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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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ashestophoenix posted 8/5/2018 20:38 PM

because I had discovered what a creepy, selfish, exploitative, unthoughtful, insensitive and unhealthy person he was.

Marji, doesn't that say it all. Add in for my husband how deceitful, cruel, controlling, hypocritical and superficial.

My husband as well is working on developing empathy; understanding and expressing his emotions; taking responsibility for his behavior; and communicating in an adult way. These are all skills he should have learned 60 years ago. My husband is the eternal victim, and yes, his "feelings" (which are either resentment or anger) always trump mine. While I see improvements, I don't think he can live long enough to become a decent husband. That's a harsh reality.

For the younger women in this forum, I want to convey just how much I don't want you to end up the way I have: in my sixties and aware that it is very unlikely I will ever have a healthy intimacy with an adult man. If I knew who my husband really was, I would never have married him.

The addiction progressed based on stresses in my husband's life, and his cruelty escalated as well. And I, I was confused and gaslighted and really didn't get that I was in an abusive, toxic relationship. This addiction: it destroys relationships. But I still believe the bigger issues are the underlying trauma that caused our partners to become so unhealthy. The addiction was an unhealthy coping mechanism.

I've let go of the thought of healthy intimacy with my husband. I grieve, but it's a huge relief. My focus is on me and my healing. The realities of my age and the world we are in make divorce not an easy option.

Wouldn't wish our situation on anyone. But here we are, surviving and even giving ourselves the opportunity to thrive. The longer we stay with these addicts, the more losses we endure.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 8:42 PM, August 5th (Sunday)]

Lionne posted 8/6/2018 11:19 AM

For the younger women in this forum, I want to convey just how much I don't want you to end up the way I have: in my sixties and aware that it is very unlikely I will ever have a healthy intimacy with an adult man. If I knew who my husband really was, I would never have married him.

Pretend I said this. Because I have.

It may be possible. IDK. I will say that the little I know of the sex lives of my SANON group confirms this. These guys are in LONG TERM RECOVERY and have been sexually sober for years. Yet I know their sex lives aren't what they should be. Mine sure isn't. One couple, who sort of serve as the elders of the group even though they are younger than I, have worked as spokespeople for recover groups-they both went to the Meadows and learned under the man himself. She refuses to have sex with him unless he wears a condom. 25 years later.

Major trauma a stress in my house, precipitated by a trip that included places we've been before, before children and after children. DS1 loved it there, scrambling over rocks and just enjoying life. Before he started using drugs and drinking. He was just a happy, smart 12 YO, bought himself a hat in one lovely town and wore it forever. I THOUGHT we had a lovely family vacation. Well, except for the fact that I got yelled at for various things, including the fact that I forgot to pack a spatula for pancakes (we were camping) The situation was, I would run around like a crazy person packing and planning for the trip, SO MUCH MORE complicated when you are camping, the kids would disappear until I bodily pulled them into the preparation and SAFWH would spend hours and hours in the basement doing "work" (porn) So yes "I" forgot the spatula.

While we were gone, DS1 posted on FB a note about his impending disappearing act, ie. road trip to no where, in his 16 year old car. This devastates me. I feel he's running away from me, from the toxic life to which I committed him. Talking about it to SAFWH leads to a pity party for HIM. He's a jerk, he's a lowlife, he never should have married me I deserved so much better, I ruined your life, DS's life, blah, blah, blah.

In the meantime, I'm crying and crying, missing my DS2 who already lives far away but at least in is one spot and I can go visit, missing DS1 and wishing he had a destination.

So I ate an entire bagel with cream cheese and more than a few pieces of sourdough bread. And took 2 little pills.

Can't get myself out of this funk.

[This message edited by Lionne at 11:25 AM, August 6th (Monday)]

Smjsome1 posted 8/6/2018 17:59 PM

Lionne

Im sorry - the memories, the kids. The jerk. Im sorry

Lionne posted 8/7/2018 08:11 AM

So, I watched the Robert Weiss online discussion last night. Not much new but it confirmed my feelings that I need help. As in, maybe a residential stay. So I filled in the email on Dr Magness's site. Within minutes he answered me. Himself I think. Compassionate. He forwarded my email to Marsha Means. SHE emailed me in minutes and offered to call. So we set that up. This was 10 pm my time, still late their time. I'm so grateful theses famous people took the time to do that.

ashestophoenix posted 8/7/2018 09:36 AM

Lionne, sending big hugs. I'm so glad you are taking care of you.

ashestophoenix

number4 posted 8/7/2018 13:23 PM

Not much new but it confirmed my feelings that I need help. As in, maybe a residential stay.

I am still pondering that option. Got through last week, which was H's retirement party, having both our girls in town with their significant others, and hosting a brunch for about 15 on Sunday. Saw my psychiatrist yesterday morning and she then reached out to the intake counselors at The Meadows. I really, really want to go, but they have made it clear they will wean me off of my Xanax. My dose each day still varies, depending on what's going on. If I don't go to The Meadows, we will go to CA next week for a few days to find a place to rent, and for H to get caught up to speed on what he'll need to return home and work remotely for a bit.

I just have a very difficult time understanding how I'm supposed to do the hard therapeutic work if I'm physically struggling - foggy, cloudy mind, shaking, exhausted, etc. But I get it, if you're taking a benzo and it's keeping you from getting at your true feelings, how do you do the hard work? I'm looking forward to hearing back from you Lionne to see what they had to recommend.

btw... (edited to add), places like The Meadows will wean you off of any benzo you're on, so when considering residential facility, ask the their policies on benzos. Seriously, if this wasn't their policy, I'd be leaving tomorrow.

[This message edited by number4 at 1:35 PM, August 7th (Tuesday)]

Wtf2014 posted 8/7/2018 16:36 PM

I need help. WS admitted another lie. That his ONS stand that he swore since DDay was a BJ. It wasn't. This was the last straw. The way he lies so convincingly. I don't know if that's part of the SA. But I know i couldn't take the lies anymore. I also feel like I'll never know all the truth about that night, if there were more, or his daily struggle with SA. So i know i need to leave. But... while I know our marriage is over and i can't be his wife, he was my bestfriend and I'm not so ready to let go of that. I decided 2 days ago that we break our lease and both move out and start fresh and kicked him out in the meanwhile. But i don't think I'm ready to separate our lives so quickly. I still want to divorce. I'm just not ready to not have him in my life. I'm not sure if this is smart or going to bring me more pain. Idk. It's just the pain of him not around is excruciating. What's wrong with me?

I finally started telling my friends the facts of all this. In Hope's for support and to hold my self accountable to end it. But why am I being so foolish and wanting to slow down again? Tomorrow would have been 4 years...I made a therapy appointment to work on healing. I'm still really scared of how I'll feel tomorrow. A month ago before this all came out I was so excited. He had planned a surprise getaway and it was this anniversary that we weren't so broke we could go all out. I'm heartbroken reliving all this news that is my life now.
I just still can't believe he faked who he really was all these years. I mean it when I say he was the best partner, on the surface, of course. He made my life easier and better. How do I just drop it all? Help...

Lionne posted 8/7/2018 16:55 PM

Second, I take Ativan only ocassionally. But I get what you are saying. It is your crutch. Crutches are made to help support you. But benzos aren't great for long term use. Imo.
I had a friend that took two zanax, low dose, every day, for many, many years. She made the decision to stop, and did through the help of a talented therapist. It was relatively painless.
I think the benefits of the help you can get at The Meadows may out weigh the perceived benefits of your medication.
Medication only takes you so far.
I think you should take the plunge and work to really heal.

Lionne posted 8/7/2018 17:27 PM

WTF, I'm so, so sorry. Yep. SAs are the best liars in the universe. I think they start believing their own lies.
Gently dear one, you are feeling this way because being married to an active addict creates codependency in most people. Not all. I urge you to read up on that. One of the best things I ever did for myself was to unlearn those behaviors.
Nonetheless, divorce is a huge decision. Take things one day at a time. Make decisions a bit at a time. You'll figure it out.
But don't stay with an active addict.

Wtf2014 posted 8/7/2018 17:48 PM

I don't think I've been codependent. I feel like it now though. But when while we were what I believed to be happily married I was so confident even before we got together. And i definitely have always been the communicator in our relationship. Looking back it was more him that never said how he felt or that things bothered him or that you know, he fantasized about other women daily and watches porn instead of be intimate with me.

I know there's no way I could stay. I just can't leave yet....I I don't understand it. I don't know how to do all this.

marji posted 8/7/2018 18:03 PM

Wtf You've been with this man for several years now; you've shared your life with him; you say he was your very good friend; you said your best friend.

When I was still trying to get my H to say what he had done, where all the money in our bank account was going, I remember saying, " tell me, I'll still be your friend." We had been together about 35 years at that time and I was sincere about my promise. I still feel I am his good friend and in many ways I think he is still mine.

So your H is your good friend and you find it hard just turn away and go toward the rest of your life without him or contact with him. And maybe there is no need to.

But it seems right now you might find it helpful to work with a good therapist-ideally someone experienced and talented work to help you process betrayal trauma and then to help you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life--or at least the next five or ten years. This stuff is very hard to navigate on ones' one. It's great that you found SI; it's been a life save to so many of us. But an IRL team can also make a huge difference. There are also support groups that can help--SANON, BAN. If you aren't working with an an IC please do consider that and the groups. You are not alone and you are going to be very ok. Just lots of time and work to figure things out and get on with your life.

sami1234 posted 8/7/2018 20:52 PM

wtf so sorry to hear all of this. What you are feeling is normal and we have all been through it. The not knowing if we can stay, the not wanting to leave. It's very difficult. Give yourself the gift of time...you don't have to figure it out today or even in the near future. Time is on your side. You do need to have some individual counseling though, please find someone you can talk to for IC, this is traumatic stuff but you will get through this.

Nearly three years post Dday for me and the most I can say after 35 years is that I feel we are somewhere between roommates and friends. I know he feels differently, he feels like he has "fixed" things and he is happy. Well, that is one of us. I'm not unhappy, but I do feel like we are just friends. I do not feel closeness nor do I feel a connection but I do care about him. Honestly, I think friendship was missing in our prior marriage...he was never my friend. He never defended me, nor stood up for me, nor supported me emotionally or cared about my needs or wants. Maybe he is learning that now. Maybe it will evolve into something more. Maybe not.

marji posted 8/8/2018 17:35 PM

Wow sami I could have written just about every word of yours here. And I think I more or less kept the promise I mentioned in my post to wf. But it's a friendship without affection and without respect; it's just there because I am the way I am and because we've now been tougher nearly 40 years.

I was especially struck by your saying your H was not a friend before. I totally share that experience too. I remember a friend of mine talking about her H who had died in a car accident; he'd fallen asleep at the wheel. She was saying how much she missed his friendship-that they "didn't always get along but he always had my back." And I remember feeling very envious; my H was still alive and I had no clue about his weekly activities but I did not know the feeling of his "having my back." I had no experience of his supporting me in any dream or endeavor. Now he wants to make amends. And as you say, maybe it will evolve into something more, maybe not. Im basically at peace these days and it really doesn't matter.

ashestophoenix posted 8/8/2018 18:53 PM

Yes, same here. My husband didn't have my back at all. He really wasn't my friend. And I have no warmth or affection. But he really didn't have any friends at all. When he was young he did, but I think his job which was demanding, and then his addiction, consumed him. I think he just didn't care about anyone but himself and his secret life.

He's making male friends now, and that's been healing for him. Not sure he can have female friends. I respect the work he is doing, but I have NO respect for his addict days.

I am also not attached to the outcome of his work. I am attached to the outcome of mine! Thirty five years together and my husband and I had successful careers and a nice home. But, no love, no passion, no care or concern.

I'm amazed now at how I didn't really fully get this for decades. To be fair, I sought help from therapists but they believed his "poor little me" act and thought he was SO IN LOVE with me. HAHAHHA... So while I felt the lack of love (and I always felt his need for me, but not love), I had multiple therapists tell me I was neurotic and expected too much. I suffer from therapy induced trauma as well as the trauma of living with an SA.

I have an excellent IC now and she points out that my truth was never believed; and his lies were always believed. Maybe it was sexism. I don't know.

The most important lessons I got out of this whole wretched experience are: put myself first; and never, ever disbelieve my truth.

ashestophoenix

ShatteredSoul412 posted 8/8/2018 20:49 PM

everyone, I recently discovered my husband is a sex addict. Weve been married for 1 yr and 7 months. This discovery happened Thursday night, I was on his laptop doing some college things and he left his emails opened so I looked through them. Little did I know I was going to find all the disgusting things I never thought he would ever do to me. He was receiving so many emails from porn sites, talking to different girls he met on Craigslist casual encounters about sex, and asking and sending sexual pictures with all these women. I was shocked. Im still shocked. I have no idea why this is happening to me. He tryed to deny it when I confronted him about it but he ended up admitting it. He said he didnt have any physical sex or sex acts with them but I DONT BELIEVE HIM. Hes full of fucking lies he was also telling me that he would masturbate in the middle of the night to porn. Thats so disgusting all the shit he was doing behind my back and I never knew about it. He was doing it all the time during our marriage. He makes me feel horrible about myself. Why was he so selfish. I wouldve never done that to him. Why me?! He said he would get help and the very next day he went to a sex addict specialist and he came back telling me how sorry he was and saying he was going to change. I was looking through everything and he keeps changing his passowords for everything. I dony trust him!

sunwillshine posted 8/9/2018 00:58 AM

Inpatient treatment was the absolute best thing I did for me! I'm grateful for my 12 step programs and they (s-anon and Al-Anon) have been a godsend. However, I believe the work I had done in those programs led me to make the decision for inpatient treatment. It was so worth it.

sami1234 posted 8/9/2018 07:16 AM

shatteredsoul412: You are absolutely right not to trust him. If he's breathing he's lying. The best thing someone said to me when I caught my husband was "nothing you did or didn't do, caused him to do this." Please believe that. You need to find a good counselor immediately for yourself and make a plan. That plan may include detaching at least emotionally from him and likely physically. Take good care of yourself right now. You are very young, this marriage is relatively new. Most of us here found out after being married for a long time, even for decades. Those of us in that camp would, I believe, tell you to get out, that it is not worth it. If I had found this out early on I would have gotten out. It's harder to leave when you have decades, entertained families, children, grandchildren so so many other things will be affected by that decision.

Please find a good counselor today. There are many great resources here for you as well. The folks in this forum particularly are a great life line.

katiej posted 8/9/2018 08:40 AM

I've been in this club for quite awhile and SA is getting help but .... what are your requirements to stay? What boundaries have you set in place? And is what your SA doing and is it enough for you to stay? And is it possible to actually totally recommit to the relationship or do we always have to remain somewhat disengaged from the SA? I feel like I've been in limbo way too long and I see a future of me getting stronger but never fully trusting or investing in our marriage the same way I did after what I call the first round of cheating and discovery.

sami1234 posted 8/9/2018 11:25 AM

is it possible to actually totally recommit to the relationship or do we always have to remain somewhat disengaged from the SA?

Hooboy wouldn't I like to see a good answer to that one! I wonder this every day. I see stories of great reconciliation on the other threads where there have been affairs, but when you are dealing with these issues idk. Is it possible to get to a point where you feel close? Connected? Has anyone here gotten to that point? Or does what the SA did always rear it's ugly head as you start to feel it might happen?

Marji: Yeah, my WH never got that part. I do see now that maybe we have developed what we were missing, we really never got the chance to start as friends. He never had my back, never believed in me, never listened to my dreams as they weren't "feasible" "I wouldn't be able to follow through" or some crap like that and I listened to it. IF I got my way on anything I had to hound him and hound him and practically beg before he took me seriously. I shouldn't have to do that. Honestly my whole life my friends and family have been amazingly supportive of me, just not my H. Sad that I let that go on for so long although now he does realize that. He says things are "going so well" and yes, as far as all the surface stuff for sure. What's broken is something deep inside.

Lionne posted 8/9/2018 17:55 PM

I've been in this club for quite awhile and SA is getting help but .... what are your requirements to stay? What boundaries have you set in place? And is what your SA doing and is it enough for you to stay?

Requirements...total and absolute transparency. I didn't alway check his computer to see if he had slipped but I reserved the right to do so at any time. NO contact with RL women or I was packing his stuff. NO verbal abuse. Regular attendance at SA meetings and ACTIVELY working the program with a sponsor. Weekly therapy with his CSAT and joint meetings once in awhile to keep him honest (that was her suggestion) He gave up his debit card, instituted automatic deposit and I could see any and all credit card transactions. He spent tons of money on his addiction so I required that he put his inheritance money in a joint account (it wasn't millions but it helped make up for the money he spent) I knew if I had access to all the money I'd know it if he went to a strip club. I couldn't control what he did, but I'd find out if he did it.
He also put a GPS tracker on his phone, it was somewhat useful although not always accurate.


And is it possible to actually totally recommit to the relationship or do we always have to remain somewhat disengaged from the SA?

Recommit? Yes, but then I was always committed. I did detach. It's been very hard to reattach. That's a work in progress. A lot of the reason for our slow progress is that, while he was sober immediately, it took him a long time to change his disordered brain. I detached and lived MY life. I'm trying to find my way back to him and he IS now a person that I can trust with my feelings and with my secrets. But I'm a slow learner too.

I feel like I've been in limbo way too long and I see a future of me getting stronger but never fully trusting or investing in our marriage the same way I did after what I call the first round of cheating and discovery.

My wise therapist told me that we should never completely trust an addict. But we learn to trust ourselves. We learn that we are strong enough to do what's right for US. I am definitely at that point.

It's awful to have had to deal with this and we deserved better.

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