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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Lionne posted 11/4/2018 16:02 PM

I am a newbie and didnít want to keep adding to my thread on just found out...I felt like there are new people daily that need that space.

Please feel free to post wherever and as often as you want. Most of us monopolized things when we were new. But, IME, some posters in other forums aren't always accepting of the whole sex addict thing.

Living with an active addict is not healthy. Even when we aren't aware of the addiction, there are comorbid behaviors that cause unhealthy dysfunction in families.

On the other hand, I love 3 addicts and have a lot of respect for others. My husband, son and brother are all in active recovery and have been for 9, 20, and 5 years respectively. They are strong, empathetic and introspective people, not perfect but working towards being better people. I find that recovering addicts are often more honest than others and certainly more insightful about their own behaviors.

Alcoholism can lead to other addictions, there was clearly a link with my husband's acting out and drinking. The role of all addictions is to numb one's emotions and to isolate themselves from others. Weird, right? Addicts fear being vulnerable and intimate and hide that fear by using substances and behaviors that enable them to ignore their demons.

We do it too, usually because it's a reaction to their behavior. When they stop using, we, theoretically, can learn to be vulnerable and attached. That's easier said than done. The trauma, the betrayal, the walls we build require us to work hard to be healthy again, if we ever were.

I'm stuck there. Addicts destroy lives.

marji posted 11/4/2018 16:14 PM

Somber you say you are depleted of strength and hope but you've also started back with IC and you did go to an ALANON meeting; you are talking here with us and your posts are always so intelligent and articulate. Im sure you are taking good care of your children and I see that you also give support to others here on SI. I know you feel depleted and hopeless but Somber I think you are very strong and have so much to give.

I think it's great that you did go to the ALANON meeting but I'd also encourage you to try an SANON meeting as well. From what I've been told by people who have done both they are different. Also not all meetings are organized the same way and of course different meetings have different people in them. My SANON group is of very mixed ages and backgrounds; some people are very religious; others not at all. Some are in their 70's and others in their 20's. Some are married, others divorced or there with other qualifiers. And advice is freely given after the shares are voiced and heard though the advice given is quite like advice given here. Either way, do try to find a group that works for you and if possible work with a sponsor or mentor.

I didn't work the steps as such but many others have and found it worked for them.

But Somber, I just have to say again I think you have a great spirit and Im sure you 're going to find your way in all of this.

Somber posted 11/4/2018 18:03 PM

Lionne your empathy and insight into addicts is admirable. I am not sure I can ever feel that way but have not seen the recovery side. I just see the addicts ruin lives side for now! I know where my WH addictions stem from, filling a void from child abuse. I have empathized and tried to help but now realize I have only ever been a causality in his war against himself.

Marji, you were present in my just found out thread and I thank you for that. You gave me much advice, guidance and support. I never really thought about SA until you mentioned it and now look where I am!! Lol. I guess I do have some hope for my recovery by going to IC and alanon. I am much too nervous to attend a s-alanon just yet. I am hopeless for my WH recovery of any kind so that is where I am struggling most...where do I go from here?

marji posted 11/4/2018 20:56 PM

Somber what a good support group can do is help us to think and worry less about our WHs.

I strongly doubt that we can just give up all thoughts about their recovery--especially if we continue to live with them. As disconnected as we can be, I think we still want and hope that they will work to change; we want and hope that they will change and sometimes, after many years, they do. But the power of the support group when it's working well for us and we are working the program well, is to inspire us to focus and work on our own recovery. And I think that's just what you are doing and that's great.

I learned tonight at my meeting that two women in their 50's had recently completed undergraduate degrees. They are pursuing degrees in counseling and have found a new life. As awful as this is for us, our recovery involves a journey.

Your journey may take you in unexpected directions and to new and interesting places; it's not without hope. Try to take it one day at a time and try to find something each day no matter how small, that is worth a smile.

Superesse posted 11/4/2018 23:21 PM

Marji, your caring for others here, and your willingness to share your own hard-earned wisdom with us, never fail to amaze me. Thank you so much.

Smjsome1 posted 11/5/2018 01:53 AM

Hi guys, been out. Life has been wonky. I read your posts, Iím sorry we are all here - my friend says ďIíd rather be part of the knitting group, not this groupĒ. You all make me feel less alone

We put our house on the market a few weeks ago. Itís an 1894 Victorian, huge with a huge garden. We had intended it be our forever home, but instead it will forever be the place my life was destroyed in

Other houses on the block have been for sale for years, our had an offer in 4 days. If all goes well we should be out soon
We did not expect that, we want to stay in the area with our ICís for another year,expected the house would take that long to sell, so are leasing a townhome thatís still being built. Itíll be completed and we can move in the 16th. Itís msintence free, wired smart home, no mowing, no nothing, and in the city. The Victorian is on the Main Street of a very small, unpleasant town.

Itís very stressful. Last week was meltdown city for me. We ended up going to my IC 2 days in a row, she really hot into his head and made him understand some things that I think will help. It truly made me sad to see how emotionally immature he is.

Since everything in my home is a reminder we had an Estate sale this weekend, and today pulled everything from basement, attic, to sell this next weekend. We sold loads of our furniture, stuff weíd bought while living all over in the military. Every thing reminds me of the painful past. It feels like Iím lifting a load off my back

At the sale yesterday our neighbor we used to jokingly call Pornstar, she has the giant boobs, dresses the part and leagally had her name changed to a porn style name. She was st the sale for hours - flirting at SAWH. He rebuffed her, kept moving away. Before heíd have used the Iím ďbeing friendly to get a saleĒ excuse, if just completely denied it.

And of course, since I had one drunken rampaging crazy night last year after DDays everyone is curious - we had loads of gossip looking for people. I didnít care as long as they bought stuff. I have very little pride left. Plus there are the people who just want to see inside the house. Just buy something!

SAWH is a hoarder, at first he was holding on to a lot, I told him that weed eater or me - you pick. Surprisingly heís doing well with it, every once in a while I see him getting the look of ďI want to keep thatĒ, but overall heís doing well

Today was tough, I used to have all these vintage Xmas things, etc, and I was going to cut it down, instead, sorting the boxes it have these horrible yucky feeling - ďwe found this angel 16 years ago, and the entire time he was lying and chestingí So I basically just threw everything except some modern items into the sale pile, stopped even opening boxes. Told him whatever is out to the garage and doesnít sell is going to be donated, I want none of it.

Itís crazy that Iíll be out soon, if we D, this will help, if we stay together just being gone from here should help.

Oh and - listed large items on Craigslist, incl the kids bunk bed, got some totally inappropriate emails asking me to take pics of myself ďplayingĒ in the bed. My life is already screwed up by my new knowledge of sexual perversion, that just added to it.

I have group tomorrow night and I need it!

I hope everyone is well.

Somber posted 11/5/2018 06:27 AM

I agree, Marji your wisdom, insight and encouragement are wonderful. To think and worry less about our WH is a challenge. In fact, I never realized I was so consumed by him. Along the way I really let myself down and forgot all about my needs. On this short journey so far I have rediscovered needs I didnít know I had, realized healing I wasnít aware I needed. You have been a tremendous help bringing clarity and reasoning to my life. I am very grateful!!

Smjsome1, it sounds like you are in a very difficult place with huge changes. Hang in there. In borrowing Marji wisdom,
Take it one day at a time and try to find something each day worth a smile...I am going to try to do the same.

marji posted 11/5/2018 13:37 PM

Super and Somber--ladies, thank you so much for your very kind words. You're inspiring me to work harder at taking my own advice.

number4 posted 11/5/2018 14:50 PM

Hi everyone,

I've just been too overwhelmed to check in here, but I'm struggling today. Aside from the question as to whether H has a sex addiction or not (our new couple's therapist doesn't think so), I still am hurting from the collateral damage. I am still struggling mightily with anxiety - my psychiatrist back in the midwest put me back on two .5mg. extended-release Xanax a day, and even with that, I'm fairly housebound, unless I take more Xanax for breakthrough as needed.

What I'm most upset about right now, is that H still has not taken steps to find an individual therapist, despite his having been here in CA since the end of August. Now, I get it; I was falling apart in rehab, he had to come get me, we had to go back to IL to get my car, and drive back to CA. My first priority was to find an internist, which I did, so I had someone to help me figure out the GI issues. They finally started to get better about a month ago... I'm probably back to 80% of gut health. I found a therapist I like, and because I liked her so much, I latched on immediately, but her office is further away than I'd like. I've been seeing her about twice a week, with sometimes a phone call session a third time a week. After trying to drive it twice, I've resorted to taking Uber to my appointments. Found a new psychiatrist, but after the second session decided she wasn't a good fit (was non-committal about reaching out and consulting with my psychiatrist back in IL), so I was referred to a new psychiatrist last week who I think is incredibly thorough. Before I left his office he wanted to immediately start to make some medication changes, so he we started the process of weaning me down on Pamelor and starting Effexor (will stick with my Remeron, too). I see him again this week.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, H has been incredibly involved in all of my appointments (while just starting a new job) - the only ones he hasn't been to are my individual therapist, as well as the psychiatrist I saw last week for the first time. Usually at least twice a week, I attend DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) meetings, and he's my chauffeur because I don't want to drive to far places by myself. So he's juggling a lot, and we're just trying to get me stabilized. So I get very conflicted about what I can realistically expect of him. I found a new DBSA group near us last week, and he discovered there was an SAA meeting at the same time about a mile down the road and went. He said he was really glad he did... it was good to be back in a group where he could talk openly, and is looking forward to returning this week.

If all this weren't enough, we've been house-hunting, and had an offer accepted on a place a week ago. We will close at the end of the month. He's been handling all the negotiations, arranging for the mortgage (we had three lenders competing for our business and the phone calls were incessant), inspections, etc. Yesterday was the first Sunday we didn't spend looking at open houses.

So we took a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, from Santa Monica, up past Malibu to where the road moved away from the coast. As we came inland to drive back home, I realized the last time we were on that highway, it was a year and a half ago, when we were returning to LAX from our daughter's wedding, during which time I now know he was involved with #4. He made a comment about how he liked that stretch of the highway as it took us through some pretty big hills and there were views of the mountains. And all I kept thinking was, "I wonder if the last time we were on this part of the highway, he was thinking about getting back home so he could see the whore."

Also, and this part I can't understand... I'm starting to get annoyed by all of his physical affection. I mean, most women would beg for the amount of attention he's paying me (holding hands, hugs, quick peck on the lips or cheek, asking me how I'm doing). I know it's hard for him to see me like this and he wants to fix it. I told him he can't, and every time he asks how I'm doing, and most of the times the answer is, "barely getting by", I know he feels bad. While the affairs are part of that equation, I do suspect (although I don't know for sure) that his making changes in his work/life balance starting back after D-Day1 is what led his employer to start to consider a parallel move for him, which is what led us to considering this move we made for the new job. He came into this job with a blank slate, and they don't know he used to work 60-70 hours a week, so they're happy with 40 and he has a lot of flexibility. But I think a big chunk of what I'm going through, anxiety-wise, is the uprooting of my life and being dropped into an apartment where I know no one.

I've had two ER visits already... one for severe intestinal cramping that went on for five hours (I finally got some imaging done and was diagnosed with some colitis... big surprised after my experience in rehab... NOT). The other time was a horrible panic attack that I was convinced I was dying. They treated me like a potential cardiac patient and I was admitted for a couple of nights for some cardiac testing. Everything was normal.

So I've been very high maintenance (which is no surprise given everything I've been through) and struggle between needing him at home as much as possible with me, and knowing he needs to focus more on self-care for himself, most importantly individual counseling. I'm just so torn, and so depressed and anxious about 90% of my day. When I don't have appointments or have an errand I absolutely have to run, I'm in bed, watching HGTV. Of course, I also have to take the dog out a couple of times during the day for a short walk, but I am basically out long enough to let him do his business, then back in the apt.

Anyone have any words of wisdom for me?

DogsnBooks posted 11/5/2018 16:36 PM

Number4 The first thing you need to do is let go of your guilt about not being well physically or emotionally. I can hear it shining through in the words youíve spoken. Things happen, health plummets, mental health is a wreck, it happens. But you deserve to be taken care of. You deserve to feel well. So let go of that guilt.

It sounds like youíve done or are in the process of doing all you can to get your ducks in a row at the new place. Now it is time for HIM to do the same. Next time he asks how youíre doing or asks what he can do to help, be honest. No guilt - tell him that you really need him to find an IC and it hurts that it has taken a back burner. Yes, itís great that he is doing what he can to help take care of you - but he also needs to do the things you previously agreed on when you made this move together. They are not mutually exclusive. He can drive you to appointments and stay home with you when needed AND make those very important calls to get the ball rolling.

number4 posted 11/6/2018 11:11 AM

After seeing my therapist yesterday afternoon, which almost didn't happen because my anxiety was so high I didn't know if I could stand riding in the car there without taking some extra Xanax, I was able to better clarify what I needed to do to approach him about how I was reacting.

He says he understands, and does say part of it has to do with how is he going to squeeze in one more appt. with everything we have going on. He does lose a half day of work on Fridays because the only time our marriage therapist can see us is Friday mornings, so by the time we see her, 10-11, then he drops me off at home and gets to work, it's lunchtime.

But as we were talking he reached out to her via email and asked for a referral. She got back to him rather quickly with a name, and he is going to reach out to that person to see if they have any very early morning hours or evening hours available. Also, when he went to his SAA meeting last night, he found out about an RCA meeting that meets later in the week from one of the guys there. When he picked me up from my DBSA meeting, he was so excited to tell me about it, but I was feeling so low that it was hard to match his enthusiasm. So that's where it stands now... we will try the meeting and he will reach out to this new person; if they don't have hours that require him to miss too much more work, then he will schedule an appt. with that person. If not, then he'll ask for another referral.

As of late yesterday afternoon, I started wondering if my anxiety yesterday had anything to do with starting up the Effexor. It's the lowest dose you can go with, but I am pretty sensitive to meds. H did some reading on it last night (pharmacokinetics is something he has to deal with in his job) and I should have reached a steady state of the med on day 3, which would have been Saturday, so it doesn't make sense that I'd be fine until yesterday. The only other thing it could be is lowering the Pamelor. I've been on 50 mg. for five years, and three weeks ago when I was in the hospital, a psychiatrist stopped by to see me since I'd indicated I was depressed at admission. I told him I had an appt. with a new psychiatrist, and so he upped my Pamelor to 60mg, which I was at until last Thursday when I started the Effexor. I'm now back to the 50mg. on that. I'm fairly certain the 50mg. I was on wasn't even in a therapeutic range, nor was the 60mg. I don't think it really becomes therapeutic until around 150mg. So this anxiety shouldn't be a reaction to lowering a dose that I'd only been on for less than three weeks. I will obviously ask the new psychiatrist tomorrow. H told me he'd go with me to my appt. tomorrow since it's at 5:15PM.

I do have plans to meet someone I've gotten to know from DBSA today for coffee, and I am going to try to do whatever I can to get my butt to the voting polls. Otherwise I'm going to lay low again.

DogsnBooks posted 11/6/2018 12:16 PM

Number Glad he took it well and that there seems to be some forward motion or at least a plan set in place. The heightened anxiety could definitely be from changing medications. I believe my WH tried Effexor for a day or two but it made his anxiety worse and his pupils as big as saucers. I donít know what the dosage was. He is sensitive to medication though, and of course everything effects everyone differently. He has done really well with a combo of Remeron (which I think you said youíre on too?) and Gabapentin.

marji posted 11/6/2018 17:20 PM

Number Just wanted to say how you continue to amaze me. Here you are dealing with this very high level of anxiety--dealing with all the new things going on in your life--the new location, new doctors, and you're doing all you can to make sure you get out there and vote!!!

I wonder if you know how just amazing a person you are?

I just got through reading about a young woman who ran the Marathon this Sunday on crutches two years after a horrible spinal injury from falling off a cliff as she ran away from a many who had attacked her.

You remind me of people like this--who continue to be out there, meeting challenges, pursuing and doing--hope you got to vote today.
And thank you so much for sharing so much with us here on SI.

Lionne posted 11/6/2018 18:47 PM

Lionne your empathy and insight into addicts is admirable.

This had been in my head for a week. Do I have empathy for people who CHOSE dysfunction? I really don't think I do. I "understand" that this is a disease, I "understand" the science of addiction, but I don't really get why the choices to cheat, to shoot up, to drink till one is sick, are seemingly easy to an addict. I just don't get it. So, empathy, probably not.

Seeing recovering people who have worked hard, who work every day to stay sober triggers admiration in me, but I truly don't understand the destructive path.

I'm struggling with depression right now. Partly because of the situation with my sons, partly due to the state of our nation, partly because I'm regretting the choice I've made and certainly holding on to some resentment about my husband's activities. But I'm actively working at it, stepped up my exercise, volunteering more, making holiday plans that will keep me too busy to think about my sons being so far away.

I'm actively choosing to be grateful for all the many, many blessings in my life. It's an effort! So, why couldn't addicts choose a healthier way to deal with their issues.

So, not empathetic. Just tolerant.

Lionne posted 11/6/2018 18:51 PM

And I echo Marji. SHE, number, dogs, smj, ashes and all my other online comrades. The grace and strength I see here, the willingness to offer a virtual hand and hug, the amazing generosity of spirit. It's just awe inspiring.

You/we have endured a magnitude of trauma that would fell a tree. And we are standing, albeit not always straight and tall. But we persist, we keep fighting, we have learned that we matter.

You are inspirations.

Somber posted 11/6/2018 19:12 PM

Your posts are so intelligent and supportive. I suppose you have more knowledge surrounding addiction than I do and I saw that as empathy. That knowledge came across as you recognizing the disease as oppose to a choice. Although it is both as you just noted as well. I have never really noted it as a disease until now. I still have troubles seeing it that way but I am clouded with deep pain and sorrow.

I have no insight into addictions, this is a first for me. I had alcoholic grandparents but it never affected me directly that I can remember. Living with an addict and being emotionally and financially attached is devastating to say the least!

You mentioned you are depressed, my advice would be to keep following your own amazing advice to everyone here. Iím feeling that way too

[This message edited by Somber at 7:15 PM, November 6th (Tuesday)]

Lionne posted 11/6/2018 19:41 PM

Somber, thank you. I count this small corner of SI as one of my many blessings.

DogsnBooks posted 11/6/2018 20:56 PM

Lots of warm fuzzies in our little corner of SI! I certainly need it today.

Brief update from me ...
More was disclosed at MC on Thursday (some pretty f-ed up stuff), things blew up, and I kicked him out. He has been staying at his brotherís since. We have been NC since Saturday. This is the first and longest time since we met at 16 that we have gone without talking. Itís hard. Things will happen throughout the day or I will see something on Facebook and my mind automatically jumps to, ďOh, WH would find this interesting!Ē And I have to gently remind my mind that we arenít concerning ourselves with WH right now.

I have been trying to do what I can to be kind to myself. Eating, sleeping, bathing. Yoga. Returned to S-Anon. Reached out to a few friends (without giving any details). They are notoriously flaky so Iím not expecting too much there, but at least I took the step of reaching out. I tried to move up my IC appointment but she didnít have anything sooner than Thursday.

I have been surprisingly okay during the day. Work is extremely busy right now, so that is keeping my mind working and the time passes quickly. Nighttime is harder. Iíve been getting nighttime anxiety, but not so bad I canít handle it.

I am taking several days off of work the end of this week/beginning of next week (planned before all this happened). I need to come up with a plan so Iím not just sitting around in front of the tv all day for 6 days. Because I know the depression will set in if I do that.

Donít be too proud of me yet. I am certain I am still in shock and still have a lot to process. It doesnít feel real yet. I am sure I will be much more unstable once reality hits. But Iím doing what I can. Offer up a prayer or good vibes or whatever for me.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 8:58 PM, November 6th (Tuesday)]

Smjsome1 posted 11/6/2018 22:07 PM

Dogs - going NC and having a plan to deal with it - you go Dogs!

Thank you all - Somber you are right, one thing thatís good a day!

Lionne - you are a kind empathic person, I have benefitted greatly from that

So, update - not sure I said this but the buyers want to move closing up to the 16th, our new place is ready the 16th. So the buyers offered to let us stay in our home 4 days after closing. And everything is set. I went to the DR for my check in and refills on ADís. She suggested a medication to help with my nightmares and inability to sleep. Said sure. Well...
Took at last night at 9:30, fell right to sleep, woke up at 4 to use the restroom
Husband said he heard loud bangs, and he found me in the hall down, he,led me up and I went down again, had some sort of seizure. I woke up to him screaming in my face, and a cop and paramedics. They said in the ambulance I had several vtach episodes, in the ER they said my heart just stopped and restarted a few times.
So, Iím stuck in a bed while they run a million tests, the cardiologist and the Primary dr are having a fight. The cardiologist says they are wrong, it was a misreading, because they had my pulse recorded during the episodes, which is impossible. The primary is like, not sending her home till we are sure.
So, they are waiting for one more test and if I pass I get to go home tomorrow.

Worst part, before I had to use the restroom I had the best sleep Iíve had in such a long time.

Weirdest part - Iím phobic about hospitals, drs, I am super comfortable, just bored. Normally Iím petrified.

And meanwhile - yesterday morning we agreed to move up the closing from the 30th to the 16th! We have so much to do.

number4 posted 11/7/2018 00:14 AM

@Smjsome1 - OMG! Reading your story reminded me of terrified I am of making medication changes. How incredibly scary. I'm so glad you weren't hurt in the falls.

Just curious... would you be willing to share which medication it was? I have an idea when you suggested it was something for sleep... I know of at least three meds that are often given to help with sleep... Seroquel, Trazadone and Ambien. Was it any of these?

I have a friend I used to be much closer with, but when she went through her divorce, she got put on Ambien and had a lot of the side effects, including sleep eating, etc. What finally led me to distance myself from her is that, in her sleep, she'd call up different friends and start telling them stories she'd been told in confidence about other friends. I felt like I couldn't have the same kind of relationship with her anymore, so we grew apart. She woke up one morning with something like rope burns on her forearms and had no idea how it happened.

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