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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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ashestophoenix posted 8/12/2018 17:01 PM

wtf, I think you will find answers to many of your questions by reading some of the books and web sites listed in the first post of this "I Can Relate" forum.


Wtf2014 posted 8/12/2018 21:44 PM

Superess: Those stories broke my heart. That is my biggest fear. I hope this separation helps me clear my head...

cypress posted 8/12/2018 23:41 PM


Are any of your SA spouses in an SA 12 Step Group? How do you cope with "yellow zone" risks? My SA spouse has been transparent with me when I ask if he has had any "risks", such as going down another aisle in a store if he sees a female in shorts or with a revealing top, etc. Does this ever get better or is this what I have to look forward to forever? Does the SA ever start looking at his Betrayed Partner in a loving way and not even see the other females? Thanks.

Lionne posted 8/13/2018 07:37 AM

Are any of your SA spouses in an SA 12 Step Group? How do you cope with "yellow zone" risks?

Yes. He goes faithfully and always will. I dealt with his yellow risks the same way I dealt with the rest of recovery, I left it up to him. Ocassionally I'd ask for an update on his progress, "have you identified your triggers?" What's your plan to deal with them" I also ask him how can I be confident in his sobriety, whereby he gives me a list of the positive things he'd do (recite the serenity prayer, recite his favorite slogans "do the next RIGHT thing" journal and
meditate, and make some program calls) The "yellow zone" or " inner and outer circle is a useful graphic with addicts, it's a blueprint of the disease and addicts are taught to avoid slips by identifying triggers and learning abetter way.

Myuse has been transparent with me when I ask if he has had any "risks", such as going down another aisle in a store if he sees a female in shorts or with a revealing top, etc. Does this ever get better or is this what I have to look forward to forever? Does the SA ever start looking at his Betrayed Partner in a loving way and not even see the other females? Thanks

It does get better IF THEY WORK IT. They often have to hear the same slogans, same definitions, same literature over and over until new neural pathways are formed. I am never uncomfortable with my husband at the beach, in a restaurant, etc. I used to be, and I still haven't tackled the TV issue, EVERYTHING has graphic sex and nudity. I fast forward, never watch live TV and fortunately, he prefers documentaries, sports and conspiracy theories. We leave for Scotland tomorrow, he's certain we'll see Nessie.

He does live his loving at me. I'm not the thin and firm girl I was even 10 years ago, I gave up my gym obsession on D-Day, too paralyzed to do much. My body looks like the saggy baggy elephant. Yet he does look at ME with love and attraction.

I look at bodies on the beach, admiring them, the thin, the not so thin, those beautiful teenage kids with their confidence and shininess. He doesn't. He reads. I no longer watch him covertly, I don't have the need. His YEARS of doing the right thing have made the difference.

My husband goes to one SA meeting a week. But occasionally, he'll pick up a second. When he does that I startle a bit "did something happen?" The reality is, something probably did set him off, he was triggered, or triggered by my recent mood of regret, but I didn't ask him. I just know that he did do the next right thing, seeking help from his fellowship. Or he may have had another, more practical reason, missing those guys, picking up an extra meeting since we'll be away. IDK. I don't care, really, it's the results that matter. He's maintaining his sobriety.
I work on myself. Believe me, I have a lot to do. And I've learned to trust myself to know what to do if he relapses. And I'd know eventually. Then I'd do my own next, best, thing.

[This message edited by Lionne at 7:40 AM, August 13th (Monday)]

ashestophoenix posted 8/13/2018 09:20 AM

cypress, my husband as well is in 12 step. I think it's critical that he attends and that he attends for the rest of his life.

They are supposed to learn not to see females as objects. They are supposed to see us as real human beings. They should be respectful towards us.

Can they do this? I think my husband has improved, but I'm pretty cynical that he would reach a level of respect and caring in how he looked at bodies of women and girls. Any female between the age of 10-40 was subject to his staring, assessment and evaluation for his sexual and romantic fantasies. Ugh. I think the culture is so objectifying of women and girls, and also so pornified at this point that it would take tremendous courage and honesty for my husband to really look at how sexist and degrading his views of women are.

Grocery stores have been a major acting out site for my husband. He could stalk a women throughout the store, linger, stare, "accidentally run into" a "target." After D-day I have a painful memory of watching him fixate on a woman at the store, follow her around the store, and "bump" into her. He didn't even know I was seeing this. Mind you, he was 70, she was maybe 35. She was polite, as we are all trained to be, but I can tell you she wasn't at the grocery store to find a 70 year old man to have sex with or fall in love with. Now my husband most likely doesn't do that any more, but just this year I saw him, without his knowing it, scan the checkout aisles to find the youngest clerk. That's the line he got into. I could have written the script. So, in my case, I don't think he'll ever stop doing this.

But, and here's the important thing: I have a boundary. I don't go grocery shopping with my husband. I go by myself. He goes by himself. If I end up for some reason together at a store, one of us waits in the car. This has helped my life.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 1:52 PM, August 13th (Monday)]

DogsnBooks posted 8/13/2018 15:10 PM

So ... WH and I are moving into a new rental house on September 1.

Maybe itís a stupid idea, but I actually feel alright about it. Donít get me wrong, Iím still hurt and angry and donít trust him one bit ... but he did a really good job taking care of me when I was sick and anxious last week. He has been more caring and appears to ACTUALLY be working hard on recovery now. Time will tell.

Anybody have any advice? Of course Iím nervous that the stress of moving will cause him to relapse, or cause me to lose my mind worrying about a relapse. I have also made it clear to him that just because Iím agreeing to this new house, doesnít mean things are forgiven or anything like that.

secondtime posted 8/13/2018 17:22 PM

My husband has been attending meetings for almost 17 months now, after his relapse.

I don't ask my husband about his triggers. It's better I don't know. When I'm super angry, I use what information I do know against him, to push his buttons and make him feel awful. On purpose.

Not good for a marriage.

I also find I have to watch the self-talk, and my choices. What I do (like choosing to stare at 20 issues of Glamour covers and say "Oh, I bet DH would like to bone her!") absolutely makes a difference in my attitude. If I do that enough, I won't believe my husband, no matter what he says. I want to be right at all costs while I'm in pain.

My husband does look at me very lovingly and does find me attractive, even though I am not (I'm 100+lbs overweight and my last pregnancy did my body in. It decided not to go back to it's previous shape like my first three did.)

Goodness, he even told me I was beautiful when I was pregnant with my last..

secondtime posted 8/13/2018 17:26 PM

My only suggestion is to work your boundaries and plans.

Or decide that you won't make any decisions for a year and force yourself to really table any decision making.

I can't leave my husband for another 4 years, even if I wanted to, because of finances. So. I really try to practice some mindfulness and not focus on making the decision right now.

I've also been trying hard to think of things I can ask my husband to do to better protect myself. So. Having him work full time now, would be foolish, due to daycare/after school/summer child care costs.


In 3 years, I can ask him to work full time, and it would be more financially viable. Plus, it would leave me less vulnerable, in terms of paying for alimony, should we divorce.

So. It's not perfect. But, it's a comfort to know I still have options.

marji posted 8/13/2018 20:04 PM

Dogs I think the only stupid thing we do is something that makes us feel bad so if you feel right about your moving into a new rental house then that's the right thing and the smart thing to do.
Rental actually sounds like a perfect way to go if you are not sure re the relationship.

But I guess you're asking opinions on whether you should have moved with him to a knew place? but hey, Dogs, if you are not certain about your future with him that's ok; no law saying you have to decide that now-or even next year. You still have the here and now to deal with and for now you felt moving with him was the right thing to do.

I agree with second time; no need to burden yourself with stay/go matters. You can focus on yourself; do what's good for DnB-put aside heavy decisions.

sami1234 posted 8/14/2018 08:09 AM

Yes Marji this was exactly me:

every dismissal, every attitude of indifference, every discouraging, word and all 35 years started flashing in front of my consciousness with memories of all sorts of hurts so that what he had to ask forgiveness for was huge

Sounds like we have much in common, unfortunately. I know exactly how that feels.

I think for all of us the fear of relapse is the biggest fear. Yes, it is terrifying to hear all of the stories where people have trusted, things have been mended, then it happens again. Honestly, I believe it will happen again with my WH. Maybe not all of it, but some of it, and maybe not for years, but yes I live believing that it will rear it's ugly head again. My plan then will be to move out, live as friends and come up with a new plan. I think WH would be very sad to hear that I believe this. I think he believes in himself right now, but I don't. I think this stuff is stronger than he is. However, as a wise person once said to me: "anyone is capable of betraying you." That's why I only trust myself.

DogsnBooks posted 8/14/2018 11:34 AM

Can I ask advice on another thing?

I think it may be time to ďbreak upĒ with our marriage therapist. We started seeing her before realizing this whole addiction thing, and while she is great, I just donít think sheís equipped to help us in the right way that we need now.

Looking for a new therapist then ... How does this one sound? This is her description on the website. She is not a CSAT (there arenít any) but sounds experienced in the area.

Every human is designed for relationships. Relationships assist in many aspects and seasons in our development as a person. However, trials and circumstances can disrupt our relationships through miscommunication, unfulfilled expectations, unmet needs, betrayal/infidelity, co-dependency, boundary issues-the list can be inexhaustible. Nevertheless, these circumstances are not the end. My mission and ministry as a therapist and a mentor is to come alongside you to explore, educate, equip and encourage you on your journey into wholeness and to actualize the abundant life that has been destined for you.

I have assisted those who have been betrayed by infidelity, porn, sexual and relationship addiction. Through psycho-education, CBT, spiritual support, and mentoring, I have helped women and men understand root issues, wounds, and meaning behind the betrayal and other relationship issues.
Skilled in working with persons in relationships, young adults,and women who are seeking healing and recovery from the cycle of sexual, porn, relationship addiction and other relationship issues.

Training: Pure Desire Conference from Ted and Diane Roberts, PREPARE/ENRICH Inventory,Torn Asunder (from Dr. Dave Carder).


Superesse posted 8/14/2018 12:44 PM


I don't think attending one PREPARE/ENRICH counselor training Seminar, and citing some popular faith-based books would "qualify" anyone to deal with the level of deceit and betrayal sex addicts are capable of.

In my experience, many good counselors truly mean to help, but come at "helping" from an over-simplified training foundation, that doesn't educate them sufficiently in what they are trying to assess: abnormal psychology. It is a whole area of study in psychology, and many counselors stop at the minimm coursework required - one graduate-level course in "abnormal psychology." This doesn't prepare them to deal with, for example, psychopaths, personality disorders and severe addictions.

I would try to find a clinical psychologist who also sees couples, if there are any such in practice. If not, just be aware you may suffer for their lack of ability to diagnose where the true problems in the marriage are coming from.

Another point is that all schools of counseling advise trainees not to hesitate to refer a client to a specialist if or when they encounter someone with deeper-seated issues. But in real life, I have known many who think they are dealing with "ordinary" people who just need a little coaching to resolve their difficulties, and so they don't refer. We see it mentioned all the time here on this forum, and it was how I ended up with a SAWH!

So I hate to say it, but this person's approach sounds like one of those kinds of counselors, as I read it.

marji posted 8/14/2018 14:58 PM

Dogs The writing sounds very impressive but lots of self promotions are. Don't know anything about the Conference that's mentioned; this resume doesn't not indicate any particular type of training, education, background or experience. But who knows? that
may not matter; a lot of what "works" in therapy depends on the right dynamic between therapist and client. Some therapists with top notch credentials, years of training and experience, may not be right for everyone. You need to find the therapist that's right for you.

I would draw up a list of questions that concern you and have small, maybe 20 minute telephone chat and see if you think she might be worth visiting to find out more. There's no contract or commitment with these people. If you think by the telephone convo she seems like someone you think would be helpful then try it. Finding the right therapist can take several try outs.

Lavender0916 posted 8/15/2018 00:35 AM

Hi folks,

I started on this forum when I thought there was R. It was major false R.

After 2 years of him taking things very underground, claiming wanting R and his own IC we did the NC separation and said we will check in at 6 months. It was the very next day that all went to shit. Man Child accused me of something untrue earlier that day to start a fight so he could excuse himself from all of it. He never worked on himself. Pretty much moved in with AP#1 and started dating OW#2 about 2 months later. I filed for D 2 months later as well. How did I find out? He really isn't bright. Just leave it at that. However separation day and when NC started I could hear myself again. The "noise" from all the anxiety in my head stopped. I could breathe....

Once you decide on D, a new breed of WH appears. Why you will see some of us on NPD forums, move in with the whores- sorry OW..and eventually on D/S. Many BS on D/S that never made it here to this forum when it was clear they were an addict. I always come back here and miss y'all and always hope for the best in all our situations. We can attest the addict behavior is the same, the scenarios are different.

I hope I can help in this forum for those who choose D and what that looks like. I know the pain of alot of it, in recovery etc. I too am overdoing it with exercise at times. Somehow managed to not be on meds. I cannot wait til D is final. Still in the thick of it will take a while.

Now about that therapist

I have helped women and men understand root issues, wounds, and meaning behind the betrayal

Meaning behind betrayal???really. NO! RUN AWAY!!Find another.

SENDING BIG (((((((((HUGS!!))))))))

FamilyMan75 posted 8/15/2018 02:33 AM

I believe my wife is a sex addict. When I asked her a while back if she thinks she may have a sex addiction, she denies it and says she is just selfish. But since we separated, I think she is starting to realize how messed up she is. She started to attend counselling on her own.

I'm not going to lie. I really want her back and I know that isn't possible. She doesn't want me, but I can't help but think about her. We had a great sex life, communicated all right, never really fought and even according to her, enjoyed each other company.

Smjsome1 posted 8/15/2018 15:25 PM

Iíve been hiding and reading here, just raw. Still in affair season. Im still reeling from the discovery that my husband actually had only one actual PIV PA. What a weird thing to be traumatized by. He gave me mind movies I didnít need to make himself feel better about himself.

So after thst discovery of SAWH lied about having sex with a woman he didnít, etc, Iím now home and have seen my IC

She and his IC had a major discussion, possible plan for his IC to deal with his stuff.

Anyway, my IC told me that manyís SAís morph their addiction to another addiction, that theyíve decided my SA has morphed his to ďhelpingĒ me, making me his project, gets his high on helping me, that he may be addicted to the chaos, because then he can focus on that instead of himself and his stuff. The more he traumatized me, the less he has to focus on himself.

What the heck? This is too bizarre.

He is now going to an SA 12 step meeting. His group heís been going to his accountability guy has decided that ďyou and Smj need couples counselingĒ and even picked a person out. I am in no way ready for CC, Iím talking to a divorce lawyer, my IC has told me Iím too raw, but I guess he thinks he knows better.

He is still going to that group, but Iím hoping this gives him a new perspective. He completely respects my IC, so he shut down on CC as soon as she said no to it.

Iím not ready to give up on our marriage, not yet, but talking and planning a possible divorce helps me. Also, still in in house separation. He had come up with this elaborate plan for me moving out, going NC, etc. he said he rather do that then divorce. It was to help me. He has to stop making decisions for me, thatís just crap.

DogsnBooks posted 8/16/2018 09:27 AM

I am really starting to lose hope with all this therapist business.

There are no CSATs in my state who accept our insurance. There arenít even any non-CSAT/but sounds like they actually do have experience with SA therapists. (Seriously, Iíve been scouring the therapist search/database websites and there is No. One.)

We canít afford to pay $100+ per session out of pocket for someone who doesnít accept our insurance.

I donít know what my options are. Iím losing hope. I donít think weíll ever get the help we need. And I donít know how things are supposed to get better without good help.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 9:31 AM, August 16th (Thursday)]

Superesse posted 8/16/2018 09:43 AM

Dogs, I am sorry, but not surprised, that your current marriage therapist isn't able to make more progress, even though, as you say, she's great. I was trying to share that was "our" experience, too, when I had JFO, and I vividly remember sitting through so many frustrating hours in therapy, getting nowhere because my SAWH didn't want to open up to a counselor in front of me. At the end of that fruitless year, he was advised, in writing, by the therapist's supervisor, that he needed to continue with individual counseling. As many posters here have advised, MC is not going to help address a sex addict's deeper issues, and so until they have gotten into solid Recovery (whatever that looks like! I have no clue...) focus should be on their character formation and behaviors.

I was hoping for you that you could do what I never could, and find a qualified Clinical Psychologist to see him, who would also work with both of you after progress had been made. It is a very lonely place to be, married to a sex addict. If you could afford your own IC, while he gets assessed and into some therapy, that would be better that MC.

Lavender0916 posted 8/16/2018 09:46 AM

Hi dogsnbooks, does your insurance cover out of network therapists? My EAP list at work was limited but my medical covered 70% of out of network therapists. U pay up front which sucks and file your own claims but worth it and opens a much bigger window. Even in Northern California the "network" list is horrible. Hopefully you are able to find someone.

Glad to hear from you SMJ. You sound better. Was thinking about you. Always good to know your options. Hope for the best plan for the worst. Big hugs.

Welcome FamilyMan75, hard to say for sure unless officially diagnosed. Even though I am going through D I understand that pain. In some weird way the love is still there. But the hurt outweighs that. The thing to focus on now is yourself and understand you do not deserve the mess your in, nor do you have to put up with it.

marji posted 8/16/2018 10:00 AM

Dogs If you have not already, you can contact SANON International to get the SANON contact people in your location. If there are meetings within an hour or so drive I would suggest going; if there is more than one group, I would encourage you to visit each one. SANON members can offer you practical information on resources--they can make useful recommendations that may include Skype type groups. It is not necessary to find a CSAT. Some people in my SANON group have said they found more help through the group than through their ICs.

You can also find resources for your H through the S-ANON members. Do not give up hope about finding support. Yes, it can be hard to find the right support but it's out there and working the phone and/or computer I have faith that you will find it.

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