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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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number4 posted 7/12/2018 22:48 PM

H left town this morning for his annual 'guys' sports competition tomorrow and will be back Saturday afternoon. Due to my ongoing vertigo, we had to hire a live-in caregiver until Saturday. I am seeing a PT tomorrow who is supposed to try some sort of maneuver that is supposed to help. It's really sad when my caregiver is actually older than me. If anyone has any positive stories to tell about recovering from vertigo, I'd really appreciate it.

Anyway, when H arrived at his destination today (staying at one of his best friend's homes), he and his friend had a few hours of errands to run before tomorrow. Again, totally unexpected by me, H told his friend EVERYTHING. I think as he started to tell the story, his friend kept asking questions and that's why more info came out than H was probably planning on telling him. At one point his friend said, "What, are you a sex addict?" Pretty intuitive, huh? H said his friend asked him a few times how I was doing with it all, which I appreciated. This friend now knows more about H's sexually acting out than anyone outside of a therapeutic setting (well, other than me). He said his friend was shocked, but was supportive of his recovery process. H also told me he figured if I was gracious enough to let him go on this trip, he should take the opportunity to grow from it. I told him I saw no reason for him to stay home and stare at the walls and TV with me - a caregiver can do that. And yes, I did wonder if once H got there, he would fess up to his friend, and if he was going to do it (I didn't suggest it at all... trying not to manage his recovery program), I speculated it would be healing. I didn't want to tell him he should do it; it meant so much more that I didn't suggest it, and he did it of his own free will.

marji posted 7/13/2018 04:32 AM

Hey number So sorry to hear about the vertigo but good that you have someone staying with you and good to hear that your H was able to share with his friend--and share with you that he was able to do that.

After discovery, maybe many months after, I experience vertigo for about a week or so; it was very disconcerting; felt like the room was spinning around--happened when I changed positions from sitting to standing or getting up from sleep. Very weird sensation and Im very glad it went away. Hope there PT can help you today and that things will be ok when your hubby comes back tomorrow. It's good that you were comfortable with his going for these two days and good that he knows how to stay in serious contact while away.

Crazymum posted 7/13/2018 06:34 AM

Thankyou everybody for all your good advice re WH's overreaction to our daughter's clothes.

When WH was depressed he was verbally abusive to our kids. So it is a tendency of his. He is alot better now but he doesn't understand why saying these things is a problem. He no longer goes to IC so I will have the necessary discussion with him.

I've already chatted with DD about it. She sees an IC to help her deal with a bit of anxiety. I'll raise it with the IC so that it can be discussed there too. What was said can't be undone though.

I will have that awkward discussion with WH.

marchmadness posted 7/13/2018 08:53 AM

#4 I have suffered from vertigo had amazing success with PT. My STBXWH is a PT as well as a SA so I understand the pain from SA too. I hope you feel better soon.

Lionne posted 7/13/2018 11:39 AM

I think I may have several medical issues related to stress. Thank God, vertigo isn't one of them.
I hope you feel better soon!

number4 posted 7/13/2018 16:43 PM

Well, I got some answers. I didn't have the typical BPPV vertigo - I passed all those tests. I have what's called vestibular neuronitis, in my right ear. I did not respond with dizziness when the OT did the Epley maneuver, so she did another test which was fascinating. I had to stand in one place, close my eyes, put my arms out straight in front of me and start marching until she counted to 50. As I was marching I kept feeling like I was leaning to my right, but when time was up, she had me open my eyes, and I had turned to the right 140º! I kept wondering why her voice counting was getting louder in my left ear. I thought she was walking over to my left side to observe me. So she gave me some exercises, and will send the assessment to my doctor. She said some doctors will order an MRI or CAT scan to rule out acoustic neuromas, so we’ll see what my internist says. But i have exercises now and will see her again twice next week. Oh, she’s an OT, not a PT, but obviously knew her stuff. She said there are all kinds of vertigo, which I didn’t know, so I’m glad we figured out which kind I have. Also… another interesting google search shows this: “In vestibular neuritis, the virus that causes the infection is thought to be usually a member of the herpes family, the same group that causes cold sores in the mouth as well as a variety of other disorders (Pollak et al., 2011).” I’ve had three cold sores in the last six weeks. Prior to that, I probably hadn’t had one in well over a year. The OT actually asked me if I’d had any recent colds, sinus infections, etc., and I said no. I wasn’t thinking about my cold sores.

And I know FOR SURE that my cold sores are brought on by stress... either not putting sunscreen on my lips when I'm outside, sleep deprivation, or stress in general. So yea, I'm chalking this one up to stress. Now is it all the stress of what H has done in the last year? I don't think so. I think it is cumulative, including family deaths, diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, and the reality of a major relocation coming up in the next few weeks. The question now is will they order the MRI or CAT scan? But it just shows how badly my body has hit a wall when it comes to stress.

marji posted 7/15/2018 05:10 AM

Number thank you for keeping us up to date on your vertigo problem; sounds like the OT was very competent and knowledgable. You've been dealing with so very much this past year and seems like your body is keeping the score. Let's hope that things can turn around from here on in--did the OT suggest anyway to deal with the vertigo?

LostSoul2018 posted 7/16/2018 20:44 PM

I’m at a loss on moving forward. Has anyone experienced their WH not wanting to be sexually intimate with them during “R” and when you do have intimacy it’s just bland? I’m not sure if it’s just me conjuring things in my mind and pressing too hard or what, but it creates triggers. I am getting older and have several children. He had a live in girlfriend that had none and the escorts he was seeing all had really nice bodies and some were actual porn stars. All of it has just beaten down my already low self esteem and confidence in myself. I know that I’m supposed to control how I feel about myself but it’s just hard being/feeling rejected all of the time. He never has done any of the things that he’s done with them with me and he’s never been as excited with me as he was with them. It makes me revision all of the things I’ve read and saw during discovery and also makes me look back on our lives and realize that we’ve never been really connected in that way that he was during the years of betrayal. He’s doing really well in everything else since he’s started SAA except for intimacy.
Married:15 years
DD:several beginning 2016 but affairs “began” 2013
BS: 36
WH: 40
Muddleling through R

DogsnBooks posted 7/17/2018 11:52 AM


Have you talked to your WH about it?

Could be a couple things. Maybe he is worried about his sobriety (I’ve heard this before, that they try to “turn off” the sexual part of their brain and bury it, rather than dealing with their improper urges in a healthy way. So having sex would turn “that part” of his brain back on and maybe he doesn’t feel secure enough in his sobriety yet.)

Maybe he is worried about triggering you. Maybe he is worried about triggering himself.

Whatever it is, it won’t improve with wishful thinking - talk to him!

Edited to add: Don’t play the dreaded comparison game! Nothing you did or did not do, your age, your appearance, nothing about you caused him to do this. Even if you were a 20yo porn star, he still would’ve cheated because he’s selfish and an addict. So don’t fall into the “what if” trap.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 11:55 AM, July 17th (Tuesday)]

Lionne posted 7/17/2018 13:54 PM

Great answer Dogs! I agree wholeheartedly.

I also want to add that this is common. It can be part of recovery indeed.

But if he is white knuckling, not really working a 12 step program, this isn't sustainable.

ashestophoenix posted 7/17/2018 16:46 PM

Lost, I don't know your story or how long you've known the truth about your husband. I can say what you are experiencing seems to be the norm. My husband is the same way and he's been in recovery now going on four years.

We all suffer from tremendous blows to our self esteem. This is reasonable given what happened to us. Even though their addiction has NOTHING to do with us, we are impacted by their behavior. A big piece of healing for me is rebuilding my self esteem. I have been in trauma therapy for four years and it has really helped. It's slow and painful, but we are healing from significant trauma due to living with addicts like our partners.

Worse than the acting out with these addicts, is their underlying fear of intimacy. Once they do the work to get sober, in my view their real work starts. They have to learn what underlies their fear of intimacy, address it, and the learn to relate in a healthy manner. That takes time. And, no husband is CLUELESS about what is healthy sexuality.


number4 posted 7/17/2018 17:24 PM

I know my H did things with affair partners we will never do - I have already told him that. And I worried about it for several months. In the end, what he told me that helped me get past it was that the sex with other partners was just sex.. it was very one-dimensional. Our more 'normal' (compared to some things he did) sex, though, he says is multi-dimensional because of the emotional intimacy that now exists between us that was missing for so many years because of his inability to be emotionally intimate with ANYONE, not just me. But now that that is a significant part of our relationship, he realizes how foolish he was to fantasize that sex with the affair partners would be sustainable.. because in the end, there was no emotional intimacy...even if they did fantasize (mostly her) about a future together.

So the way I understand it is... don't focus on the act itself - focus on the multi-dimensional experience of being physically and emotionally vulnerable with someone you want to be with, and he wants to be with you.

Now if he's not in recovery, and can't understand the added dimensions to the sex part with you, then he needs to do more work. He needs to allow himself to be more vulnerable with you and visa versa. That's been our experience.

number4 posted 7/17/2018 17:33 PM

did the OT suggest anyway to deal with the vertigo?

Yes, I have exercises I do three times a day. Saw her today again for the second time, as well an audiologist and ENT. They don't seem too worried about anything else going on... said it will just take time. But the OT really wants me to try not to stay too idle, as tempting as it is. Mostly now I just feel nauseous when I overdo it with my eyes, which is why I've spent very little time on the computer or iPhone lately.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but after watching hours and hours of Fixer Upper, even Chip and Joanna are getting on my nerves. I need mindless TV and HGTV is right about my speed, but damn, I'm even getting tired of them, no matter how cute they are.

Went to a very, very dark place Sunday night - we even threw out the hospital word again. But H and I met with my psychiatrist yesterday and decided even a partial hospitalization program or intensive outpatient program might be too difficult for me right now. Anything that requires reading, doing written exercises, etc., just tires me incredibly. So starting today, we are trying out having a caregiver spend a good portion of the day with me, to help keep my mind occupied and drive me to appointments. Today worked well... I didn't go to a dark place. Sunday I had made up my mind that I couldn't tolerate being trapped in my body any longer, and seriously thought if I even just did something as small as stub my toe, that was going to send me over the edge. So having someone here is helpful. I hate that I'm 58 years old and have to have a caregiver. Just hoping this will all continue to abate.

secondtime posted 7/17/2018 17:55 PM


My husband worked with a CSAT for a year before we started connecting during sex.

Sex is sort of touch and go for me. Like. Sometimes we stop in the middle because I'm feeling bad.

Because of that, DH leaves the initiating up to me. He's shared that he would like more, but won't initiate because he doesn't want me to feel pressured.

I also reassurance through word and deed that he loves me, finds me attractive when there's and that he's sorry for putting me through hell (and taking my best years away) when I didn't deserve it. I need this to happen when sex isn't even a possibility, because I need to know that it's not lip service just so he can use me.

[This message edited by secondtime at 5:56 PM, July 17th (Tuesday)]

number4 posted 7/17/2018 20:29 PM

He's shared that he would like more, but won't initiate because he doesn't want me to feel pressured.

Funny... my husband wouldn't initiate with me for a long time because of all the years I rejected him. So I had to keep reinforcing by initiating until he believed me, that I wouldn't reject him. But I have, too, gotten the 'I don't want to pressure you' line occasionally.

I won't even begin to tell you how having vertigo can squash your libido. I kind of feel bad for him, and although masturbation is part of his sobriety, I'm tempted to overlook it easily if I caught him doing it, or he told me he did. But it has only been a week since no sex, but the ENT today told me this could take up to three weeks to completely go away.

DogsnBooks posted 7/17/2018 22:17 PM

How do you focus on yourself and not lose your sanity when WS has a slip?

My WH stayed home “sick” today (with a light cold). All day I was worried about him being home alone all day ... I just had a gut feeling that he would slip and I had anxiety all day.

Confronted him about it when I got home from S-Anon (thankfully a good meeting tonight, or else I would probably be even worse off) and he skated around my questions, tried to play it off, etc etc. I held my ground and asked him point blank, did you or did you not watch porn today? He still couldn’t bring himself to say it, but his face and his silence told me all I needed to know.

And the trust takes another hit ...

Edited to add: I know some people here probably wouldn’t consider porn a slip. To us, it is (since his acting out was all cyber-based, plus he just has a straight-up addiction to porn) and it is in his “inner circle.”

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 10:19 PM, July 17th (Tuesday)]

number4 posted 7/17/2018 23:42 PM

I just wanted to report that, after a week of another crisis, and seriously considering whether I needed a mental health evaluation in the ER just Sunday night, tonight I had several really good hours.

H and I watched some TV (no Fixer Upper!), and as we laid in bed, it was the first time I'd felt calm in such a long time. I can honestly say I had gratitude for the snoring pooch between us, as well as just laying here in the almost dark, having some appreciation for some good things in my life. I hope I've turned a corner with this round of stress and vertigo.

secondtime posted 7/18/2018 00:13 AM


How do I focus on myself. Well. I have a full enough plate. I've got 4 kids. I work several jobs, and I'm in school. I have hobbies, and working my recovery takes time, too.

I also practice mindfulness as much as I can to stay present. I'm much better at recognizing what I can control, what I can't and whether or not worrying/giving something mental space is useful or not.

The working the recovery thing is big. I find when I trust myself...I really don't think about my husband's acting out.

I don't know how long your husband has been sober. It took my husband a good month to stop compulsively masturbating after he started working with his CSAT and stopped watching porn.

JadeC posted 7/18/2018 00:50 AM

Lost-Yes! We have had sex twice since April, both times I initiated and both times less than satisfying for me. I've asked him about it a couple of times and he said it's just where he's at in his head right now, or something to that effect. I'm starting to not care and that worries me.
A couple of weeks ago, I opted into a Marriage Challenge text program where for three months, we'll get texts, on alternate days, with a 10 minute challenge of something you can do for your spouse to make them feel loved, for example, leaving a little love note on the mirror, giving your spouse a short massage, drawing a bath...little things like that. How many challenges do you think he's done for me? NONE.
So I asked him on Sunday if he was getting the texts, and he said he was. So I asked if I wasn't worth taking the time to do any of those. I got an eye roll. That told me more than any words could. And so I've retreated for the time being.
Sometimes I don't see the point of working so hard to stay in this lack luster marriage. I keep hearing that saying, "Don't cling to a mistake just because you've spent a long time making it."

DogsnBooks posted 7/18/2018 05:36 AM


WH has been going to meetings for about a month and a half now. He doesn’t have a CSAT, we don’t have any in our area and don’t have the money to pay out-of-pocket for a Skype therapist or something like that. (He does have a “regular” IC.)

He even has a sponsor, but instead he chose to go ahead with the porn instead of texting his sponsor that he was having urges ... And this isn’t his first slip. At least 2 others that I know of and probably many more that I don’t.

I don’t know how much more of this heartache I can take. Rationally I know that “just” porn isn’t nearly as bad as a lot of the things others in this group are dealing with. But it still hurts ... more than I ever thought it would.

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