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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Superesse posted 9/26/2018 10:35 AM

Soledad, your posts spark the most interesting thoughts for me, thank you again! You see, my SAWH is also a workaholic, and I have never put that together with Antisocial PD! Since there has never been a thorough evaluation done on my SAWH, I would so appreciate learning more about that correlation! (The one time I was with him on his first CSAT visit after his arrest for soliciting, I got the impression, from some remarks made, that the CSAT thought my SAWH was a psychopath. Psychopathy and ASD are right together...) Just this morning, I made the connection that he had acted out with a prostitute just 5 months after he had been terminated from a job he loved....hmmmmm "Job stress," that's the ticket! You know how you always wonder....so very timely post for me.

Another commonality we share is that I was a capable, consciencious, ethical and successful professional at the time we met, and he glommed onto me like a sinking sailor grabbing a lifeboat. It wasn't me, per se whom he was seeking, it was the image of the "good woman." That helps explain the distance I always felt from him....it was sort of an impersonal affection he showed me.

His love language was "giving gifts" rather than words of affection or actual passion! Well, after D-Day 1 in 2002, I put it together that his giving me gifts wasn't perhaps all that different in his mind than giving his money to pay a woman for sex! Maybe, to such a man as my husband, it's all on a continuum. After that realization, I looked at his "love language" with an admittedly jaundiced eye. (He still does give "gifts of service" without asking, so maybe he isn't ASPD.)

I am very sorry that your DD is experiencing who her father is, in such a painful way, even as I applaud you for getting "shed" of this man.

veryhurt2018 posted 9/29/2018 12:37 PM

Hello Everyone,

I am on SI daily but don't post that much because I don't have a ton of time. The posts are very good for me to read as I know I'm not the only person going through this. I'm trying to figure out if my WH is a SA or if he is just a big cheater. He's admitted to everything and we are both doing tons of work, including going to SA workshop, which have been great, but we both don't know if he is truly a SA. Let me tell you his story.

About 8 years ago, I wasn't doing well, as I was having depression issues. In turn our marriage was very strained, and WH felt like he couldn't talk to me about what he needed in our sex life, and he went to a Prostitute almost as an escape from me and my situation. He saw 3 different prostitutes at that time (which of course I didnít know about). I got much better (I got on the proper medicine) and life with us got tons better too. For 8 years our life was great, and he felt "satisfied" in our sex life. Fast forward to 2016, where I guess he felt like he wasn't getting enough sex, but our marriage was doing great. He also felt like it was too hard to talk about it and the door had already opened once with the prostitutes, so he decided to go back. He was going about once a month, even though we were having sex about 1-2 times a week. This habit started to increase in 2018 to about once every two weeks, until 5/9/2018, when I borrowed his iWatch and he got a text from a prostitute as I was trying to remove his profile from the watch. Ugh. My life completely changed, as I knew it.

I have been through a complete breakdown, including having to go to the hospital for almost killing myself the first day I discovered everything. I really have never had any trauma in my life, so I didn't handle it well. It took me about 2 months to get through the breakdown, at which time, I learned to be the biggest detective I never knew I had in me. I discovered about 20 occasions that he went to prostitutes, and he admitted that all but one were BJís (not really any better, but thatís what he admitted to). I, of course, didnít believe him so I hired a lie detector company to test him. He answered 12 questions, and he passed the test with flying colors. So, I guess I know it all now.

Itís been 4 Ĺ months since DD and itís been the most painful/traumatic time of my life. My whole world has been turned upside down and my whole focus is on getting well. We have been going to therapy 3 days a week since DD, including this SA therapy. The people that weíve both met in these group sessions are way worse off that WH so we are both just not sure he is a SA. He says he doesnít think so but also said that heís not scared or ashamed to say he is, if thatís what we discover. The most painful thing for me is that if he isnít a SA, then he consciously went to the prostitutes 20 different times, and destroyed our marriage and his wife, all because he says he was scared to talk to me about his needs. That just doesnít make sense to me. Our group SA moderator (who is a licensed SA therapist) isnít sure he is a SA either, so thatís why we are a little confused.

Can you people let me know what you think about our story and about WHís history? Thanks in advance!!

ashestophoenix posted 9/29/2018 13:48 PM

veryhurt - I think he is but I can understand your concern. I've learned these are the things to look at:

How fearful of intimacy is your husband? This is an intimacy disorder. Can he have relational sex? Going to a prostitute, no matter what you do with them, is definitely objectified sex. Even with men who fantasize the prostitutes "understand" them or are "in love" with them, it's still not real and still objectified. Can he be emotionally intimate, not just sexually with you? My husband couldn't do either of these things: be emotionally or sexually connected in the present in a real way to me.

The second thing I look at is can you tell if he used/uses sex to self soothe, to escape, to cope. My husband couldn't self soothe in a mature way. I didn't really get this until after I learned about the addiction. Now it is completely clear that he could not manage his emotions in any way.

How mature is your husband in general? SA's are VERY immature and VERY self centered.

Don't believe any of the BS about his sexual "satisfaction". This is blaming you and that is a classic sign of addiction. I believe it's not really relevant what the therapist thinks; what is really useful is what your husband thinks after he commits to a 12 step or recovery program. My husband took about a year of full time therapy and 12 step to even consider that he was an addict. Four years of recovery work has led him to fully believe he was an addict.

I'm more concerned about you. This therapy program seems to be all about your husband. Three times a week of therapy and you are getting what kind of help? I encourage you to seek individual therapy, just focused on you. I do not believe we are co-addicts but that we are victims of trauma. Addicts want to fob off responsibility for their behavior on to their partners and they would love to make us responsible for their recovery. For the first time in their lives, the MUST learn to take responsibility for their behavior. They must commit to growing up and behaving with integrity.

It takes time for us to heal from this trauma. It's slow and hard work. I needed to emotionally separate from my husband's addiction and recovery in order to focus on me and my well being. That took time, but I am so much better than I was early on. I want that for you as well.

ashestophoenix

veryhurt2018 posted 9/29/2018 18:21 PM

ashestophoenix To Answer you questions:

My WH is actually VERY mature. He is and has always been. He had to grow up very fast as his father died when he was 16 and he had to support is mom ever since. He is a self-made very successful businessman and I've always loved that and been proud of him for that.

He definitely can have relational sex, as we've always had a great sex life. That's why all of this is very confusing to me. I've always loved how into me he's been, but I've also realized (after DD) that he talks about me and things relating to sex A LOT!! I've always just chalked that up to being a man. My mom has shared with me that my dad is very similar, so I thought it was pretty normal.

I'm not in "SA therapy" 3X a week, that is only once a week. I'm in individual therapy once and couplesí therapy once a week. The total is 3 times a week. Just to clear that up.

I do also believe that he has tried several different ways to tell me that he felt that the sex in our marriage was enough, so to me, that was blaming me, which makes me VERY angry. Still trying to get over that.

Yes, I agree with you that it does take a long time to heal from this. I'm really not sure I am strong enough to do it, but I'm not really sure I have a choice. I still love him, I'm just so hurt and angry and I don't know I can ever get over that. I just feel that if we get divorced, it's going to traumatize our boys more than they already are, as they already know everything that WH has done and are in therapy for that already. I also feel that if I decide to divorce, it just changes the problems so that, instead of the addiction problems, it's divorce problems. Either are horrible to me.

number4 posted 9/30/2018 14:53 PM

@veryhurt2018 - thanks for the referral. I appreciate it. However, it's 70 miles from where we live now! If it were someone I had already established a professional relationship with, and I moved, I can see that I might consider it. But going to my new therapist's office on Friday 12 miles away was only done because I used Uber; just don't feel confident to do much driving beyond five or so miles from where we're living right now. It's part of the agoraphobia that seems to be developing. When H drives, I can go further, but for now, I can't push myself that far.

I interviewed and picked a new internist last week, and have my first real physical/history gathering appointment with him tomorrow morning. He indicated last week that he has some connections with psychiatrists that he is very comfortable referring me to, so will start with those names tomorrow. Really want to stay in the San Fernando Valley area. My new therapist also gave me the name of a couple's therapist and I reached out to her Friday afternoon. Send her website link to our current couple's therapist back home, and she said on paper it looks like a really good fit.

Slowly, and baby steps we are making progress. Heading out this afternoon to look at more open houses.

veryhurt2018 posted 10/1/2018 09:40 AM

number4, I understand your not wanting to drive, so you can just have my Psych. in your address book, just in case you can't get "figured out". I was one of those cases, and he just "got me", so I love him. I hope that you find the right Psych. up where you are, as that would be easier for you. Glad you are going for a physical, that's a great first step, and then you can move on from there. Moving is the most stressful thing you can go through, so give yourself a break. We completely relocated 6 times, so I totally understand. Just use SI to help in any way you can.

cypress posted 10/1/2018 21:15 PM

Just need some support. My husband just passed his one year sobriety date two months ago. A few weeks later, he had a slip and told me. He has been in SA and individual therapy for over a year. We are in couples counseling. I've been through betrayal trauma therapy. He knew what tools to use and he did not. As of now, he has not contacted his sponsor or support person, although he made an appointment with his therapist. (We were out of town when this happened). I was livid, but did not rage or cry. I did want him to explain why he did it. We are back home and will continue in therapy. He has tried to blame me for his slip. He is very defensive and can be sarcastic at times. This is not how recovery is supposed to be, correct? We decided to give it 6 months. This is the part that gets me: He says he thinks we can make it, IF I don't keep bringing the problem up and having to talk and talk about it. Can. you believe that? Just when I thought I heard it all. He has been an addict for most of his life. We are in our 70s.. He covered it up SO well in our 24 year marriage. Really gross things. I only found out last year. And HE says this will work IF I don't talk about it? Someone has something mixed up, I think. Any thoughts? Thanks for listening.

secondtime posted 10/1/2018 23:29 PM

VeryHurt2018

It does not matter how "good" or "bad" the addictive behavior is.

So, my DH is a recovering SA. He acts out with porn and compulsive masturbation. I'm not sure why his addiction hadn't escalated to live people, but I'm grateful it hasn't.

That doesn't mean that my husband is an "addict-light" because he hasn't had sex with other people.

My husband relapsed, actually. Chose to lie about it for several years, knowing it could lead to losing me, the kids, the house, pretty much everything. That high, that addictive voice that lied to him...that was his first love.

So, yes. His behaviors weren't egregious, compared to some.. But he sure as hell acted like an addict. Because he is one.

And, the "Well, there's others that do way worse things than me." line came out from my husband. While he was busy trying to white knuckle his addiction the first time around. My husband went through the recovery motions..3 years with a CSAT, tried a 12 step group. But, ultimately abandoned that. He REALLY wasn't willing to accept that he was an addict at that point. I mean, he understood that he was an addict from before we started dating..but he didn't embrace/accept that fact until after I discovered his several year relapse.

Also, my husband's choices to get high...had nothing to do with our sex life. He chose to get high when we were having sex all the time as a new couple. He chose to get high when we were having little sex.


ETA: I understand trading in one set of problems for another. But, I still think it's reasonable that you set up boundaries, and do some introspection.

Now, personally, once my husband makes behavioral choices that could endanger my health and my life...well..divorce needs to be a serious consideration at that point. I don't take particularly good care of my body, but that's my choice. That doesn't mean that my husband is entitled to give me cancer because of his.

[This message edited by secondtime at 11:41 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

marji posted 10/2/2018 05:56 AM

cypress Yes, he has things very mixed up and I am so sorry; this must be a true, another nightmare for you. I wish I had something helpful to say but all I can do is encourage you to try to find a good SANON group; you mentioned your H in IC and going to SA meetings but you haven't indicated you are in a support group; I find my SANON group to be amazing and most of the people in my group say its the group that has done more to help them than just about anything else.

You also say you've "been through betrayal trauma therapy" but that can take years and isn't something that's typically gone "through" since healing from betrayal normally takes many years. So maybe it might be wise for you to continue to work with a trauma IC.

Cypress you say you were livid when you found out about what you called his slip but that you didn't rage or cry. Did you think you had no right or it was somehow wrong or better if you didn't rage or cry? I hope you are not thinking that would somehow be wrong.

As you describe your H as sarcastic and blaming you for his slip. He's not contacting his sponsor or other members. It sounds as though he's not working on his recovery much at all. So this might well be the time for you, with the help of your support team to set your boundaries and conditions. This is time for you to focus on cypress and all you can do to regain the good things in life.

You say you are in your seventies; so am I. It's a good time in many ways for dealing with nightmare. We have years of experience and reserves of wisdom. Hope you are spending lots of time with the good and fun and loving people in your life. You are not alone in this and you can survive and thrive.

Lionne posted 10/2/2018 13:54 PM

I have come to believe that slips and even relapses are an inevitable part of recovery. The fact that your husband had the tools but didn't use them is just true addict behavior. Happened here, too, in early recovery. Unfortunately, his slips/relapses resets our trauma clock, too. It hurts like hell, scares us and makes us pissed off. I raged, I yelled, I screamed. The fact that you didn't is amazing. It doesn't matter if we rage or not, they'll choose to get better or they won't.

This is not how recovery is supposed to be, correct?

Sadly, it's just how recovery works, especially in the early stages. And that can last YEARS, my experience is, that the older they are the longer it takes.

number4 posted 10/2/2018 17:01 PM

@cypress - anytime I hear that a cheater blames (either implicitly or explicitly) their partner, my hackles get raised. Until they understand that their behavior has NOTHING to do with you and everything to do with themselves, they are always at risk for relapse or slips. I've read so many books and websites, etc. on recovering from infidelity and sex addiction, and one of the first things that is pronounced is that the partner that sexually acts out, should NEVER blame the partner. Meaning, even if one of the partners had cheated first, it's never an excuse for another partner to cheat. There's really no excuse for the cheating that blames someone else. It's all on them. And outside of it becoming an obsession (and even in the early days/weeks/months, obsessing is normal), you get to talk about it as much as you need to feel safe and start to trust him again. I can't tell you how many times I've started a conversation with H, "I know I've brought this up before, or asked this before, but I'm feeling _________, and need some reassurance about ___________." Now what I will get sometimes is, "I know you want an answer... that you want things to make sense to you, but there's just not the kind of simple logical or rational explanation for ____________." Then he might try to explain it to me as he understands it in the current moment. You will find, if they are working a recovery program, some things that you get frustrated with early on not understanding, can change. You may again ask those same questions with some recovery under your belts and finally be able to get a satisfactory answer, although it might be difficult to hear. But to say it's your fault, and if you just stop talking about it is far from recovery steps. In fact, it just pours salt in your wounds. Sorry you are having to be retraumatized again, because that's what it is. I agree that you should consider ongoing therapy/trauma work. It's not a destination... it's a journey on your part.

number4 posted 10/2/2018 17:26 PM

@veryhurt2018 - What your H and you need answers to is why did he go to those prostitutes? If he did it because he equated sexual acts with love (and it's going to take a lot of deep digging and reflection on his part to answer that honestly), then what he has is an intimacy disorder, which manifests itself in sexually acting out.

My H tried to hire a sex worker once in Amsterdam, but he was so drunk he couldn't get it up, and got laughed out of the place; other than that, it was only with four women he met through work. He equated the sex with love... they're having sex with him, so they must love him (I think in their own sick ways, three of them did think they loved him, but we know now that is not true - you can't love someone when the relationship is built on lies, deceits and not having an emotionally intimate relationship with them). I distinctly remember in my college days, when I was promiscuous, thinking even the one night stands meant some sort of emotional connection - I was so wrong. But many people who are stunted in their ability to relate in an intimate manner, continue to think sex=love, even if it's one time. So that's what I'd be wondering if I was you. He very likely may not be able to answer that question right now, which I'm sure is infuriating for you.

In our story, my H actually did a lie detector test prior to going to inpatient rehab. The questions focused on the affairs because he downplayed the pornography use on the assessment. So he was not diagnosed with a sex addiction. Even when he went inpatient, their assessment suggested he was not a sex addict. But three months after leaving rehab, I found the porn on his iPad, and the shit hit the fan; I contacted our marriage therapist immediately because H was out-of-town at a meeting, and I knew calling him would be futile... plus, he had a two-hour drive home after the meeting and I didn't want him putting other peoples' lives at danger if he was a distracted driver if I'd called him. We saw the therapist the next day (I spent the night away from home) and before we left, he admitted he was a sex addict. So as much as I wish I could say the lie detector test was infallible, it is only infallible to the point of the questions asked. From everything I researched and read, the more questions there are on a lie detector test, the less reliable they become. My H only had four questions. And the questions should be designed so that the answer is either (I can't remember which one it is) all yeses, or all noes to be truthful. The guy who gave H his test had decades of experience in the FBI, doing just lie detector tests. But they didn't use any of those questions asking about porn use, so he didn't have to answer anything about that. We, too, questioned for several months whether H was a sex addict, and neither one of us wanted to admit that, so we looked for people and places that supported our viewpoint, until we could no longer be in denial about it. Interestingly, of all our therapists (my therapist, my psychiatrist, H's therapist -not a CSAT- and our marriage therapist, our marriage therapist was the one person who kept holding out that she thought he had a sex addiction. And she was right, even before finding out about the porn. But yea, even a major inpatient rehab facility known for their treatment of sex addicts (on another campus) that tested him for sex addiction, failed to identify it. Looking back, for me, I can see it was actually a bit of a relief - it began to explain his behavior that I hadn't previously been able to understand, fwiw.

ashestophoenix posted 10/2/2018 17:31 PM

cypress, my heart goes out to you. None of this is good, but not surprising. I agree with others that focusing on you and your healing, and setting boundaries is what is best for you. I've learned to say quite strongly "You're blaming me and it simply is not my fault." Period. End of discussion. This took me YEARS to get right. Honestly, I wouldn't take this kind of abuse at work, but here I took it at home for decades. Makes me both sad and angry. BUT..., it feels GREAT to learn to enact boundaries.

I as well wonder how your trauma work could succeed so quickly. I'm going on over four years in trauma therapy and I've made incredible progress but I'm not done yet. It takes time. And, we have been significantly traumatized by our partners' addiction and subsequently re-traumatized by their addict-mode post-discovery behavior.

I've also learned to say "We are not going to make it if you tell me what I can and cannot talk about." That feels great. BUT....what I had to get to was the awareness that I would/could leave my husband. That took a while. Once I knew I could, my husband knew it as well. I think everything about me has changed, for the better in terms of self respect, and my husband gets that he no longer can count on me to stay. Now boundaries work.

I'm leary about MC for us, but I do have an MC who has experience with SA and trauma and he does not allow the kind of blaming your husband, and my husband, does.

So, my husband did all this crud at one year out. He really was very abusive that first year. It takes time, hard work, and very good recovery resources.

My husband is FINALLY developing empathy. He's FINALLY developing some ability for self compassion and compassion for me. And, he's FINALLY saying the 'right things' to me. Here's the sad part: it's so little so late. I'm not sure I will ever forgive my husband. I don't know. I do know that he is reaching a level of decency I never saw before.

But my wounds are very, very deep. So....cypress, I hear you. Focus on you. Get back your power.

ashestophoenix

number4 posted 10/2/2018 17:51 PM

My newest update - I had a HORRIBLE GI issue come up late Friday night that left me in the ER from 1AM-7AM... the worst abdominal cramping I've ever had... for five hours. Pain scale never went outside a 5-9. Just as they were taking me for my contrast CT scan, I had to go to the bathroom, and I had a bowel movement. Never had another cramp after that. But about 30 minutes after the CT scan I had about four watery stools. UGH! UGH! UGH! The radiologist saw inflammation and thickening of the walls in parts of the colon and determined I must have an infection, so the ER doc wanted to put me on Cipro and Flagyl... except I was not running a fever, and all my blood work was fine. So I called my brand new concierge internist I'd just paid the fees for on Friday, and he agreed with me, don't take the antibiotics; I already had a prescheduled appt. with him yesterday morning and we decided to talk about it then. I was fine the rest of the weekend, but exhausted from no sleep Friday night.

My new internist is pretty convinced the ongoing GI issues are stress-related due to the nature of the too-fast benzo wean. That's when they started. I have to keep a food-journal this week and am following up with my internist next week. He spent over 90 minutes with me yesterday, hearing my whole story, of how my life began to fall apart when I found out about H's affairs. Granted, even if H hadn't sexually acted out, and I was just dealing with all the other stressful stuff that's been going on since this Feb., I would probably still be having GI issues if I had chosen to come off the Xanax. So I can't blame H for all of this, but his behavior played a part. Interestingly, the doctor told me you can be constipated (the radiologist at the hospital diagnosed that) while having loose stools at the same time. I had absolutely no idea. Evidently the watery stuff can sort of sneak around the hard stool and leave the body while the hard stuff is still in there causing problems. So I am off Imodium.. besides, it obviously wasn't helping anyway!

The internist is very western-trained, but is leaning more toward 'functional' medicine at this point in his career. He is going to a one-week workshop in a few weeks that just focuses on how our GI tract issues contribute to so much more of our health than just gut issues, in particular, mental health. I'm a little bit terrified of going with someone who uses modalities other than traditional western-based medicine, but western-based medicine hasn't helped me much (other than ECT five years ago) with my GI issues, OR my psych issues.

I've had two meetings with my new therapist, but getting there is God-awful stressful - I drove it yesterday by myself (took Uber last week) and am not sure what I'm going to do for tomorrow's appt. I really like her, but the thought of just getting to her office is creating additional stress. I also just set up a first appt. with a couples therapist that my therapist recommended. She's not a CSAT, but honestly, with everything else going on in our lives, I don't want someone who is focusing so much on the sex addiction. However, her website says she is a couples and sex therapist, so she has had additional training in sex therapy. I sent her link to our marriage therapist back home, and she thinks it has the potential of being a good fit. That appt. is Friday. And my internist gave me the name of a psychiatrist and was going to call her yesterday to make the introduction of me to her. I called her this morning and she's out of the office until next Monday, so I doubt I'll hear from her before then. But it's a strong recommendation (and relatively local) so I have my hopes up. The internist also has a GI doc he likes working with, but I think he wants to continue the information gathering phase with me before consulting with her.

I am just terrified of going through another 5-6 hours of what I went through Friday night. I honestly thought I had a bowel obstruction or perforation. I haven't squeezed H's fingers so hard since I was in labor with my two kids 29 and 32 years ago!

number4 posted 10/5/2018 16:57 PM

Don't know why, but I decided to google #4 again today; haven't done so in many weeks (months?). I now have a current address, email and cell phone. I never had my 'say' with her. I am so tempted to write something and send it to her anonymously or call.

Oddly, H and I had our first appt. today with new couple's therapist, who (I didn't know at the time) was referred to us by my new therapist because she specializes in extramarital affairs. She's not convinced H is a SA, nor does she think his new therapist needs to be a CSAT (but should have some experience in working with addictions). Yes, it was only one session, but she asked some interesting questions and provided some insight as to why she doesn't think he's a sex addict. And to be honest, ever since discovery and disclosure was completed to my satisfaction, I don't really worry about him acting out. I don't worry about slips or relapses. When he was going to SAA meetings, he would tell me that there are lots of people there who, like alcoholics, crave sexually acting out every day of their lives and have to fight it all the time. He's never been like that.

I'm just so confused. Isn't the purpose of our partners being in therapy and recovery (when it makes sense) so that we can repair our marriages? So does it really matter if they have a sex addict diagnosis or not? They acted out and traumatized us... does the diagnosis really matter? The new therapist said she could look at us and tell by how we were talking to each other (and not at each other basically) that we had done a lot of work, but she still validated the pain I was going through, and will still go through. She differentiates between people who have affairs and are addicted to sex with people who seek sex outside of the marriage because they are self-soothing in a way their mothers never taught them... it's a way of emotional regulation. She's very into the neuroscience behind early childhood trauma and emotional regulation.

We actually have a FaceTime session with our couple's therapist from back home tomorrow. She has seen the new therapist's website and training credentials and is impressed. Will be curious as to what she says about this new theory. And of course, I fully expect the two of them to consult with each other at some point down the road.

Lionne posted 10/5/2018 20:10 PM

I think there are clear advantages to most addicts assuming that label. 12 step work requires people to dig deep, a good fellowship will call out the bullshit that addicts spout. Two of the reasons recovery works is the requirement that addicts tell their whole story. It requires addicts to be honest OUT LOUD. Addicts are, or seem to be, supremely assholian, arrogant and self important. A good recovery program is one where an addict learns humility. Personally, the people I know who have been through one kind of program or another, whether they are addicts or the people harmed by the addicts, are people that I find to be far more honest, and in many cases, happier than those who have not. They tend to be obviously authentic.
But sexual compulsion may not be a true addiction, right? It's clearly a dysfunctional way of living, one that is harmful and even life threatening. Not all SAs/compulsives are the same, some search for sex, masturbation, porn, scanning, blah, blah, blah. But they all share characteristics. They are emotionally childish, have poor impulse control and are generally good at blaming others for all their difficulties. Partners are the targets, of course.
If a SA/compulsive is told they aren't really an addict, the danger is that they won't do the hard work, they will be looking at other guys and saying "I'm not like that, I'm not as bad as him." That's dangerous thinking.
BUT...I don't always see the need for an official diagnosis if an addict has begun to work and to dig.

Superesse posted 10/5/2018 23:01 PM

Lionne, well said!!!

marji posted 10/6/2018 07:30 AM

Hi number sounds like things are going relatively smoothly for you at this junction; you sound good and the new therapist sounds very hopeful. It's good to hearing you sound good (gooder) again.

number I was very interested in what you were saying about the differentiation the new therapist was making between SA and non SA but I was having trouble understanding the difference. If you can, could you explain that again? Im interested because my H has been similarly described--he surely had a habit for 10 years but then none of the thoughts, feelings, urges of the others at the SA group he's been attending for three years now.

My H's habit seems to have gone the way of mine with smoking; did it for 15 years habitually and then stopped and had no desire, no urge no thought other than how bad it was; and many similar stories of friends and acquaintances who had same experience with cigarettes, and hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Other things in life gained significantly more importance and required more time, energy, devotion.

But as you ask, does the diagnosis really matter? I suppose it matters in terms of approaches to life after d-day. What the betrayer needs do to change from betrayer, from dishonest person who violated and abused and used, who disrespected us, the relationship and himself, change from that person into an honest, trustworthy and genuine respectful and loving partner. If we feel safer if they continue attending group, even if they don't have the same struggles as the typical SA, if we feel safer that they continue to work the steps which really go to the core of decent being and living whether one is official "SA" or just ordinary BP-betraying partner-- then maybe that's the way to go.

But again, so glad that things seem to going well for you in your new location and thank you so much for sharing that with us.

[This message edited by marji at 7:32 AM, October 6th (Saturday)]

Mandy7 posted 10/8/2018 06:48 AM

Hi everyone itís been a while since I posted on here but Iíve been reading all the posts and it fills me full of emotion, especially how far Iíve come in the past 4 1/2 years.

Iíve reached a point where I just donít care now. I canít be bothered monitoring SAWH, Iím sick of wasting time and stressing over IF heís slipping. Sometimes he is sometimes he isnít. At the end of the day nothing changes dramatically but he does learn something with each on. So I just let him get on with it. I can tell by his behaviour and attitude if heís slipped and my natural reaction to the change in his behaviour/attitude is evident to him, thatís when he comes and tells me. To which I respond with a therapeutic level headed discussion as to The whyís and whatís happened to cause it. We communicate quite well and have a good understanding of sex addiction.

However, Iím seeing a new side to the addiction lately which is also negatively affecting my children. My SAWH has started developing empathy finally and itís great to see, heís interacting more with our children daughter 14 & son 11, he enjoys the happiness of interaction and family closeness. He struggles emotionally if they arenít happy and does everything he can to make them happy and content by talking, spending time with them and empathising with them. He now carries a lot of guilt for what he put us through and genuinely wants to do everything to make it up to us maybe even relieve himself of it.

When heís stressed (for example; recently losing his sister because she doesnít agree their fathers SA inappropriate behaviour around our daughter was wrong) it triggers him into a slip which he can usually nip in the bud before it happens, by talking to sponsor, therapist or me. But to stop himself slipping at stressful times recently his attitude and use of language has changed. Iím sensing it is a form of emotional abuse directed at me but the children are at an age that they notice it too. He uses rhetorical and epiplexis questions with sarcastic undertones a lot which I find patronising and makes me defensive, I feel so discounted and insulted when he says them. I was trying to ignore them and understand itís a SA reaction to struggling but Iíve now got so frustrated and started reacting and getting quite angry because the kids are pointing out the attitude in his questions and I have to show them Iím not going to be treat that way. For a basic example he walks into the family room where I was showing my son how to put polish on his school shoes at 9.10pm. My son was very engaged and enjoying it. He goes to bed clockwork around 10pm and we go around 11pm. So sawh walks in and says ďI guess heís staying up all night then is he?Ē I mean like wtf, where did that come from, do I even need to respond to such a hideous question, my sons face dropped and I felt the hurt ooze out of him, being referred to so dismissively. I said ďno why you being like that? heís going to bed soon, heís just doing his shoesĒ. It turned heated, asking me why I was being nasty to him when he just asked me a question. This is just one example.

We went out together alone on Friday night had a little too much to drink admittedly, I decided to have a dance and when I came off the dance floor he said ďyou didnít have to go and dance did you, Weíre going cause Iím triggered nowĒ he walked out the club without me, left me standing alone gobsmacked, I got outside and I thought fuck you Iím not letting this rest and said ďdonít leave me standing like that, I done nothing wrong, Iím sorry you were triggered because I danced but Iím alive and thereís nothing wrong with having a dance, you donít have to be so meanĒ... his reply ďdonít think your that special, your dancing didnít trigger me your not that sexy, it was other womenĒ, I was furious and noticed he was wearing his addict mask Jekyll & Hyde and Im the enemy when that happens, there was no talking this down as I canít get through to him in that state, there was no way I could back down and accept being treat like that either so I was stuck, go home with my mouth shut and allow this behaviour or refuse and walk home which took me 2 1/2 hours. He just got in a taxi and left me. He arrived home and went straight to bed leaving the kids sitting there waiting to worry about where I was! The next day he was back to normal and didnít remember the end of the night at all. But the children will and I will they are hurts that are deep.

He knows the children are picking up on his attitude and he believes they are starting to hate him for it. He text me this just now;

ďIím super conscious that my kids think I donít care enough about you.
I feel they are both feeling that Iím not holding up my end of the bargain when it comes to being a Dad and husband.
Iím struggling xxxĒ

I know this is the addiction causing this behaviour Iím the bad guy to the addict and I try talking about how heís speaking to me but he gets defensive and canít see my point. What can I do, has anyone been through this change in the addiction process?

Love to you all xxxx

ashestophoenix posted 10/9/2018 08:15 AM

Mandy - Sounds like my husband. I see it as addiction but mostly immaturity. The defensiveness, blaming, tantrums, jealousy, "forgetting", self-centeredness. All immature, entitled behaviors. My husband got worse after discovery and in early recovery. Probably the stress of not having his addiction/security blanket.

In addition to getting sober, I think they have to really focus on growing up. My husband joined a mens group that focuses on helping men understand, express and manage their emotions. That has been a big help. He is also in individual therapy. Also helpful. While he's improved, after four years, he has a long way to go.

The defensiveness/blaming is so ingrained and almost automatic. It's exhausting.

What I do is a mix of stay away from him, set firm boundaries, and enact consequences. For the sake of your children, he has to straighten up. For the sake of you, he has to straighten up. For the sake of him, he has to straighten up. My husband kind of gets it, but he's so immature that its "just so hard."

Keep taking care of yourself and your children.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 8:16 AM, October 9th (Tuesday)]

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