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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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secondtime posted 9/10/2018 10:53 AM

What do you all do with intrusive thoughts?

Even when you know better..meaning, the though is wrong and just playing into stereotypes/fears?

DogsnBooks posted 9/10/2018 12:05 PM

Jade My SAWH acts the same. We actually just got into an argument this weekend over something stupid, because he just didnít hear something I said ... but of course it turned into the whole blameshifting ďWell you need to talk louder if you want me to hear youĒ and denial ďI didnít say that/didnít say it like thatĒ and gaslighting ďIf youíre this upset over me just not hearing you, then obviously youíre the one with the problem. I just couldnít hear you, what more am I supposed to do?Ē

Lionne posted 9/10/2018 22:32 PM

Jade, it's important! It highlights the basic dysfunction that exists in many marriages, many relationships affected by addiction. And choosing not to communicate isn't passive aggressive, it's choosing to temporarily excuse yourself from stress.
Second, intrusive thoughts are killers. I still get them, triggered by God knows what, but they are fleeting and solved by well.phrased curses, usually in the car.
Meditation helps, specifically mindfulness. I tend to need to keep always busy, often doing more than one thing at a time.
Finally, if the thoughts continue to press, I have to vent to my husband, cry and yell. Happens less and less often.

Lavender0916 posted 9/11/2018 00:18 AM

Hi BestThing and Dogs,
You may of seen me on the spouses of sexual abuse forum. I started there before I realized my STBX had a major sex addiction and repeats same patterns with all his past girlfriends, now wives. More importantly he dissociates. I see his 4 or 5 yo part, 8 yo part, his 11 yo, 16(protector part) and maybe 19. His adult is no where to be found now. He does have many amnesiac barriers, meaning when he goes through certain parts will forget that "period" of time. We haven't set custody and it scares the shit out of kids love him to pieces because he is a kid himself. But he disappears for 2 weeks at a time etc. I do not expect him to get 50/50 at all. He only stayed married because 4-5 yo finally found a mommy. The child was a strong part. But not like the protector. Confused? Gets better, the protector will threaten child if they rat on protector or teen part behavior. It's quite sad actually seeing this conflict in a 58yo man.

Sadly even with recovery some of those barriers of amnesia may never come to light. It takes years to integrate the parts and have them working together as one person.

You can find DID(dissociative identity disorder) therapists(good ones) on the emdria website

I never knew how very deeply troubled my STBX was until I stepped away. Very glad i am out. He will never help himself. I hope i am very much divorced before something very tragic happens.

Smjsome1 posted 9/13/2018 15:07 PM

Secondtime Intrusive thoughts. My IC has taught me some small mindfulness exercises to help me bring myself to now. I also will just bring it up to him, this is what Iím thinking. And I watch his response.
For me the intrusive thoughts sit, even when dispelled, like I have a bowl in my mind, if they wonít fully go away they slowly fill that bowl up - what Iíve found is, if they combine with other thoughts, there is usually a reason.
Ex: on Monday he didnít call when he should, and then when he did he bluntly told me, there has been no contact. Which he had valid explanations for, but those tiny bits of ďthis is weirdĒ are sitting in the bowl.

My problem is, is he worth it, having a bowl just for that. I donít WANT that in my life. But my IC pointed out, itís going to always be there, youíve been changed, itís really a matter of is he worth staying with, versus being alone, versus finding another to be with. You will always be careful and on the watch.

NaÔvetť is gone. No more blind trust

So, my lip surgery has not recovered as it should, it is incredibly painful, turns out Iíve developed a hematoma. In my lip. Yay. So they were thinking of incising it ( ) and my SAWH pointed out I develop keloids sometimes. So instead, stronger pain meds, antibiotics, and watch it, ice packs.

And, I have an upper respitory infection, and the dr told me to use Vaseline on my lip, which it turns out Iím allergic to!
My life can get worse it turns out.

We have been prepping the house to go on the market too, so I live in a remodel zone.

SAWH is doing everything. I donít trust him, but heís being a trooper. We start MC next week. Iím so over this stuff, IC, MC, groups, etc. I just want to sleep and be normal. At least the new pain meds let me sleep a few hours at a time.

Lionne posted 9/14/2018 15:14 PM

Careful, smj, aquaphor has petroleum jelly in it too.
How is everyone? Safe from this storm?

Smjsome1 posted 9/15/2018 12:14 PM

They are doing well! Worried about trees though
Daughter has gestational diabetes!

Yes, Iíve been reading labels!

Lionne posted 9/15/2018 12:24 PM

Oh crap. I forget how far along she is. Can she use my help? Give her my number...

My nephew's house, about 50 minutes from the coast in NC is flooded. Not (yet) from rising water, that may still come, but from the driving rain. But they are all well and safe, his wife, son and one dog headed west, he stayed at the house with his puppy.

Weather. As unpredictable, and deadly, as life with an addict, right?

Smjsome1 posted 9/15/2018 16:52 PM

So right! I hope heís okay, your nephew. My step sister is on the border of NC, doing well so far!

Sheís doing well, even went shopping today. She has your number! Iím coming back for th birth.

You be carefully too!

JadeC posted 9/18/2018 12:38 PM

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary.
It's been not quite 2 years since I found out who my husband really was.
Now, I still love my husband and want to reconcile. We are both doing the necessary work, and we are both working on the steps.
But I am really ambivalent about celebrating today. I usually post a sappy message on Facebook and get a heartfelt card. Not today. I'm not ready for that. My husband is trying so hard, and I'm putting on a game face, but I'm ready for the day to be done. He's asked me out to dinner tonight (after we both attend our 12-step meeting), and I'm happy to go.
But I just don't care to celebrate today. I know that's okay. But it does make me sad.

DogsnBooks posted 9/18/2018 15:56 PM

An update from me...

I FINALLY found myself a therapist! She is a trauma specialist and had worked with partners of SA before too. I have a second appointment scheduled for next Tuesday.

Still donít trust SAWH one bit. I know heís still lying to me. He has made some good changes (like deleting Instagram off his phone) so there is a small chance that he is actually sober now like he claims.

But I know for a FACT that he is lying and hiding other things from me. Iíve seen some of them written in his notebook, sick, disgusting, depraved things that he had done in the past, things I feel I canít speak even here.

And he lies straight to my face about it too. Keeps telling me that I know everything, thereís nothing more, etc etc. He doesnít know that I know.

Anyways, in about an hour, I am going to meet his (non-CSAT) therapist for the first time and talk with her a little about why she thinks sheís qualified to help him (I donít think she is), her perception of his recovery, etc etc. I donít really know what to say or ask her but Iím hoping Iíll just figure it out once Iím in there ...

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 4:18 PM, September 18th (Tuesday)]

marji posted 9/18/2018 17:29 PM

Hey Dogs, Congratulations on finding a good therapist. That's huge. Trauma therapists are what we all need and you actually found one. And someone who has worked with SA partners/spouses--really great. Thank you for sharing this good news.

So not great news about your H's continuing to lie. Hope you mentioned this as an issue when you met with your H's therapist and that the meeting was productive.

ashestophoenix posted 9/18/2018 18:44 PM

Dogs, that's great news about your trauma therapist. Mine has been a life savior for me. I doubt your husband is sober at this point. It takes them a while to get sober. Continued lying is a huge issue. I think my husband stopped some of the overt acting out in the first year, but it was all white knuckling. Now after four years, he says he isn't white knuckling. But the more subtle stuff....that takes even longer. It takes them a while to get some of their distorted thinking is really addiction. Remember, they lie to themselves.

Jade, I hear you. I feel immense relief at not having to do stuff I don't believe in (like, celebrate my anniversary) but of course it makes me sad. I want to be celebrating my anniversary...but I can't do it with the man my husband is right now.

My husband is working on basic, adult communication skills. As in...Me: "Did you give the dog his medication?" Him: "I had breakfast and then went out to get the paper, but then realized I had an errand and thought about my day and......" It's nuts. He can't answer a yes/no question. I think after decades of hiding and being secretive, just being straightforward about anything is almost impossible for my husband. I can't have an intimate, adult relationship with a man who is sober but can't communicate on a basic level. That's my situation.


secondtime posted 9/19/2018 06:52 AM

My anniversary was this past weekend. 17 years.
DH had one stretch of sobriety for three years and then now about 1.5 years after his relapse. I don't even think I said Happy Anniversary.

He can do the heavy lifting.

We did go out. I should have said no. (My problem is that I can't anticipate when I will have a panic attack and when I won't.) We went to a football game. Panic attack before we even got to the stadium with. I think it's the first time DH ever saw me like that, and it was bad. He didn't know what to do, so he chose nothing, which stung.

We did have a nice time eventually.

I've got some other dysfunctional behavior going on in my life.

I've come to the conclusion that maybe I can be emotionally safe at work with my colleagues with work appropriate things....Otherwise the only way I'm ever going to feel safe is if I become a hermit, just go somewhere where people can't find me, or pass away. None of which are good/viable options.

I have a therapist appointment tomorrow. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I think it's a poor fit.

Bestthing posted 9/19/2018 08:05 AM

Sorry for the late reply. I try my best to take breaks from SI sometimes because all the pain and truths can get overwhelming. I am sorry your WH is so broken. How did he figure out how old each persona is? Have you always noticed parts of him that didnít integrate or were they hidden until the DDs? For my WH, they were hidden mostly. I caught glimpses of it and wonder who that person is. Now when he says something like the ďhunched over old man overpowered the little kid..Ē I get annoyed like he is not taking responsibility for his action. Itís like a 3 year old saying his stuffed animal did it. Itís not right that I feel that. I think my own needs from him is getting in the way of my compassion. I am confused about my role with him. Am I mom, muse, therapist, counselor, disciplinarian or lover? This confusion has made it hard for me to be intimate with him. I try, but I end up being quite passive in bed because I donít know my role.

Star15 posted 9/19/2018 08:48 AM

Iím still struggling to cope with what my husband did as a result of his sex addiction. His behavior escalated over 5 years to eventually dating a stripper he frequented and taking her on an extravagant vacation depleting our savings and 401. I struggle with the images and the betrayal. I sometimes get caught in questioning how much was due to the addiction and how much was just because he wanted to do it. I struggle with questioning my decision to stay with him. How can I allow someone to treat me so badly and still say I love you. I see how much he has changed in the last 2 1/2 years of recovery but it doesnít wash away the pain heís inflicted. I question if Iíll ever be happy again. I donít believe divorce will make me happy but this isnít working either. I continue to work with a couples counselor and EMDR therapy but I still feel stuck. Any thoughts or advice?

sami1234 posted 9/19/2018 09:00 AM

Star15 I am sorry you are hurting. I am pretty much where you are as well and similar situations, you can read my profile.

I donít believe divorce will make me happy but this isnít working either.

I could have written this. There are no really good choices. I keep thinking I'd just like a month alone to contemplate all of this. What is your WH doing now? How has he changed? Mine has changed tremendously, but I still feel so empty. Just sort of a massive feeing of sadness inside that never seems to go away. I'm three years out BTW. It doesn't help when he tells me I'm not trying hard enough to be happy? Like, what??

Been off of SI for a little bit, it does help to take a break, but it helps to be here in other ways too.

Lionne posted 9/19/2018 13:10 PM

Iíve seen some of them written in his notebook, sick, disgusting, depraved things that he had done in the past, things I feel I canít speak even here.

Gently, do you really want to know more? I glimpsed some of the truly nasty images my husband was viewing, they are burned into my retina. It's enough to know he did disgusting stuff in general. It was also evidence to me that he was clearly an addict, truly at rock bottom. If you want to know, that's up to you but I absolutely suggest that you hear it from him ONLY with the guidance of therapists, yours AND his. There is a formula for full disclosure. It's designed to protect YOU.

Star, welcome and I'm sorry you had to join us.

I sometimes get caught in questioning how much was due to the addiction and how much was just because he wanted to do it. I struggle with questioning my decision to stay with him. How can I allow someone to treat me so badly and still say I love you. I see how much he has changed in the last 2 1/2 years of recovery but it doesnít wash away the pain heís inflicted. I question if Iíll ever be happy again. I donít believe divorce will make me happy but this isnít working either. I continue to work with a couples counselor and EMDR therapy but I still feel stuck. Any thoughts or advice?

It WAS his choice. That's what addicts do. They make terrible choices, albeit ones that are directed by a diseased brain. It's chicken/egg problem. Don't allow him to not take 100% responsibility for his choices as well as his recovery.

It was literally 5 years later, and consistent words and actions from my husband when I was finished with daily pain. I can't explain it. I was simply done. Not that I don't still have moments. Mind you, I spent those 5 years questioning him over and over, same questions, same answers. I did EMDR without much help, had an excellent IC, and worked on making myself happy.

Divorce wasn't my choice BECAUSE he continued to work his program. I did feel I was stuck. My original reasons for staying were entirely altruistic. I would not have stayed if he wasn't actively working on himself and attending SA meetings. But more recently, I'm finding more and more joy, yes, even in my husband. We often choose to stay because codependency has become part of your dynamic. It's common in families of addicts. It's not a character flaw in us, it's a REACTION to dysfunction. But it's worth it to consider if this is part of how you operate.

My husband is also still is stuck in that childish loop once in awhile.

Me: Did you scoop the litter boxes?
Him: Not yet! I'm busy!
Me: It was a question, not an accusation.
Him: Oh. Sorry.

Very different conversation than we would have had years ago. He recognizes his defensive and unnecessary comments. And I don't let him get away with it. Still a work in progress.

Our 39th anniversary is Saturday. We are having a yard sale.

Lavender0916 posted 9/19/2018 13:56 PM

Hi BestThing,
Not someone sees without a therapist/history or both. In my case both
My oldest DD has DID (childhood trauma from her bio mom dating child predator at age 5/6). It was a nightmare finding her a therapist because we could not pinpoint "the WTF is she doing?" when she would be the 5 yo part. By some grace of God, my bestie referred me to a DID specialist and she had no idea this therapist had this speciality. Just that she was helping her Boyfriend. She met my DD once and knew right away. So then the education started. I would meet up with my DD IC regularly and would meet together. Most of the time my STBX(her own father) could not be bothered to join us and inflicted his opinions on the matter as bullshit. Her teens were not fun at all. No support from my ex or her own mother I helped her on my own. (I adopted her when she turned 18). That adoption timing is when DDay1 occurred. I kept all of it to myself. My home life was awful. I really thought it was a whim and it was over. (Big time fog)

Then, dday2 occurred and I really started getting educated. It wasn't until DDaY3 and 4 that I realized the sex addiction. I just thought ex was recreating his abuse. It was my DD IC that started calling out the parts in him. As time grew and I stepped away could I see the shifts in personality. You do not notice as much when you are "in" it. After talking with many experienced folks on the spouses of Childhood sexual abuse forum where their partners were DID and an old family friend who knew my Ex from back in the day and timing of those abuse experiences the ages fall into place. Now my DD, who is not integrated yet(it takes time) can call out her ages and know which ones put her in an amnesiac barrier. The protector at 14/15 and her 5 yo. She also has helped me understand her Dad and identify his "age" parts. BTW, she is coming close to her 21st birthday. Her retired IC, my IC and my DD claim her Dad's adult part is no where to be found. His 4 yo is the one who loves me(needs mommy) and keeps telling me . So how the f*** do you explain to a 4 yo you did very bad things and I want nothing to do with you, but you have too. NC is definitely best.

So that brings me to *your role*. What so many of us forget. Your role is for YOU to get better. To support yourself. You are his wife, not slave, not mommy, not policeman/fbi, not counselFBI. There are success stories out there for integration but it takes years. Most of those successes where the spouse of the survivor takes care of themselves and clearly defines boundaries. I knocked myself out trying to find *him* the right IC, ended up I found one of the best and my STBX saw him 2x and that was it. My STBX never sought help. Blessing in disguise really.

Hope that helps

Star15 posted 9/19/2018 14:09 PM

Sami1234 - I read your profile and I feel like we have had very similar experiences. For a long time I felt worthless to my husband because he treated strippers better than me and was willing to jeopardize our marriage and family for trash but I try not to frame it like that anymore. They were never worth it or better than me. Heís admitted he lived in a fantasy world where nothing was real but I feel like it was real to him at the time, which hurts. He was attending SLAA meetings the first year, still IC and MC. He is more attentive to me and our kids. Heís more patient and tries harder to make our marriage more than a convenience. Mostly heís supportive of my recovery but he has said he thinks I choose to dwell on details. I want so badly to know what he was thinking when he booked that vacation but even after many conversations I feel Iíll never know. Sometimes I think a therapeutic separation would be helpful but with two little kids I havenít gone through with it. Sometimes when we are together I feel hopeful and mostly happy but other times I just canít believe Iím still married to him. We went on a trip to celebrate our 20th anniversary this summer and it was mostly good but sometimes I just felt sick thinking about the trip he took the stripper on even though he insists it was terrible but who knows. Iím trying every day to focus on now and recommit myself but itís hard. Day by day. I hope it will get easier.

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