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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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secondtime posted 7/18/2018 07:04 AM


This is all expected behavior. I know it doesn't' make it easier. But, for me, remembering that took some of the hurt away..the first time.

How much reading have you done to educate yourself? Are you working with a therapist and going to a 12 step group? Even Al-Anon would be better than nothing.

Do you have any activities that puts you "in the zone?" If not, why don't you make it your personal mission to find one?

This is not about you. Unfortunately, we're all just collateral damage.

Honestly, in your situation, I would be working my recovery and doing some soul searching. Not everyone is cut out to be married to an addict. It's OK if you aren't.

I found a therapist that will help me work through that decision of if I want to stay married or not. I also need to do some legwork with a lawyer. This way, I feel like I can make a better informed decision.

I think it's easier, clearer decision to make when it's just you and your DH, before the kids come.

Ifeelalone posted 7/18/2018 12:43 PM

I feel off today. A few days ago my SAWH initiated sex and I was interested. Then it started to feel like it didn't matter who he was with and he was touching me in just an off way. I stopped before the "event" and just said "this feels wrong". ... and now I feel like everything is heightened. Like I'm in imminent danger. This is just crazy PTSD stuff right? Or is my mind trying to tell me something?

This is so hard. I'm afraid my life will never feel safe again. It's not safe with him and it's not safe away from him.

I've been doing IC and we've been doing MC. He still regularly meeting his csat and going to SAA meetings...

I hate not feeling in control.

I appreciate everyone's participation in this forum and read daily. Hope everyone else is doing well.

DogsnBooks posted 7/18/2018 16:43 PM


I regularly go to S-Anon meetings and just bought my S-Anon books last night actually.

I do have a therapist, but Iím actually seeing her because she has experience with my specific phobia (unrelated to all this) that has been taking over my life ... so we focus mainly on my phobia in our sessions and while I do bring up the infidelity/SA stuff from time to time, we donít really have the opportunity to dive into it too deeply. We do attend MC as well, but I doubt insurance would foot the bill for a third therapist for me ...

I donít really do any activities. Working out and yoga is about it, but Iíve been too drained the past few weeks for even that. I have no motivation, no energy to put into myself.

LostSoul2018 posted 7/18/2018 17:42 PM

I appreciate everyoneís kind words and advice. He is in SAA and that has seemed to help him tremendously. He is now more communicative as well as positive. We used to go to MC but this was when he was still in denial about being a SA, not thinking of us vs him so he felt like being with escorts wasnít a big deal, and didnít care/love himself so he relapsed and was able to use the fact that I already didnít like our MC as an excuse to stop going. He was a typical Narcissistic individual. So we need to pick back up on the MC. I have tried to ask him about it since the beginning and he would give the ďitís not you/has nothing to do with you, itís meĒ speech, however he has no idea what ďITĒ is and heís ďstill trying to figure it out himselfĒ and all he ďdoes know is that he needs timeĒ which is also a trigger for me due to that being a response in the beginning stages of all this ďI need timeĒ never for what or how long, so I know reference it as the ďinfamous timeĒ. Now that heís a bit more communicative at times I have gotten that he used it as a distraction, none of it was real, and it was all fake with them. I have learned that his ďinfamous timeĒ is somewhat correct as I feel less hurt physically when triggers happen or thinking of things and the compulsive movies and thoughts only consumes about 60% of my day now vs 1,000% to the 10th power. so to the one that said this part scares you I can relate as it does me too. I also think about exactly what you do @ifeelslone that Iím in danger, never safe, and feeling out of control. So Iím assuming itís normal as well. Sorry Iím all over the place guys but I really do appreciate this place. Although at times I feel sad reading the posts especially the relapses, watching everyoneís strength to continue on (with themselves not just the relationship) gives me hope, also knowing Iím not the only one dealing with this crazy shit makes me feel a bit more sane. You guys are all such beautiful souls and I wish for strength, love, and positivity for you all.

DogsnBooks posted 7/19/2018 09:50 AM

I am still spinning out today. I feel like Iím losing my mind.

number4 posted 7/19/2018 15:26 PM

@DogsnBooks -

What if you saw your therapist more often so you could continue to address the phobias as well as the crisis you're going through. To me, the current crisis seems more urgent, but I don't know what your phobia is, so I can only speculate which is more urgent.

Have you told your therapist how you feel like you're spinning out of control? So you can talk about why, and that you need more intervention from a professional?

DogsnBooks posted 7/20/2018 08:51 AM


I have a session with my therapist tomorrow, so Iím going to bring all this up and see where she wants to go with it.

I have severe Emetophobia, which is a phobia of (others or myself) vomiting. Sounds simple enough, but it impacts every aspect of my life - fear every time I need to eat, travel, going places and worrying about germs, being around other people ... basically it is a fear of external things (like most phobias) but ALSO my own self and what my body might do to me. It sucks ...

But yes, I will discuss with my therapist. I have also been debating if I should have her refer me to a psychiatrist to get antidepressants. (Although, another triggery thing for my phobia! Side effects!!)

secondtime posted 7/20/2018 09:22 AM

Glad you are seeing your therapist soon.

Is there a place that you can go away for the weekend that would give you a break from your SO and wouldn't amp up your phobia?

number4 posted 7/20/2018 10:24 AM

but it impacts every aspect of my life - fear every time I need to eat, travel, going places and worrying about germs, being around other people ... basically it is a fear of external things (like most phobias) but ALSO my own self and what my body might do to me. It sucks ...

I could only imagine that you feel very alone in dealing with this. Does your husband show any compassion toward what you struggle with? If he doesn't and this is something that's been part of your life for very long, I can see how that would be another disconnect in your marriage.

DogsnBooks posted 7/20/2018 12:06 PM

I could only imagine that you feel very alone in dealing with this. Does your husband show any compassion toward what you struggle with? If he doesn't and this is something that's been part of your life for very long, I can see how that would be another disconnect in your marriage.

Thankfully he does understand that is is a very real thing (and more common than youíd think!) and is very compassionate about it. He puts up with all my OCD behaviors and I donít think heís ever expressed annoyance about it, although Iím sure he feels it on the inside. I guess the bright side of both spouses having mental health issues is that you ďget itĒ even if you donít truly understand.

Take that with a grain of salt though ... he stlll isnít a safe person for me right now (especially after the relapse) so I canít really let myself be comforted by him. Not exactly a calming presence.

number4 posted 7/20/2018 15:17 PM

I canít really let myself be comforted by him. Not exactly a calming presence.

Maybe he can't calm you, but he's one less person you have to explain it to and how it impacts your life. If he wasn't compassionate about the phobia, I can see how it would make things 1000% worse for you right now.

marji posted 7/20/2018 16:53 PM

Dogs Just wanted to say how much I respect what you're doing. I keep looking at your age in amazement; you seem so deeply wise and kind and intelligent. Wish I had something helpful to offer but I am glad you've been able to find a decent SANON group and good that you found SI and it is good to know that your H is understanding and empathetic to your other ongoing challenge. Number suggested working with your therapist twice weekly so you could have time to talk about the other; that sounds like an awfully good idea if you can manage it. Wishing you well--

number4 posted 7/21/2018 11:57 AM

btw, DogsnBooks - I really appreciate your sharing your phobia here (even though it's an anonymous forum; there's always a risk of vulnerability when we put ourselves out there for others to see), and it encourages me to be more honest with my own personal issues that aren't necessarily related to my H's sex addiction, but it sure makes dealing with the sex addiction much more complicated.

To know one's great surprise, I spent most of my therapy session this morning (second one this week) talking about my fear of developing a tolerance or dependence to Xanax. I suspect with our relocation coming up, minimizing my Xanax use to less than I'm using now (no more than 1.25 mg. a day on my worse days) is going to be impossible. And I keep beating myself up for it. My therapist says it's really my mom's voice I'm hearing, but have internalized it so that it's my own voice.

Lionne posted 7/21/2018 18:31 PM

number, you are using a valuable tool to help with your anxiety, with a doctor's guidance. Please try to stifle that mother's voice.

I have a good friend who has everything I want, a husband who has never cheated (I'd know) two kids, married, one with two beautiful grandbabies, she's pretty and smart, had great supportive parents, an extended family that is growing, making holidays a ton of fun, etc. She is seriously depressed. Her mother was a nurse, so she WILL NOT take prescribed antidepressants, her mother would not approve. Her mother was a wonderful woman, but old fashioned. And heck, we aren't talking about vidocin. She drinks to excess just about every night. I hardly see her. She stays home all the time.
Listen to your doctor.

JadeC posted 7/22/2018 00:19 AM

I recently found a book called "Married and Alone" by Douglas Weiss. The title right away drew me in, it is exactly how I feel. No surprise that it's about intimacy anorexia. I haven't gotten very far, but I've highlighted so much of the first several chapters, the pages are almost solid colored. So much I can relate to. Especially the comments where the wives said they felt like "just a roommate." Has anyone else read this? Did it offer any solutions?

marji posted 7/22/2018 05:42 AM

Jade Haven't read that book but both my H and I read his book on Anorexia. My H read it three years ago and had all but one of the 20 or so traits listed as anorexia related behaviors. My H said it was the best book he'd ever read and he wanted to change. He has in many ways but it's been a lot of work and still one in progress.

Has your H also read the book or the one I mentioned and has he shown desire to change into a more normal person and a better partner for you? I think the only solution to the discontent of living with an anorexic is to accept they will not change and to find other sources of joy and fulfillment in life whether we stay or not or we could make their willingness to change a condition of staying. I think it's a very core aspect of their personality so that even with effort on their part, change is very difficult. My H had no difficulty giving up his habit --but other behaviors, manners and attitude still require the help of a program, counselor and sponsor. It's very hard for them to change on their own.

ashestophoenix posted 7/22/2018 06:50 AM

Jade, I read Weiss's book and it was the perfect description of my marriage. My husband hasn't read it and won't read it and insists he's not an intimacy anorexic. But, that is not a surprise based on what Weiss says in the book. They have a hard time accepting they are in any way a "bad guy". They always have to be the "good guy" which makes us the "bad guy". Always.

Weiss views it as an addiction. I don't know if I see it that way but I see it as deeply unhealthy. Weiss would do a 12-step approach with counseling specifically for intimacy anorexia. He has these daily exercises involving expressing feelings and praise. But the partner has to "enforce" consequences if the addict doesn't do them. He doesn't offer much hope, in my opinion. But, if your partner really were to do the hard work of getting sober and then dealing with the underlying trauma that created the intimacy anorexia, they could become healthy partners.

I think it's possible. It just takes very skilled therapists, lots of time, and someone who sincerely wants to get healthy.

My husband is doing all the right things: individual therapy, group therapy, trauma recovery, 12 step, men's group....and four years later, he's still an intimacy anorexic. Less angry, but still defensive and a blamer and unable to connect emotionally.

In my marriage, I've let go of hoping for intimacy and while that is sad, I feel so much better! It's like a million pounds of weight has come off of me. I'm focusing on me, my health, my well being. I don't have to invest time and energy into a toxic relationship. It's much less toxic than in the past, but it's still like death: cold, emotionless, tedious, soul killing.

Thirteen more months until it is optimal for me to file for divorce. My husband knows how I feel. He's working on trying to connect. Don't know if he can.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 7:00 AM, July 22nd (Sunday)]

JadeC posted 7/22/2018 15:24 PM

I've shared with him that I was reading the book and what it was about. He's expressed a desire to really change...he says all the right things it's
more a matter of him actually doing the things. He has a new sponsor now (his first one cut him loose after a few months when he wasn't seeing any progress being made-that really bothered my husband, he seems more motivated now...we'll see.) The new sponsor seems to have a more structured approach.
Has anyone seen the workbook that goes along with the Married and Alone book? I'd like to get a look at it, but it's$50 after you tack on shipping and I can't really justify the expense right now.

secondtime posted 7/22/2018 22:31 PM

I haven't read the book.

But, I did get a lot of mileage out of "The Seven Levels of Intimacy" by Matthew Kelly. Personally, I didn't know what an emotionally intimate marriage was supposed to look like. I was never exposed to one growing up.

About 9 months or so into DH's renewed recovery efforts, we were in an disagreement and he said "I feel blah blah blah when you blah blah blah."

I didn't know what to do with that. So many different conflicting thoughts going through my head at once.

DogsnBooks posted 7/23/2018 06:06 AM

Ok so. I know that boundaries are supposed to be about yourself feeling safe, not about punishment. But I do feel that there ought to be some sort of consequences in place for when relapses happen. Right now the only consequence is that I get hurt, which obviously isnít enough to stop him. How can I enforce these boundaries we have set up together, short of leaving?

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