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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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HeHadADoubleLife posted 11/30/2018 00:24 AM

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.

Ugggh I relate to this so hard.When my husband and I were still just dating and working through his insane masturbation addiction, he got all excited to talk about how it had been a few weeks since I had found anything covered in vegetable oil or some other lubricant, and all I kept thinking was seriously, you want a fucking gold star for this shit? You want brownie points for managing to not be disgusting for a couple of weeks?

Lionne posted 11/30/2018 01:01 AM

Yeah, no. I can appreciate the hard work addicts put into recovery, I can be happy for and impressed with those who achieve long-term sobriety from drugs, booze, etc. but I'm not nearly as quick to do the same for sex addicts. I guess that makes me a hypocrite or at least a person with double standards. Oh well.
I offered to staple his 30 day chip to his forehead. I haven't heard about any chips since. And he doesn't do sobriety anniversaries either.
Honey, your story is the worst I've ever heard. I'm so sorry you've been treated so poorly.

Cephastion posted 11/30/2018 11:10 AM

he got all excited to talk about how it had been a few weeks since I had found anything covered in vegetable oil or some other lubricant, and all I kept thinking was seriously, you want a fucking gold star for this shit? You want brownie points for managing to not be disgusting for a couple of weeks?

...um... Yeah... that's a fairly understandable right there...

At the risk of trying to be diplomatic here, i wonder if a more constructive perspective would help any?

For a person with self control issues, they often want or even NEED affirmation for one reason or another. Sex and gluttony and alcohol abuse are often times just pain killers or "sugar" substitutes for the thing they REALLY need and are craving but can't seem to get instead.

My suggestion therefore is to try a double matching fund drive/challenge like other charities and addiction recovery organizations and ministries do.

Set a mutually do-able or believable short term time goal for whatever would take a bit of a stretch to manage for the butter dish/Crisco addict...a week? A month? A year?

Get an old boot or a jar or piggy bank of some kind and for every day he's "sober" (from off of the vegetable oil, so to speak) then both of you could feed the boot (as in kicking the habit or giving it the boot) a dollar or more... Matching the one partner's contribution with the other one's.

Decide ahead of time a purpose or reward for the winner of the challenge. If he fails to reach the goal maybe the wife gets to use the money for a salon appointment or to get a new sweater for the cat.

But if the addict wins the challenge... Then he gets to take the wife out fora celebration dinner (that doesn't include fried or heavily buttered foods) or he goes to a concert or gets a cigar (bad phallic joke there kinda) or a leather jacket for his dog or whatever...

I agree that staying out of the Crisco isn't something that should be a brownie point or brownie making event (allusion intended there, btw) but for an addict, I think it's like staying on a diet or much worse.

And whatever helps them to grow the hell up is worth the change (spare change... Matching funds...) in them and in the relationship. Maturity and self respect are rather priceless by comparison to a few dollars and cents here and there after all, in my opinion and economy.

And I think it really helps to put an actual value on the business of self discipline, whether that's the money or just the pride of winning/succeeding and being right... Or both.

College degree seekers do that all the time, really, as well as many other commission based professionals and sports minded people and workaholics alike.

Well that's my two cents worth anyway.

[This message edited by Cephastion at 11:19 AM, November 30th (Friday)]

Cephastion posted 11/30/2018 11:28 AM

Alternatively, if he keeps just totally failing instead, you could just threaten to have Mittens to lick up a goodly dose of some castor oil or epicac... and then give your hubby some catnip tea just before he takes his nap... Just to help him understand how nasty his little wildcatting oilman habit is to you (and to Mittens as well...)

...meow...

Lionne posted 11/30/2018 11:43 AM

A very valuable two cents. You are 100% right about the needs of the addict in recovery and your idea to monotize achievement is a good one.

It's hard for those of us in trauma to be as cheerleady as we should. Where is my chip/applause/presents for being faithful for 40 years!? I know I didn't care to praise him for suddenly being a person of integrity. He needed to get that affirmation from his fellowship, his CSAT and most importantly, from himself. These people cannot self affirm. Even today my husband points out all the things he did as a way of eliciting praise. I don't (often) give it on advice of our MC. I say, how do you feel about your accomplishment of (mowing the lawn, emptying the dishwasher, folding his own clothes)? He was SO immature he was unable to get intrinsic pleasure without someone else recognizing it.
He's much better now. Reverts to that little boy now and again, and we discuss it. I DO thank him for doing chores, errands, etc., but I'm no longer the Mommy.

The only issue I have about your idea is personal. When does it stop? At this point in recovery, my husband had been sober for a long time. (He knows the exact number of years, months, days) He may slip, accidentally dwell on a salacious web page, revert to scanning. I don't want to know every slip. I know I'd find out about a relapse and know if my boundaries were crossed. That reward jar may be good for some, at least in the beginning, but not for me. It's sure worth thinking about!

Cephastion posted 11/30/2018 12:19 PM

That's a very good point and good question as well, Lionne.

In my thinking, it "stops" everytime the goal or challenge is achieved.

And each time that happens, the challenge is upped or renegotiated for the next time or challenge.

That could go on to other things after the Sex battle (or since I'm a native Texan, I guess I like my new oil happy term "wildcatting") is conquered.

To me, it's a mind over matter issue, so whatever the challenge of the day or season might be would be fair game once the masturbating issue is mastered.

Dieting and OTHER forms of *ahem* "exercise" could come into play in that equation as well...

Just the focused and positive based goal setting as a married team has a value, I think.

Even if it has to start off as low as an oil spill level... There haven't been any more Exxon Valdez disasters in the overall scheme of things since everyone got serious about that crap. And that there was also a drinking and unregulated, unaccountable thing with no one mature or Captain enough being at the wheel, incidentally!

So there again... The oil business has to be monitored and regulated to some degree or we all suffer...

(Btw, I hope my trying to be funny here is not misunderstood for lack of empathy, btw. I just find that a spoonful of sugar or humor helps the medicine go down when it's as otherwise distasteful as this kind of stuff is to have to deal with in real life.)

Cephastion posted 11/30/2018 12:27 PM

Here's one of the online definitions of a wildcatter, btw...

wildcatter. [wahyld-kat-er]. Word Origin. noun. an oil prospector. a person who promotes risky or unsound business ventures.

I liked this next one also:

Wildcatter definition: a prospector for oil or ores in areas having no proved resources

I suppose "Valdez" could also be a legitimate moniker...

Or the Deepwater Horizon mismanagement... Mancondo Blowout Matter... Or you could refer to the Piper Alpha (or "beta" in this case) manhandling mania...


[This message edited by Cephastion at 12:37 PM, November 30th (Friday)]

Lionne posted 11/30/2018 19:49 PM

once the masturbating issue is mastered.

Ah, there's the rub. Addiction is never mastered. It can be managed, but never is an addict master of his/her addiction. That's a dangerous way to think. Ime, addicts who think that quickly relapse. My husband will never say "I'll never do that again." If he did, I'd worry-he's letting his guard down, becoming complacent. Addicts cannot afford to do that.
But monotizing marriage goals might work for some things. I'll have to think about that.

Smjsome1 posted 11/30/2018 22:35 PM

So all wild 24 hours. And not a SA thing, but considering last year at this time I was wanting to die, saw my world collapsing, etc.

good news for once!

Daughter started developing preeclampsia - so they induced - it got scary at about 1 am, his heartbeat started dropping, and decisions were made - and luckily it all worked out - the cord was wrapped around his chest! Mom is doing well.

Young fella was born at 1:22 am, no name yet, 21 inches, 6 lbs 2 ozs

Iím at home with the older boys who are excited to have a new brother.
There are good things in life, may not stay married. But life does go on

Smjsome1 posted 12/1/2018 09:02 AM

Also, on the subject of sobriety brags ...

SA sent me a pic of his coin last week, 11 months. He had a slip last year around Xmas - thank you lionne for helping me with that - and he considers himself sober since that day.

Now, me, he has continued his lies up till Aug this year, for me, lies mean not sober. Context is, during discovery he told me he had sex with a woman who in reality he was fantasizing about, I knew something wasnít right and it made me insane until I forced the truth, turns out, he didnít have sex with her, but thought he would ďlookĒ better if he did, versus the fantasizing. I donít get it.

For me, sobriety includes not lying.

I just ignored him, after he asked a few t8mes I said, you know my views on sobriety. Told him Iím happy heís proud of it.

I donít get them at all.

Lionne posted 12/5/2018 05:39 AM

Lying is a huge trigger. We had a blow-up a few months ago about a lie about pastry. Silly but not silly.
When we are lied to for so long, so effectively, so convincingly, we are bound to be super sensitive to it.
They must figure that out and act accordingly. And we need to enforce our boundaries.

secondtime posted 12/6/2018 00:51 AM

I think the lying is worse than the acting out behavior.

I can live with DH's relapse. I can't live with the fact that he can look into my eyes and lie without blinking an eyelash.

It's clear he has no problem doing it.

Smjsome1 posted 12/6/2018 21:07 PM

I am starting to see some of his lies as cover, not betrayal, simply because he has told me things lately about his childhood that allows me to see why he is broken.

Thing is - that means lies are literally part of the addiction. So no, you canít claim soberoty if you were lying

CatsEye posted 12/6/2018 21:48 PM

I can live with DH's relapse. I can't live with the fact that he can look into my eyes and lie without blinking an eyelash.

When I realized my STBXH had done this, I forever lost all respect for him.

Lionne posted 12/10/2018 11:25 AM

So. My husband plays cello in a local orchestra. Rehearsals on Wednesday, four concerts a year. Trouble is, he used those rehearsals as a cover for what he was really doing. I never insisted he stop going, I know he needs healthy outlets. I stopped attending, I was tired of being the unacknowledged cheerleader. And classical music soured for me.
I went yesterday, a holiday concert, took a friend who is 90 and not geographically close to her children. My husband was happily surprised to see me, thanked me, he knows it's a trigger. We chatted at intermission and he went off to get a soda.
As we were heading back to our seats I saw him chatting with a blonde woman, one of the performers. BIG trigger. Until I found out about his hobbies I was always proud that he was a friendly guy. Until I knew he was using that as a fix. In this case he wasn't doing that fake smile I came to hate. I passed by and said "see you at home." He waved and smiled at me.
Did I mention my husband looks extremely handsome in his tuxedo?
My friend said, "your husband is a good looking guy, you'd better keep an eye on him."
Ugh. She's 90. Had a long-term marriage that ended in infidelity, her son cheated on his wife.
I said, "he'd better keep an eye on himself, he's responsible for his behavior."
But it's bugging me. This blonde was a member of the chorus, he isn't likely to run into her regularly, I have no reason to think he's on the prowl, I don't expect him to NOT talk to women. He said, when I asked him, that he asked her about the chorus performances (they were exceptional) and she was trying to recruit him (cue my snarky thought, of COURSE she was) In truth, men were few in the chorus, a typical situation.
But, a trigger for me. I'm still feeling it a bit, I'll talk to him later about it after I process.
It sucks. Had he not cheated it wouldn't be a second thought.

secondtime posted 12/10/2018 15:54 PM

Lionne-
I'm sorry you were triggered. It's hard when you can't take interactions at face value.

I feel safe enough, I guess, to start vasectomy discussions again. I told DH I'm done being the fool (making sure when we used a RE that we found a method for getting samples that didn't involve his MO for getting high..all while DH was getting high...and rejecting a vasectomy so as not to tempt DH...all while he was getting high)

We'll see how he navigates. If he listens to my boundaries or not. If he can stand up for his or not.

But, it needs to be done. More kids means the longer I'm tied to him. And I don't want any more kids.

He's so funny. Interprets a good string of 18 months as meaning that we'll remain married forever. I'm like. Dude. You could relapse next year and lie about it, again.

whoami62 posted 12/10/2018 17:52 PM

I am glad I found this thread ( although there aren't enough hours in a week to comb through them )

I am married to a SA. He was active on porn websites and his addiction evolved into a LTA with one of the whores on there.

Dday was 11/6/17 and it has been a rough ride for us, although we are committed to saving our M

Much of my H problems are fueled my financial stress and we are taking steps to lighten our burden by selling parts of our business.

He is currently in IC with a SA specialist , but there doesn't seem to be any meetings in our region for SAA or for the spouses either.

I feel a little discouraged by the posts I read through here. I would like to think that it is possible to become sober in this journey .

I would love to hear some encouraging stories if anyone has anything to share.

H is truly a sad and broken man...from the time he was a little boy who suffered at the hands of bullies who relentlessly teased him about his dyslexia...even teachers humiliated him.

The porn addiction began when we were faced with financial pressures because of both our business and the housing bubble problems.

Trying to make positive moves to eliminate stresses from our lives

Lionne posted 12/10/2018 20:25 PM

So, despite my ranting in the above post, I'm glad I stayed with my SA husband. I'll never be glAd I experienced this, and if I had known about it during my 40s or early 50s I don't think I'd have chosen to stay and try. I grew up with an addict, I KNOW how damaging it is to a family. By the time I found out, my kids were young adults.
At this point, my husband is sober for 9+ years, and now works every day to show me he's remorseful, changed and that he loves me. I would not be here if he didn't.
That said, I think your husband needs to find a 12 step group of some kind. There are online groups, phone groups, and he may have to travel. My husband's first group was an hour's drive away. He needs to search the web, ask his CSAT, Something. The support of a group is paramount, both to his recovery and your ability to, down the road, live with this knowledge.
We never "get over" the experience of these traumas completely. We can heal, fix ourselves, and learn to set strong boundaries and stick to them. We learn to trust ourselves to know what to do if they slip or relapse. That takes individual counseling for us, support from other affected spouses and a lot of self examination.
One thing that you need to beware of is making excuses for him and explaining away his shitty choices. And make no mistake he CHOSE this in some ways. There may be underlying mental health issues, abuse issues, other things. But that isn't an excuse. A reason perhaps, but never an excuse. As a matter of fact, that's the main emphasis in 12 steps, personal responsibility.
I apologize if I interpreted your post inaccurately. Just examine your pov and make sure you put yourself first.

marji posted 12/10/2018 22:16 PM

whomi62Good that you have found us here on SI but I just want to ditto what Lionne has said about the importance of your H finding a group. My H and I travel about 45 minutes each week; he to an SA meeting and I to an SANON group. Some who come to his group live as much as two hours away and an hour is very common. But there are also on line and telephone groups and groups can even be initiated where none currently exist. Sometimes an IC can help facilitate such a group.

Trying to make positive moves to eliminate stresses from our lives

Clearly we should all try to reduce the harmful stress in our lives but I think eliminating stress is probably not possible. If it's not caused by one thing then it's caused by another--financial, physical, interpersonal. . . . So I think the aim of the SA is not to eliminate stress but to learn healthy ways of dealing with it and I think our task is not to try to eliminate stress so our partners won't act out but to focus on ourselves and what we need to feel healthy and safe.

And yes, sobriety is possible.


secondtime posted 12/10/2018 23:31 PM

I agree with Lionne about needing a 12-step group.
My husband worked with a CSAT for 2.5 years. Went through the Patrick Carnes material.

My husband was sober for another year, after that..give or take (likely 3.5 years sober) and then relapsed. For several years.

He's now attending 12 step meetings and working through the steps. Been sober/in recovery now for 18 months.

Sobriety and recovery is possible.

You need to concentrate on you. I love my husband deeply.

But, I have to love myself even more. And I do.

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