and I had a session with our MC,and the issue of what to tell our Ds came up. Long story short, he was adamant that he was not going to tell her anything more than she knew (that he cheated on me). Things were really tense that night, but the next day, totally unexpected by me, he asked her to come sit down next to him, that he had some stuff he needed to tell her... and he did - it wasn't graphic or detailed - it was basically that the last year had been incredibly hard on me based on not just my brothers dying and my genetic testing results and the impending relocation, but that more information about him came out, up until the last stuff in March. He fought off tears the entire time. While he didn't use the phrase sex addiction, he said since his childhood he'd developed some unhealthy coping skills that had been detrimental to our marriage, and that included not only the unfaithfulness, but viewing pornography. I was shocked he said it. She handled it so well. He reiterated over and over again how much he loved me, how much he loved her, and how hard we were working on repairing the marriage. All in all it went well, and I had an opportunity to tell her how some of my behaviors or responses to stress might be understood by her better, and she seemed to get it.

That day, it was the first time in probably more than a month that I ended up going the whole day, until bedtime, without taking any Xanax. I felt like such a relief had been taken off my shoulders.

But I couldn't leave well enough alone... the next day, when I met with my trainer, I was feeling so good I told him let's up the workout a notch. Two hours later, my upper back started to spasm. By nighttime, I'd taken a mg. of Xanax, Advil, iced my back several times, and was in such a state of panic that we couldn't attend our condo association meeting. It took two hours for the orally-dissolving Xanax to kick in (it's supposed to be quick) to where I started to come back down. I was SOOOO disappointed in myself. I thought I'd turned a corner when H told D about the complexity of what the last year has been like for me.

Saw the PT and chiropractor yesterday and they worked on me; felt much better afterwards. Went to Pilates today, told my instructor what had happened over the weekend (the pushing it too hard work out), so she tried to keep things more along the stretching movements as opposed to strengthening. I felt OK most of the day, but this afternoon my back started to spasm up again and it opened up the door for anxiety. H has a meeting tonight, so I'm home alone and just feeling so defeated. Sunday night I had a long talk with myself about how I really needed to abide by my PT's exercise regimen... did it yesterday, and hadn't gotten around to it today when my back started hurting again. I did get down on the floor and do them, but it's still pretty painful.

I'm just SO, SO, SO, SO tired of my body not cooperating with me. I'm trying to do self-care by doing the workouts, but even as much as we've scaled them back, I'm still struggling. I've almost gotten to the point where I'm saying, "What the hell am I spending all this money on a trainer and Pilates, when it causes me so much pain?"

Did any of you have any specific ways the PTSD impacted your body, other than the usual appetite changes, irritability, fatigue, etc.?

Not having a good evening.

number4 posted 7/10/2018 19:45 PM

And now I'm having vertigo. Life is really becoming too much to deal with sometimes.

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