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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Smjsome1 posted 4/11/2018 08:58 AM

Life exploded -

Now Iím going to have to google ďmale masturbation without using handsĒ

I can add that to my list of strange google searches Iíve had to do since DD1 - Squirting, etc.

Lifeexploded posted 4/11/2018 10:43 AM

Smj, here let me save you some time. One involved figuring out if he sits on the bed while tying his work boots whilst having a hardon, he will cum in his pants. Second, rubbing it up againsg the shower wall.

We are familiar with HALT and FASTER. He doesnt use them like he should. And, he is teaching not one, but two classes that teach FASTER. Also, both of those classes end in two weeks and the he will be taking a break, so that means o classes at all.

My soul. It died already so no worries there. My sister in law posted this on fb a few days ago. Lets see if anyone else relates.

"She became silent. There were no longer any words to describe the absence of emotion within her heart. She went from arguing to being upset now feeling nothing at all. She became silent because you were no longer worth fighting for."

I have spent so many soul sucking years trying to be a better wife, a better house cleaner, a better cook, a better lover to earn his attention, his love, his respect. None of it was noticed. Through all of it i neglected being a better mother. I neglected my children in the same way he neglected (still neglects) me.

I dont want to keep trying to attain self worth from my marriage. I want to figure out who I am, why I am out on this planet, why have I been blessed with 6 children and cursed with this situation. What good can come out of it for my children and I? I want to learn how to really parent my kids again instead of my husband.

Smjsome1 posted 4/11/2018 12:32 PM

I get that quote completely.

And Iím glad you do have a goal, it is, in some ways, a form of self care And detachment. Just do whatís best for you and heal yourself.

Iíve been very angry for weeks, and hurting. Iím 8 mos or so out since DD and Iím slowly seeing all the times he manipulated me and made me feel like I was the problem in our marriage, and me not being an easy person, that made me mad, even when it was happening. Even when I was being manipulated and I believed I was the problem, now Iím seeing that under it all, I knew something was wrong with that, so for a good 3-4 years Iíve been angry and not really sure why, and sort of punishing myself for it.

Iímtrying to understand how someone who is so emotionally immature can be so brilliantly manipulative!

JadeC posted 4/11/2018 14:10 PM

SMJ-you got it right ! I have asked him more than once if he wouldn't rather split up so he can be a horndog all he wants and he'd only be hurting himself. Sounds good in theory, anyway, but I don't think it would work like that in reality, as I do still care a great deal about him and probably always will. Although now I question myself a lot about why that is. Guess we can't pick who we fall in love with...

[This message edited by JadeC at 9:02 PM, April 11th (Wednesday)]

Lifeexploded posted 4/11/2018 14:52 PM

Smj! Your last comment - so much yes. Well the jokes on him because I learned how to be manupulative from the best and I use it to my advantage as long as he is acting like a petulant child.

I can see why being an addict is so exhausting for them. You really do always have to be on your toes amd thinking ahead.

Lionne posted 4/11/2018 19:07 PM


I can see why being an addict is so exhausting for them. You really do always have to be on your toes amd thinking ahead.

Truer words were never spoken.

It's another way I confirmed recovery was beginning/progressing. He's HAPPY. He doesn't have to remember all the various truths he's told.

ashestophoenix posted 4/11/2018 19:27 PM

I laughed out loud at "preschool for the immature." That made my day.

Masturbating without hands to beat the poly...yes, yes, of course... What they spend their time on! I won't even go into the ridiculous stuff my husband told me about in "perfecting" his masturbation techniques. All this while no sex with me. It's so painful, but I have to say it is beyond pathetic.

I think they can plan ahead, but only around acting out. My husband spent hours plannig acting out in addition to random opportunities.
Doing responsible stuff, being an adult, staying out of trouble...nope, mine can't do that either. Sober now, but still can't think ahead. Today he couldn't figure out his schedule. I think it's still looking for Mommy.

I am also not truthful about why I am staying. I can't trust my husband with that information. Of course that is sad, but it means I've stopped being stupid.

I don't love my husband at all and I wonder if it would be better or worse if I did. I grieve my losses, but not the loss of him. Once in a while I think maybe he could be a friend, or some kind of reasonable companion. Not there yet. He's good with the dogs though. And, hey, he takes the trash to the dump. But to be fair, he is actually doing more things around the house...if I ask him. He still struggles with figuring out stuff himself. My husband skipped adulthood. He's going to go from little boy to old man.

One of the things I can say is once I figured out that my husband lied about everything, including stupid stuff, it got easier since I just didn't listen anymore. He's better than he used to be, but he still does stupid lies that he justifies and rationalizes. Out loud. So, he's not honest with himself.

I think they need these simplistic rules since they are so very immature, and so lost in the adult world.

Meanwhile, my work wants to send me to a "gender reconciliation" conference. Not sure what that means and since my work knows nothing about my marriage, not sure what to think.


ashestophoenix posted 4/11/2018 19:34 PM an article today where researchers looked at the early signals that indicate a likelihood of infidelity, and leading off is....
looking at other women and not looking away. Happily married men look away and know in their hearts and minds not to compare others to their partner and protect their partner in their thinking and emotions. My husband over the entire time he knew me did just the opposite.


sami1234 posted 4/11/2018 20:48 PM

just read through a few responses here. What is FASTER? Dunno that one. My WH has not been labeled SA, but I think he is on the cusp for sure. Anyway, we haven't done SA meetings etc. and he hasn't. But I do see so many threads of truth here, things he does, has done, but he continues to hide from me. The masturbation is often, and he thinks I don't know, but I do. Is that something they are supposed to control or admit to you as part of SA therapy? He travels so much for work that honestly he could be doing anything. His behavior towards me is much, much better, but I really don't trust him.

My WH never really talked with me about sex much at all, still really doesn't, barely can talk about it in therapy. I always thought he was so incredibly shy! He would never even get a massage because he had to be naked in front of someone. So imagine how surprised I was when I found out what he had been up to and even having sexual massages! I am amazed that you all have WH's that can open up and talk freely about it, guess it's disgusting and all in some way but geez, that's some honesty. Mine just is silent and I think that really scares me.

marji posted 4/11/2018 21:21 PM

sami haven't read your story but Im puzzled as to how you're in this group but your H is not regularly attending SA meetings and you have not tried an S-ANON meeting. If your H is an SA then it would be extremely important for him to be attending regularly--some SAs go several times a week--having a sponsor and working the program.

You ask about masterbation and yes, SA believes that the sexual activity should be with the partner/spouse and not with one's self. SA typically involves an emotional anorexia. Becoming healthy involves developing a truly human ability for intimacy with the other. That is the goal. It's not simply about abstinence but about developing different attitudes about life and about relations and about ways of being with those we've committed to. So it's not that they are
supposed to control or admit as part of SA therapy, it's something that the healthy person would become less interested in, less needy of, less wanting to do as they become more capable for relating openly and honestly with their SO.

Not all WH's can speak freely about themselves. In fact it's often the case that SA's cannot. Often the case that those who indulge in EI's have trouble revealing themselves, sharing with other another; they tend to be self-enclosed. Being in group, working with a sponsor, working the steps can help change that.

You say your H travels a lot. Is there any chance that he can stop doing that? Is he able to work with an SA IC while he is away? Does the IC know about your H's habit?

This is all very complicated but somehow we survive. Again, don't know your story but if your H is an SA then I think he'd benefit greatly from finding a good SA group and you would benefit greatly by finding a good IRL group to help through this difficult journey.

Smjsome1 posted 4/11/2018 22:59 PM

Sami - the FASTER scale is a tool/way for him to keep an eye on himself, as he described it. Iíd have to look it up. Iím trying to leave his recovery to him, and I only know what he explains to me.
And to be honest .... sometimes my brain is so messed up I donít really hear or take in info I recently couldnít remember my nieceís name! Iím emotionally drained. This new life of ours is hell.

Ashes - my WH never looked at other women. Never stared at them - not that I ever noticed. But interestingly this week he told me that he ďno longer looks at other women and thinks about their body, thatís one way I can tell that sobriety is doing something for meĒ. I asked, you did that? And he said yes all the time. But just glances.

This also was said -
He was trying to describe his empathy problem to me today, I thought it was interesting - he said ďitís like I can see where I want to go, and I can actually see the town - I head down that road always looking at the town I want to get to, but I always end up the next town over, and donít know how it happened!Ē

I think Iím starting to accept the addiction as maybe itís real. Not just an excuse. But thatís today, tomorrow is probably another day - TT and such, you know, itís a killer

number4 posted 4/11/2018 23:06 PM

sami1234 - we've spent almost six years in marriage counseling, all the while H was having three affairs between 2015-2017. His last AP KNEW we were in marriage counseling... UGH! Who the hell decides to get involved with a married man who is trying to make his marriage better? I digress. Up until this last fall, we rarely talked about sex in our sessions. There had been many years of sexual anorexia - my choice, not his; I only wanted physical intimacy with someone who was available emotionally, and he wasn't willing to go there, so the sex stopped. There was a brief reprieve of a few months where we were having sex around 2013-2014, but when I realized he was happy with the sex,but wasn't willing to become more engaged in the counseling, I stopped it again. And he NEVER initiated any conversation in the marriage counseling sessions that he was missing the sex... that's how difficult it was for him to talk about it.

Fast forward to last fall when shit really started to hit the fan, he agreed to two different sexual inventory/assessments that asked questions I didn't even wanted to know existed, so very quickly, he had to learn to talk about stuff... IF he wanted any hope of me considering sticking around to see how serious he was about working a real recovery program. Over time, in my insecurities, I did ask some general questions about sex with affair partners, and as it ends up, it wasn't very often, and it was often awkward. I know he had some issues 'performing' a few times, because he went out of his way to fill out a form to get ten free Cialis pills; he said he used a few of them, and didn't feel like it made much of a difference. Since we resumed sex, he has not had a problem, so I suspect his 'underperformance' was due to psychological guilt he'd feel while with these APs.

When I found out about the porn stuff just over a month ago, we had to have a talk about masturbating and porn - this was something that he'd done during various times throughout our relationship since we first met, but mostly when we weren't having sex (when I was TOO pregnant, or postpartum, or sick, etc.). I suspected he was doing it, but it didn't bother me all that much; I guess I figured if he was doing it, he'd leave me alone, which he did. So the dance we did worked for us, although it was very destructive. But his masturbation was never obsessive. He never used work computers or work cell phone to access it. He only did it at home, mostly when I was out. It was never a middle of the night thing, or doing it hours on end. It was more like, "number4 isn't home, I'm bored, so I think I'll look at some porn and masturbate before she gets home for the evening." Regardless, he realized last month that it was not something I would approve of, given his history of affairs. I do know he looked at porn with his last AP, and I think they tried anal sex a couple of times. As the addiction specialists will tell you, it's all about escalating the behavior to get the same high.

What I'm trying to get at here is, we've had a LOT of really uncomfortable sessions with our marriage counselor as this disclosure happened. She wanted to know how often, whether he paid for the porn (he did not), etc. I remember in one session about a month ago, he said, "The last thing I want to talk about in here is my masturbation patterns; it's incredibly uncomfortable, but if it in any way progresses my recovery and reassures number4 that it wasn't compulsive, then I have to do it no matter how much I don't want to." So we have moved a LONG way since last summer in talking about sex in our marriage counseling sessions and it really does seem normalized now... talking about it, that is. So don't give up hope. I think it helps to have a MC who knows how to broach the topic in a way that is not shaming, and gives space for him to approach it at his own pace, as opposed to being coerced or threatened. Again, don't give up hope, it may just take some time. I also think being at SAA meetings (we are not fans of SA meetings) allows other members to set examples of how to talk about sex without attaching shame to it. The fellowship of the meetings can provide a lot of encouragement and healing.

As I said, I personally don't have a problem with masturbation, and in fact, I DO have a problem with programs that shame people who do masturbate. We certainly don't want extreme behavior and for some people, it CAN be a slippery slope. But in our case, I don't see it as a problem.

And I'm going to go out on a huge limb here, but one of the reasons I don't want to attach shame to masturbation is because, honestly, from time to time, I enjoy it... not very often, but I'm of the school of thought that it can be healthy if done in appropriate situations. I haven't been on this forum for very long, but I've yet to see any BS talk about their own sexual needs, and how they honor them if you're going through a dry spell, or the sex addict has chosen a period of celibacy. Again, I get it that some sex addicts can't do this because it's such a slippery slope, but in our case, it is not, so I don't have a problem with it. Now if he relapsed and masturbation became a big part of his relapse, we'd have to revisit that issue.

And honestly, what H has told me several times in the last month or so is, he doesn't want to masturbate any longer because of his refractory period. He never knows when we will or won't have sex and he doesn't want to waste an orgasm with himself when he might be having one with me. I hope this all makes sense. Take what resonates with you, and leave the rest behind.

Lionne posted 4/12/2018 00:41 AM

I had a long post and lost it.

Sex addicts anonymous allows each person to define their own sobriety with help from sponsor and fellowship.
Sexaholics Anonymous defines sobriety as sex only with a committed partner, and no masturbating. But there aren't sobriety police. No one will be shunned or shamed if they share anything. That's not the program. A recovering addict will have the self esteem to judge themselves by their own rules.
FASTT. Do you mean that? I'm not familiar with FASTER, but FASTT is a useful tool used by the recovering addict to weekly "check-in" with the partner. It's meant to reassure the partner about the progress of recovery. Milton Magness's method.
Masturbating. Of course it's healthy for healthy people. Most addicts start with self gratification. It becomes the norm for sexual activities. Because it's reliable, intense, and the addict has all the control over his sensation, sex with a partner rarely measures up over the long term. I think that happens in a lot of marriages with sex addicts. They expect us to cure them of their needs with regular, married sex. In my case, I wasn't sexually satisfied at all. I know now that I was really just a masturbatory tool. Real intimacy with me was too scary, and when I tried to state my needs, to directly or subtly direct our love making, I was met with scorn and shame. So I shut up and shut down. And settled, and sometimes turned him down because I was often left frustrated. Physically and emotionally. I tried. I tried hard. He once told an MC that he didn't remember how I set up a date night every freaking Friday for years, I arranged babysitting, reservations and chocolate or rose petals in our scented candled room.
Masturbating is normal in normal brains. It's self destructive in addict brains.

Smjsome1 posted 4/12/2018 06:16 AM

No, it is FASTER.

I just googled it, all I found were PDFs, and am unsure of links? Basically F to R, R means you are in danger of relapse. I didnít read all the steps though.

sami1234 posted 4/12/2018 07:36 AM

marji: I am on this forum because in the beginning I was clear cut that this was SA. I could see the pattern on Dday working backward and I know my WH has huge connections with addiction in his FOO. My IC agreed with me, in fact, the IC my daughter saw (she had found out about some of this) thought the same thing. My WH saw an IC who is very popular in our area but he is somewhat of a pop IC. Meaning he goes on tv, sells books, does seminars etc. My IC has no real respect for him, he's too commercialized. What he does well is to give quick fixes. I saw it happen. My WH saw him maybe 5 times, came away with graphs, charts behaviors of things to do, more than not to do, so that our relationship would be better and he wouldn't NEED to do these things. My IC was upset about that and so was I. His IC told him to "be careful" because he saw a clear pattern and saw that some of his hobbies as well as his job were all about the adrenaline rush. Scary to me.

WH says he "gets it now" has no need to do those things and he is not an SA. My IC and I remain skeptical. I guess I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, and my gut thinks it will. I just don't know how things can escalate to all the stuff he was involved in, then just stop cold turkey. I'm afraid that as things settle in, he will go back to some of these behaviors, in fact I have found him googling a porn star a while back, there are some other "small" indicators. But he will not discuss it and is adamant there is no problem end of discussion. I'm more a... talk it all the way through until you've started to beat the dead horse ...kind of girl. He hasn't done IC in one a year, that troubles me. He only goes to MC when I request it, and just listens I do all the talking and he feels on trial. Mostly processing my anger at what he did.

On the flip side he has pretty much been the perfect, remorseful spouse since about a month after Day. That is in line with the "I get it now" side of things, but my gut just can't reconcile that we are in the free and clear. Yes he travels extensively for work, no he can't stop. He has also planned a big travel trip with the guys this summer, no women, worries me to death.

If I can find any more behavior I will press the SA eval. I just need the evidence to do so. I am seeing my IC this morning to discuss more of this.

number4 , smjsomeonej, lion: thank you that was helpful. I may not totally belong in this thread, or, sadly, maybe I do. Read my profile, although of course it's not all in there, there's more. Yuck.

Lionne posted 4/12/2018 08:26 AM

Just found the FASTER link. If you are interested, try "faster pdf relapse." Thanks SMJ. It looks like a useful, tangible tool to promote self awareness and guard against relapse.

Sami, you belong here. It doesn't matter that he doesn't have a formal diagnosis. You've been affected by the compulsive sexual behavior of someone. Don't fret about that. His inability to hear you would worry me too.

One thing continued involvement in 12 steps does is keep the addict on his toes in terms of that self awareness. Because they publicly acknowledge their addiction, they can't hide, a preferred activity of these guys. My h says that when he sees a newbie, on the verge of losing his family, his job, his liberty and ultimately, his life, he is reminded how close he came.

A formal diagnosis is good if the addict is in denial and needs a kick to the head and to direct therapy. But it's only useful is taken seriously.

[This message edited by Lionne at 8:27 AM, April 12th (Thursday)]

Lionne posted 4/12/2018 08:30 AM

SMJ, the FASTT routine may be useful to you as a formal and specific way for him to reassure you about continued recovery. It in the Magness book "Stop Sex Addiction."

Lifeexploded posted 4/12/2018 08:46 AM

FASTER can also help you. Its also used for the wives in the Betrayal and Beyond class by Pure Desire. They have them in person all over the country and also online using Hangouts. Its usually a group of about 6 women including the leader. It is a Christian biblically based class and I highly recommend it. It can offer some great support. Anyway, back to FASTER, we can use it to avoid our "relapse" whatever that means to you. For me, that is becoming depressed and/or unable to manage my emotions. Avoiding bad emotional outbursts that could be hurtful to others.

Smjsome1 posted 4/12/2018 09:50 AM

Really, never thought about as something I could use. Iím going to read that more closely.

And look up the FASTT too.

Sami - just something about my history. Not that I think this is happening to you, just a warning about how good they are at secrets and manipulation. And I want you to be careful and take care of you!
- many many years ago I caught my husband using porn and it wasnít he was using porn, it was the secret/hiding that upset me. I asked him not to hide or lie to me, he gave me the you arenít doing enough for me line, which made me do the dance. Then a year or so later I found he had been speaking to a woman he met online. I threw him out, he went to counseling, convinced me it was just a friendship that he made because he was lonely as I wasnít doing enough. They only talked. I did the dance. His C told him to stop using porn, period, which was silly to me because how cannporn be bad, but he decided that, ďfor you Iím going to stop, because I value usĒ
So, that all happened a long time ago. There has literally been no evidence of any porn, etc, since then. He basically just got really really good at hiding it.
If I felt something was off, heíd love bomb me, gas light me, manipulate me. Convince me he was feeling sad because I wasnít providing enough for him. Enough emotionally, sexually, whatever. I can name 3 times he came home and told me he met a beautiful amazing woman who hit on him, but even though they were amazing heís such a great, committed husband, ď since Iím married to you I turned them downĒ - Iíve since connected the dots, timelines, etc, he was ACTUALLY involved with those woman. When that connection was made a few weeks ago I broke a lot of things and screamed a lot of words.
So Iíve spent 30 YEARS trying to be better. All of this has slowly been realized by me with my new C. And heís had to explain himself. He honestly just says, I was selfish and I got more from you when I did that, I didnít care I was hurting you, knowing you were so scared made me feel good. And he is examining himself. Or heíd be out. He hates himself. And I personally have no sympathy for him. I just sit by and let him work with his people on that. Cry his tears.
Maybe I should care, or hurt for him. But Iím working my stuff.
Also, he WAS in many ways a perfect husband, he cooks, helped me with anything, bought me gifts, sewed my sons baby bedding, searched high and low if I wanted something I casually mentioned until he found it for me. Heck when the Switch game system came out he went thru loops until he found me one, cause he saw me having fun playing my grandsons. Meanwhile he was having affairs and gaslighting me. Like I was toy he played with.
But anyway- I just wanted to warn you, my H didnít stop thru 1 C, 2 MC, and after being thrown out 2 times. He just got better at hiding it and thought to himself, Iím so good at this I can just do more and more. Until he he exposed us to disease and a crazy woman and destroyed me emotionally. Frankly Iím also dealing with an eating disorder (yes I admit this finally and Iím getting help, medically and IC, my latest blood tests show some slight malnutrition evidence, Iíve lost over a 1/3 of my weight in 8 months, luckily I was overweight so to the uneducated eye I look normal) and a 3 month episode of cutting, which I had to fight off this weekend.

Sami I cannot say this enough - be careful! I want you to be careful for yourself, take care of you! I feel like Iím being very dramatic, but sadly, Iím not! And boy did this get long. Sorry! I hope itís nit too long and you read it!

Now heís with a CSAT and a support group and HE sees and wants to change, but he had to do it, and admit it, and face it. But Iím not sure itís too late for me.

number4 posted 4/12/2018 17:08 PM

I have a vague sort of physical health question, but possibly related to my stress level.

A couple of years ago, I noticed I was developing a ringing in my ears. From what I've been told and have read, there's really nothing to do about it. However, it had been suggested that under extreme conditions of stress, the ringing can become more noticeable.

I am leaving tomorrow to meet H out east; we are having dinner with our daughter and her boyfriend before driving a couple of hours away to stay with H's brother for the weekend. Travel definitely stresses me out, but usually once I get on the plane, I chill out and am OK. The ringing in my ears today has been almost the worst it's ever been, but I know I'm stressed out about many things... traveling alone (which I used to do all the time with no problem) meeting D's boyfriend for the time, spending two nights at H's brother's house, which really shouldn't be stressful, because they are the ONLY people in our families that know everything that's going on, and have been very supportive.

Anyone have ringing in the ears that gets worse when the PTSD is ramped up? I should add that I have always tended to have a lot of health anxiety, so I don't need to hear any horror stories right now.

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