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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Lionne posted 10/10/2018 02:01 AM

Triggered badly today and am somewhat reeling. He said something, mocking me in a derisive tone of voice. The discussion was a familiar one, I say something, he says "huh" or "what" because he can't hear me. So he repeats what he thinks I said, in high squeaky gibberish. Then tells me I'm mumbling. After a 37 year successful teaching career, I'm mumbling. Yeah. The only other person who has ever ssaid I mumble is a friend who also has a hearing problem.
I've refused to even talk to him if he isn't wearing his aids. I set that boundary, he's free to ignore it.
Anyway, the mimicry was too, too familiar to me. it's what he'd do when I questioned him, or when I tried to talk about things he wanted to avoid (sex)
Those words burn in my ear. And I then i triggers and hear ALL the derisive words.
I reacted, of course, but later talked to him rationally and also brought up the exhaustion I anticipated if I want to initiate any kind of discussion. He doesn't hear, so misinterpreted things I say, I repeat, rephrase, re structure my words but it's plain exhausting.
His response was "I'll take it under consideration." Okay.
We leave for a short trip to visit our son tomorrow. He'll be anxious and confused, get mad at me because I have to make judgments while discussing details with airline workers, and he'll get angry and frustrated because he won't be able to follow conversations with the people we are visiting, mostly young people who do talk quickly and in shorthand.
Very frustrating.

Superesse posted 10/10/2018 08:16 AM

Lionne, that kind of verbal behavior is borderline abusive, if you ask me. I get that he might be frustrated with his own inability to hear you, but attacking you for your vocal range is absolutely NOT the way for him to cope! I didn't get where he caught himself and apologized on his own, either.

We have these kinds of irritating exchanges quite often at this house, but it is mostly me stopping him, asking him to repeat what he said, as he doesn't pronounce words clearly enough for my aging ears to discern. I hear the word, but his consonants are vague, and some of his vowels distort from "a" to "i" for example. Makes it hard to have a flow of conversation. My SAWH has always sounded like this, due partly to his "lazy" Kiwi accent, and I do think his enunciation is deteriorating lately, but maybe that is my hearing getting fuzzy, although I don't have this problem with anyone else. (It took me a year when we first met to really "understand" his speech; I had to relearn my English, Kiwi-style. My father had the same problem with him, for a long time.)

And just recently, my SAWH mentioned something that was very interesting about hearing and speech: he has 2 female first cousins on his mother's side who were born with green eyes and almost totally deaf. The children's doctors told them that eye color was linked to the hearing problems they had. SAWH said they always sounded a little "off" in their pronunciation, due to not being able to learn the language others spoke, accurately. They had to learn language from reading and teaching, primarily. So, my SAWH's mother and he both have green eyes as well, and I wondered if he just missed that problem, which might explain his difficulties with speech and auditory processing. He needed speech therapy as a kid. However, I have green eyes, too, and never had this issue.

Through all our difficulties Lionne, my SAWH has never once mocked ME for his unclear speaking! I would have to have a Consequence, for that one....maybe your SAWH makes an appointment for another round of hearing tests, ASAP?

I was told by our Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon/audiologist that men tend to experience hearing loss at higher frequencies of sound first, and this range is where women's voices tend to fall. He joked "So, he isn't kidding, he really can't hear you!" Except recently, he had his hearing tested by a technician who fits hearing aids, and his hearing scored steady in the good range across all frequencies other than one dip down at 600 hz. Pretty good, better than my last test! Of course, he was really focusing on passing the test, and that couldn't hurt. In my SAWH's case, his problem is "higher up in the brain" and hearing aids won't do so much, the technician told us. 😞

Hope you get squared away soon, have a safe trip!

[This message edited by Superesse at 9:03 AM, October 10th (Wednesday)]

Lionne posted 10/10/2018 09:39 AM

No, he didn't really apologize. At all. He said, "okay! You won!" Some prize, eh?
He did recently have his hearing aids readjusted. And he does have that cookie bite loss, but the frequencies he can't hear are expanding. Not a lot. His loss was caused most likely by a head injury when young. Genetics were ruled out, my kids would have had it. (One green eyes like me the other browneyed like his dad.
Actually, I liked his response "I hear and will think about it" better than an off the cuff apology. I've heard tons of those.
But I'd go back to that doctor. As long as he has some degree of hearing, aids do help. They amplify sounds, that's it. But the more advanced ones ($$$$) are programmed to only intensify the frequencies at question.
My husband's reaction was a slip to stinking thinking. He just cannot abide the idea of hearing loss, makes him feel like a freak, an OLD freak, odd because he's had this longer than I know him.
He still argues with me that I CAN NOT POSSIBLY hear the beeping from his fuzz buster.

Superesse posted 10/10/2018 09:51 AM

Sounds like he enjoys arguing as much as mine does about sensory perceptions, in general, sorry to have to say!

If I smell something he doesn't? It isn't THERE! What IS my problem?

I stifle the urge to tell him it is because of my superior olfactory capabilities as a woman; another inconvenient fact. Instead, I ask him: "You know our dogs hear and smell things we can't, so why won't you accept that I notice things at much lower thresholds than you do?"

Underneath our common miseries, Lionne, is what you so accurately summarized the other day: their lack of HUMILITY. Sheesh.

Lionne posted 10/10/2018 12:56 PM

Right, and this misguided idea that men have to be perfect, never ask for help.
So many funny, or not so funny, about his hearing.
Last year, there was a quiet whiny sound on the sunporch. It drove me crazy, couldn't find it. He kept telling me that I must have tinnitus. I finally I had a neighbor come over and confirm it. Wound up being a digital alarm that was hidden away in a cabinet.
But I googled "types of abuse." Turns out I am also abusing him what I refrain from talking to him. It's not the "silent treatment," it's just that talking to him is such an effort. He's deaf, may have cognitive issues, and has an Asperger's personality. I'm funny in person, I like to joke I like to share funny stories. He doesn't get it, I have to repeat the story several times, and often he still doesn't get it.
I'll try harder.

Superesse posted 10/10/2018 13:53 PM

Yeah, well move over, I am undoubtdly "abusing" my SAWH by my lack of patience with his un-perceived disabilities! It's like we go through enough grief with their freaking infidelity, why must every DAY be such a struggle to even make sense of each other? And why won't they DO ANYTHING about it?

Well, so don't even think about getting a Sprint Direct Connect flip phone (being phased out now, anyway)! We thought these would be handy around the farm, they work wherever there is decent signal, and in theory, should save us dialing each other and waiting. But! Add in: (a) their poor speaker quality, (b) his lack of comprehension/truncated, telegraphic sentences that cause me not to comprehend (he thinks his mind is my mind) to (c) the many "dead spots" that cause our Direct-Connect transmissions to lock up mid-phrase, and OMG we go round and round and round with the "What was that? Repeat." Who? Where is he?" Mamma frequently loses it; guilty as charged.

ashestophoenix posted 10/11/2018 17:55 PM

Lionne, my husband mocked me throughout our marriage, but it got worse over time. Post D-day, I had enough and told him I would divorce him if he ever did it again. And I meant it. Took me years to get to that point, but he got the message. The idiot had to ask his IC about "why was Ashes so upset" and the IC said: "use your words to say what you think and feel." Like a six year old.

It's verbal abuse. It feels to me like getting punched in the face. And if it wasn't so abusive, it would be laughable in its immaturity. He hasn't mocked me since. I really had to make a firm boundary.

I'm stunned I ever put up with this abuse. There is no excuse for it. It should never happen with anyone over the age of 10.

My husband finally got hearing aids and life is better but it's taken him time to take responsibility for wearing them and saying when he is not. No surprise there.

These addicts (not recovered, recovering, recovered) have lots of work to do to become basic adults.

ashestophoenix

DogsnBooks posted 10/16/2018 10:32 AM

Iíve been MIA for a bit and will probably post something longer when I feel ready to. A lot has been going on, and none of it good.

For a short update, SAWH was just diagnosed with ADD this morning. I have heard that there can be a connection between ADD/ADHD. Anyone else? Any tips?

(FYI this wasnít diagnosed earlier because he was homeschooled and his parents didnít really pay attention, so all the childhood markers that should have been noticed were missed.)

Lionne posted 10/16/2018 14:07 PM

Do you mean a connection between addiction and ADD? There can be. Both my husband and sons diagnosed with ADD, husband and older son also bipolar and addicts.
IME there isn't any one perfect storm that causes addiction. Dysfunctional families, childhood abuse, mental illness, no one knows what direction that will lead someone. Some cope in healthier ways than others.
Also IME, undiagnosed, untreated ADD cause immense self esteem issues. It's tough to be that round peg in the squareness of most schools.
And to confound the problem, many researchers are saying that ADD in children is a manifestation of bipolar, not ADD.
I was an elementary teacher for 37 years. Medication alone is not the answer.
They truly don't know. Brain mapping is improving but far, far from being useful for treatment and diagnosis.
Neither son takes meds for ADD. Husband does. The sons have learned to make the gifts of ADD work for them.

secondtime posted 10/17/2018 21:35 PM

Dogs-
Sorry you are having a rough time of it. I hope you are taking time out to take care of yourself.

I haven't heard of the link, but I don't know how down I'd be about ADD.

I'm betting I have it, based on the self-tests or whatever. Always managed with behavioral techniques.

Never really been that big of an issue.

DogsnBooks posted 10/18/2018 11:09 AM

Oops yes, I meant I heard there was a connection between ADD/ADHD and SA.

The low self esteem, the low tolerance boredom (leading to more escalation), the difficulty with self control, the tendency to seek self-soothing.

Not saying itís the REASON for my SAWHís SA, and certainly is NOT an excuse (refreshingly, he hasnít tried to use it as an excuse, yet). But, tracing it back to his childhood, I can see how the pieces fit together.

SAWH wants to try medication for ADD but Iím rather hesitant about that. He actually has a pretty good ďconcotionĒ of Remeron & Gabapenton right now for his depression/anxiety and I would hate to mess that up by adding an additional medication. Plus I heard that the ADHD stimulant style drugs (Adderall, Ritalin, etc) can worsen anxiety, which he already has. And of course thereís always the concern with those of being addictive ... when he already has an addiction, thatís a big risk. And if I can be selfish for a second, I just really donít want to DEAL with it if he has bad side effects! Not with how chaotic and terrible everything has been lately. I just donít have the energy or, quite frankly, the empathy, to go through that with him.

In other news - yesterday was his 90 days sobriety from porn & masturbation. On one hand, sure thatís great, if I can believe it. On the other hand ... how much excitement or gratitude or pride can really be expected here? Does he get a gold star for being a someone decent, normal human being for 90 days? Because Iím not exactly in a gold-star-giving mood.

Lionne posted 10/18/2018 13:09 PM

On the other hand ... how much excitement or gratitude or pride can really be expected here? Does he get a gold star for being a someone decent, normal human being for 90 days? Because Iím not exactly in a gold-star-giving mood.

No stars from you. I offered to staple my husband's 90 day coin to his forehead. Have you had a party thrown for you for being a faithful wife? Let his fellowship celebrate with him.

It's no mean accomplishment, of course. But you don't have to be or SHOULD be the cheerleader.

My husband takes ritalin as needed. He takes 40 mg a day, divided up four times. He skips later doses if he isn't doing something that requires close attention. He's been on the same dose for many years, so his addiction hasn't been triggered by this particular medicine. I get your trepidation. There are tons of new medication for ADD but IME a life coach is often as useful. My husband IS easier to deal with when he takes it, I only have to repeat myself 4-5 times. My son experienced few side effects, but appetite suppression was the only one that was a problem. The other kid took adderall, was fine with that, but I had students in school that got cranky and mean. All the others, even the ones that are not stimulants caused problems, some major, some minor, in all my guys. The good news is that both ritalin and adderall have short half lives, IDK about the other drugs.

Interestingly, ritalin, caffeine and cocaine all have similar effects even though the mechanism is different. And the claim is that ritalin is not as addictive as caffeine, ie no withdrawal like their with caffeine.

You shouldn't have to deal with this on top of all the other crap.

DogsnBooks posted 10/18/2018 16:18 PM

You shouldn't have to deal with this on top of all the other crap.

Hmm, I feel like Iíve been saying this about a lot lately!!

ashestophoenix posted 10/18/2018 20:39 PM

Dogs, sounds hard what you are going through.

My SAH tried to fob off his addiction with the possibility he was ADD. He isn't. Doesn't mean that they can't have undiagnosed ADD. Addiction also mimics symptoms of ADD.

I have learned there is usually some sort of co-disorder of emotion or cognition for addicts. In my husband's case, he is very anxious and also depressed. I think the addiction was a form of self soothing and self medication for those serious disorders.

And the anxiety and depression was due to his traumatic childhood. So it all comes back to the same starting point: they must get sober, they must address any significant emotional, cognitive or medical issues; they must deal with the early trauma.

And Lionne said it so well, in NO WAY should you be a cheerleader or gold star giver or an accountability partner for your husband. Just keeping this awareness with a strong boundary made me much less hurt and angry. It's like rewarding our adult partners for brushing their teeth every day. They needed to be mature and healthy in a myriad of ways a long time ago. We're not their mommies.

I also agree to keep focusing on your well being. When I did that, and when I fully accepted that I had NO impact on my husband's addiction or recovery, I could hand him over to himself and focus on my well being and recovery. I wish him well. I wish he could be an adult partner. We'll see.

ashestophoenix

DogsnBooks posted 10/24/2018 16:36 PM

Okay. Get ready for a wall of text. I have really been struggling because itís just so MUCH and I donít know how to process it all. Maybe writing out my timeline and sharing here will help me get more of a grasp on it all.

November 2017 - My husband had a mental breakdown (bad reaction to a medication that a dr accidentally prescribed at at way too high a dose) and confessed to me that he had been watching a lot of porn and had done some ďcam stuffĒ and that some of this involved looking at men. He was too mentally fragile for me to push further at the time. FYI, prior to this I had no knowledge of my husbandís bisexuality/curiosity.

December 31, 2017 - On NYE, I couldnít take it any more and confronted him. This is what I consider DDay 1. He told me that by ďcam stuffĒ he meant that he had been engaging in (2-way, interactive ... basically Skype but a different app) webcam sex with both men and women.

January 2018 - We started marriage counseling. He had already been in IC since November/December for his separate depression issues.

The next few months were a lot of TT. I learned that the webcamming had been going on for much longer than he initially indicated, that the porn use was much more severe, and that it had involved both men and women (previously he led me to believe it was ďjustĒ men).

May 2018 - He FINALLY spoke the word ďaddictĒ out loud about himself, after a lot of my pushing. However, at this point in time, he still would only say porn addict, not sex addict.

June 2018 - He started attending SAA and I started attending S-Anon. I started IC (for a specific phobia I have - but she wasnít very helpful with the SA stuff).

July 8, 2018 - We have sex for the first and only time since DDay. What can I say, it was my birthday!

July 17, 2018 - One week later, I discover that his ďrecoveryĒ was all a lie and he did NOT in fact stop his porn use despite what he led me and our MC to believe. DDay 2.

August 21, 2018 - Find out that in his addiction, he ďtradedĒ naked photos/videos of me with his friend in exchange for photos/videos of the friendís wife. DDay 3. I kick him out for a week.

September 1, 2018 - We move into a new (rental) house. The timing is awful, but the house is nice.

September 13, 2018 - I start IC with a trauma therapist.

September 18, 2018 - DDay 4. I have a gut feeling and snoop in his journal and Facing Shadows workbook. (TRIGGER WARNING details will be discussed!) Here is what I learned:

- He used multiple different webcamming apps, when he previously led me to believe it was just one app.

- One of the girls he would watch, he then tried to find on Snapchat (but was unsuccessful.)

- He went through my best friendís phone and found naked pictures of her. He somehow saved these photos on his own phone (without her knowledge) and would masturbate to them. I should add, she is the only one Iíve told about the infidelity. I didnít tell her about this though.

- He went through almost every single one of our friendsí phones at one point or another in search of more photos, but was unsuccessful.

- He had a recovered memory of when he was a child and he touched his nephew inappropriately. (He was 11, nephew was a baby.) I donít know what this means or to what extent it was. He refuses to talk about it right now and mentally cannot handle it. He have come to the agreement that he will work on it in IC and we will discuss at a later time.

- He had recovered memories of acting out sexually with his dogs in childhood. I donít know what this means or entails. He wonít explain further and once again, this one is on hold for now.

- He also had recovered memories of other sexual things as a young child, such as taking his penis out in public places, etc.

October 16, 2018 - He had his first IC session with a SA specialist. She is not certified CSAT, but she is very knowledgeable and experienced with it. I actually met with her once thinking she would make a good IC for me, then decided she was a better fit for WH. He was also officially diagnosed with adult ADD the same day.


As of now, we are in a standstill. Limbo has swallowed me whole. It seems that I canít even begin to start processing/healing from one thing before I find out something else, then something else, then something else ... I donít for a second believe that there isnít more I still donít know. He tells me that I know everything he remembers, but that he canít promise there wonít be more recovered memories. But then again, heís fed me the ďyou know everythingĒ line over and over again before, sooo ...

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 4:40 PM, October 24th (Wednesday)]

Lionne posted 10/24/2018 17:53 PM

Oh, honey...

This:

August 21, 2018 - Find out that in his addiction, he ďtradedĒ naked photos/videos of me with his friend in exchange for photos/videos of the friendís wife. DDay 3. I kick him out for a week.

And this:-
He went through my best friendís phone and found naked pictures of her. He somehow saved these photos on his own phone (without her knowledge) and would masturbate to them. I should add, she is the only one Iíve told about the infidelity. I didnít tell her about this though.

- He went through almost every single one of our friendsí phones at one point or another in search of more photos, but was unsuccessful.

That would send me running...it's creepy.
Disturbing also are the memories of child and animal abuse. This isn't about ADD.

I would be surprised if he doesn't ultimately remember abuse to him. That's common.

He has a very skewed and abnormal view of sex. He may be bi or pan sexual, or may just be chasing a more and more extreme high.

IMO he isn't safe for you. He's violated you and your friends, and further abuse is in the cards. He's sick. You have NO responsibility to see him through this. And I believe you are in danger.

Two horrible stories come to mind, both involving men in my husband's recovery group. One killed his wife and kids and then himself, another drenched himself with gasoline and lit a match.

Please revisit the issue of separation-physical and emotional. Maybe he'll be back in a year a remade man. If he doesn't you can proceed with divorce.

I'm so so sorry. You deserve better!

DogsnBooks posted 10/24/2018 18:43 PM

This isn't about ADD.

I never thought it was. I mentioned the ADD because it is a recent piece of this whole puzzle, but certainly not the reason behind any of this. We knew he was an addict before we knew he also happened to have ADD.

He has a very skewed and abnormal view of sex. He may be bi or pan sexual, or may just be chasing a more and more extreme high.

Yes, he absolutely has a skewed view of sex and acknowledges that. He does now identify as bisexual, but is still in the closet with most people other than a select few.

IMO he isn't safe for you. He's violated you and your friends, and further abuse is in the cards. He's sick. You have NO responsibility to see him through this. And I believe you are in danger.

No, he isnít a safe partner. He has violated me and several others, Iím not trying to pretend otherwise. This is all very traumatic. But, I donít think I am physically in real danger. He has never shown any indication of that - actually, Iím the one with more of an anger problem. But I went through all that (physical abuse) with my dad and I like to think I know the signs now. If anything even hints at heading that direction, youíd better believe Iím gone!

At this point in time, I do not intend to leave. At least right now. I have requested a formal, written disclosure to be read in the presence of therapists. I expect the childhood stuff to be covered in that. Then I will decide. Again, I have no concept of what degree the nephew/dog stuff was. It could have been as minor as poking at genitals out of curiosity, or as severe as ... well, we all know. I hate to think about it. But canít afford to sweep it under the rug. If it was anything really truly bad like it sounds, I donít intend to stick around.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 6:50 PM, October 24th (Wednesday)]

FamilyMan75 posted 10/24/2018 19:50 PM

My wife isn't officially diagnosed as a sex addict, but she is a serial cheater, who has an extensive cheating history stemming from poor boundaries, low self-esteem, and self-worth. She has been in weekly counseling since July and weekly SAA meetings since September. She's transparent and were having schedule alone time. We will be moving back in together soon. Is there anything else she should do in the meantime?

Lionne posted 10/24/2018 20:47 PM

T

his isn't about ADD.

I know, Dogs. It was an inexact and inept way of me expressing the gravity of the situation. I apologize if I sounded flippant, that wasn't my intention.

Your decision to stay or go remains yours. I support you. Only you can decide that. I was saying what I would do. You are a sensible, smart and capable young woman and I support you any way I can as a virtual friend.

I think you are a superwoman.

Lionne posted 10/25/2018 07:04 AM

Family man, I have come to understand that, for me, an "official" diagnosis is far less important than a self diagnosis followed by the work in a strong program and with a capable therapist. 12 steps provide tools to stop acting out as well as to dig into one's mind, ic may be better at determining the "why," important be ause it can help extinguishe inappropriate behaviors.She needs to walk the walk. You need to find your own path to healing.

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