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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Shocked123 posted 1/20/2019 22:23 PM

Destroyed wife80,
Now I remember your story the husband in denial.
Do you know in advance of his visits to these places?
Can you take pictures of him going in or confront him as he enters?
Have you considered that he may never admit to any of this acting out?
What will you do then?
Remind me again what your IC says about the situation youíre in. Sounds like it would be very challenging to reconcile with someone who wonít admit to theiir infidelity.

DestroyedWife80 posted 1/21/2019 00:49 AM


I do not know in advance, only confirmation after the fact. He travels a LOT for work & I secretly go through his phone (when he's in the shower) when he gets back from a trip.

I wish I could get pics- but he's much wiser now.

I do not think he will ever admit- he is SO deep into his denial, maybe he believes it.

I am stuck in limbo right now. My IC basically says that I am a love addict- I have an insecure part of me that is addicted to him. She says unless I fix that part, I will cling to him and allow him to do anything. She says even if I left him right now, I would panic and go back...or end up with someone similar. I feel like her assessment is very accurate.

Deep down, at the heart of it- I want to leave this asshole. He has been cheating on me since we started dating. AFTER discovery and confrontation- he IS STILL TROLLING FOR MEN ON CRAIGSLIST!!! He will never stop. Even if he suddenly became the model for R & did EVERYTHING I wanted & never cheated again- it's a deal breaker. I cannot get past these things. I will never ever trust him again- even if he had a 24 hr camera crew to follow him around. My view of marriage and men is forever sullied by what I have experienced with him.

But for some reason when I get to that abyss- standing on one side (with him) and looking at the other side (without him)...I clam up. I panic. I cling even harder to him. I start rationalizing in my mind "I will just stay, I don't care." It's very disturbing. But I trust my IC that she will be able to 'fix' my issues and that I will eventually have the strength and coping mechanisms to leave him. Until then, I could use a LOT of prayers

[This message edited by DestroyedWife80 at 12:52 AM, January 21st (Monday)]

ashestophoenix posted 1/21/2019 12:29 PM

I've been thinking a lot about confrontation of our SA's. I've also been thinking about my trauma around discovery. I, like most of us, had a period of discovery myself by snooping. Then I had the drip, drip disclosure by my husband. I had thought that I was a bit over 4 years post D-day. But I was speaking to my husband, who was actually calm and honest at least in this particular conversation, who only knows of one D-day in the summer of 2014. As we were talking, I said "don't you remember my yelling at you in the middle of the night when I found your porn?". And, he says "no". I honestly believe he doesn't remember the multiple confrontations I had with him. I do not think he is lying. It only got through to him when I handed him a ream of paper with a printout of his internet use. All porn, all the time.

Here's what struck me. I had forgotten how long ago I first found out and confronted him. I first confronted him in 2012 or 2013. I still can't quite remember the exact date. That shows how traumatized I was. So I've been at this for six or seven years...not four. Honestly, I wasn't aware of how much time had gone by.

I am aware that my husband was so deeply addicted, so compartmentalized, so dishonest, so delusional that he was not going to admit to anything he was doing. He wasn't going to give it up and there was no way he thought he was an addict. I realize now that I had hoped that if I confronted him he would step up and see that he had a problem and do something about it. Knowing what I know now, that was never going to happen. I confronted him multiple times over two years and he doesn't remember any of that. Stunning, isn't it? But actually, sadly predictable.

They are not going to do anything but lie and gaslight unless there is some threat to them. I had to threaten divorce. Multiple times. I had to really mean it and I he seemed to need some visual proof (no surprise there, right, since they are so visually oriented). And even after that confrontation, my husband was reluctant about getting help. It took him a year of active therapy and 12-step to even admit he was an addict.

When I finally accepted that there was no perfect way to confront it made my life better. I can now calmly say: "I know you did X, Y and Z." I don't argue. Staying calm and resolute drives them nuts, is my experience. The real issue for me was realizing I had to know my limits and bottom lines with my husband, really know it, and communicate that to him. Once I put my energy into getting help for me and getting stronger, my husband sensed this and realized that I would divorce him. As screwed up as they are, I find they truly are abusive controllers at some level and they very much sense if we are believing their lies.

When I changed my focus from confrontation in order to get my husband to see the light, and more to say my truth and my boundaries, my life got better. This took years of therapy to do, but it is so worth it. Still sucks to be married to a sober SA.


ashestophoenix posted 1/21/2019 12:41 PM

Destroyed, I'm glad you are in IC. My therapist has been a life savior for me. I had to go through a bunch of them before I found one who could truly help me. I'd be careful about accepting the diagnosis of "love addiction." The theory is that we're love addicts that choose sex addicts. It arises from the idea that addiction is a "family system". Here's the problem: that comes from substance abuse treatment. Families know about substance abuse. We did NOT know about the sex addiction. I think it's bullshit to tell us that we're some kind of co-addict. It may be true, but I'm doubtful.

On the other hand, I was bonded in an unhealthy way to my husband. It was a betrayal bond, or a trauma bond. This kind of experience can happen to anyone. We were subjected to gaslighting which screws up anyone. In my case, my early family history, which was not good, made me prone to an abusive relationship in that I didn't recognize the abuse and neglect since it was so familiar; and I didn't have the self esteem to leave. Over time, though, I become entangled in a very unhealthy way with my husband.

My trauma work has been to untangle what was my husband and what was me. What was healthy and what wasn't. I do not believe that all of us were on some kind of emotional suicide mission and we chose an addict and knew it on some level. I just don't believe that. My husband kept this secret from countless people including multiple individual therapists and marriage counselors.

There is so much shame we have to process once we learn about our partners' addictions. But it's not our shame. I didn't lie, cheat, objectify, withhold, neglect, abuse and in general act in a disgusting, shameful way about sexuality and other people.

I think we must be gentle and compassionate towards ourselves. We deserve it.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 12:43 PM, January 21st (Monday)]

ashestophoenix posted 1/21/2019 12:51 PM

Somber, I feel so heartbroken about your post about having sex with your husband when it feels shameful. It brought up memories for me of my past when I had sex with boyfriends to shut them up, or calm them down, or for some reason other than mutual pleasure and joy. Isn't that sad? Isn't it a testimony to how transactional sex can be and how unjoyful and unpleasurable it can be. I am deeply saddened that I did this in the past. I'm not ashamed, but sad.

What would our lives have been like if we felt we had the permission to say yes or not to sex with whomever we wanted based on what WE wanted and needed. I can't even imagine it, but it seems....liberating. Joyful.

I am at the point that I do not have sex with my husband. Kind of sad since I wanted it so long and he withheld it from me. I went through a period of hysterical bonding post D-day and I'm glad I had it at the same time it wasn't truly healthy, joyful or loving. For the first time in my life I say "no I don't want to have sex with you right now because I don't want to." Period. End of discussion. If my husband loved and respected me and was a mature person, he could handle that.

My advice would what feels right for you right now. If it means having sex with him to create some peace at home, go ahead. If you don't want to, then don't. But do what takes care of you right now and know that nothing you do is wrong. You need to take care of yourself and your children as best you can.


DestroyedWife80 posted 1/21/2019 16:32 PM


Thank you for sharing your story- I always get so much wisdom from the ladies here!

One of the things I *love* about my IC is that she says things that are confirmed by other betrayed spouses experiences that I read here.
She stressed that you can never ďguiltĒ them into recovery and reconciliation (which is what I was trying to do, I guess- just let him know and SEE how destroyed I amÖbut itís like it pisses him off). He has to be at the edge of losing something very important. She said by shifting focus to myself and healing, getting better, he will probably take notice that I am getting stronger and healthier and he will recognize that I could actually D him.

I went through several IC before finding this one. I agree with you- I am not so much big on the terminology she uses but on certain things like how she knew exactly why and how I was panicking at the thought of losing him- even though on a purely logical standpoint I would like to leave him. I have this sad, vulnerable, scared little girl inside me that rises up and over rides the strong, logical woman I really am. I have been married 4 times and have picked very unsuitable men each time- one was a hoarder (and now I am guessing, possibly acted out sexually but I was too young to notice the signs), the second one was a full-fledged sex addict (who ended up beating me, sexually/mentally/emotionally/verbally abusing the shit out of me), the third was a pretty good guy (but 20 years older than me & I was essentially manipulated into marrying him), and the fourth is my current SA WH (who has major anger issues and yells/bullies me a lot).

I have a severely broken Ďpickerí- I will take 100% responsibility for making shitty choices lol. But I will not EVER take responsibility for their actions.

I am hoping and praying and working for the day that I can say my therapy has brought me to the path of living a healthy inner life and I can hopefully then break free from the chains of choosing a dysfunctional life.

Somber posted 1/22/2019 14:09 PM

Ashes, thank you for your response. I feel a little lost in these threads/conversations; however, I am comforted to know I am not alone in my struggles. I will do what feels right for the time being. Certainly some peace in the home is tempting. With that though, I feel I am also just enabling his behaviour. It all just really sucks!!

I can relate to many posts on here and am sorry you all are suffering in these ways as well. It is so unsettling to discover your WH is living a double life. The addiction to sex, lust, attention or the game of feeling wanted feels like such an insult to me. However, my WH wants me too but it now just feels empty. I don't think I can hang out much longer, especially with many failed R and his inability to acknowledge his addictions.

DestroyedWife80 posted 1/24/2019 23:58 PM

Ugh!!! Help! Got into it w WH last night...he got pissy with me when I scheduled my counseling appointment for his day off. I said Ďyou donít realize how badly I am suffering.í

So he starts with his BS about how I have nothing to worry about, etc. I couldnít help myself, I confronted him about the Craigslist ads I saw him replying to last Sunday.

We essentially broke up. Then somehow...through either my weakness or his verbal magic...I am giving him a third chance !?!?

I honestly do not know how he does this, itís like he gets me all confused, plays on my weakest emotions and then Iím agreeing to the third chance even though I want to run like hell.

I believe this is exactly what my IC was talking to me about. There is some vulnerable, scared little girl inside me...that panics and reaches out to him when things get close to a separation.

I need insight & support!!!

Shocked123 posted 1/25/2019 04:56 AM

The pattern of an explosive situation then panic at the thought of finally ending it all, and agreeing to or even luring Your H back sounds very familiar.
Saw my IC yesterday and lightly touched on the fact that although I knew that right thing to do was to put distance beteeen us after DDay, I did the opposite and nurtured him, made him a priority once again and In doing so, avoided my feelings of rejection. My fear of being without him was greater than my disgust and disappointment about his acting out.
Your posts resonate with me and itís time for me to work with someone to figure out what Iím so afraid of. My fear of being alone was probably felt by my H which indirectly encouraged his behaviour. My fear created weak boundaries in our marriage, not just about cheating but also his emotional and verbal abuse and his neglect of the family in general.
I took unconditional love too far. There are limits to everything, even wedding vows
Is the scared little girl In you afraid of being alone or being without HIM in particular? Can you imagine yourself Living apart from him and enjoying the peace of not having to worry about who is he is hooking up with behind your back?
As much as I love My H and as much as Iím afraid of being alone, I am also seeing to what extent he is broken. Even though my H has been doing the work, he has been avoiding the real issues and I have to be ready to accept that he may never. If thatís the case, this scared little girl will have to put her big girl boots on because this is no way to live.
I realize you want to give him chances because youbhope you can fix him but as Dr. Phil says, ďhowís that working for you?Ē.
Keep us posted.

veryhurt2018 posted 1/25/2019 07:25 AM

Just thought I would share that SAWH and I went to our first COUPLES SA meeting last Saturday. It was very eye-opening. It was hopeful and scary all at the same time. Hopeful because there were people in there that have had sobriety for a very long time. Scary because the people that have had sobriety had SA & SAA consuming their life. They literally lived and breathed it and it was a little scary. They went to national conventions, local and national meetings, and worked the program every day. Has anyone else been to a couples SA meeting? In our area (San Francisco), it's only once a month, but we're definitely going again. Very worth it.

I also just got back from my doctor, to get my yearly physical. SAWH and I share the same doctor and she had already seen us when everything came out for all the STI tests, but she hadn't talked to me. She spent literally 40 minutes talking with me and telling me how shocked she was about everything that I told her. She said that out of all her patients, he was one of the least likely (in her eyes) to do this. She said it about 10 times. Crazy. Thatís how I felt when it all came out. Iím sure everyone felt that way, so I guess thatís not anything different than you. Itís been 9 months and sometimes I think Iím still a little bit in shock because of this.

Shocked123 posted 1/25/2019 12:01 PM

Very hurt2018,
I will be going to my first sanon meeting in a few weeks. We are not at the couples meeting phase yet because he has not been formally assessed.
Our mutual family doctor was also very shocked.
Goes to show you there is not real profile for addiction.
It can happen to the squeaky clean, wholesome and seemingly steady too.
I think it is very normal that you feel shocked.
Iím not even sure it has really hit me yet.
Our stories are very similar; 12 years, hundreds of encounters.
With full disclosure, I am certain that number will increase. Iím fact, the more I speak with the therapist, the more I look back and see signs from long before 12 years.
It will be up to him to tell the truth or I will never really know.

Lionne posted 1/25/2019 12:32 PM

I'm here. Not sure I'm back just yet.

We have had a major setback. Relapse, although I hesitate to call it that, I think it's far more serious. He hasn't interacted with real people, that was my bottom line. I'm a mess, looking for another IC is a nightmare. We found a guy, maybe he'll work out.

I wanted to chime in with a comment about my current situation. I haven't left. I still may. The big difference between now and then IS me. I have clear, definitive plans to leave. I made him sign a paper about our finances, we'd split things 50/50. Unlike last time, I have no worries about money. I also have no doubt that I will be fine, even thrive if I chose to leave. I am no longer afraid of being alone, I realize I've been alone for most of my marriage.

It's taken a long time to get to that point. And I'm not powerless in this situation BECAUSE I have clear, specific plans. Destroyed, you can get there, too.

love to you all.

dontsaylovely posted 1/25/2019 13:44 PM

Lionne: I am sorry to read your update. A relapse or more is always a concern even in what seems to be successful R and SA recovery.

You are stronger this time. You have your finances in order. These are two major assets on your side as you sort through your current situation.

You have been so helpful on this forum, given excellent advice and compassion. I hope you can apply all to yourself.

Love and hugs to you too.

Lionne posted 1/25/2019 14:09 PM

Yep. I'm prepared. And to tell the truth, the plans I've made are very appealing. Even exciting. Certainly more so than the prospect of spending more time working through this new trauma.

He has a new found sense of dedication to recovery. He asked me to give him 90 days. I told him I'm giving ME time. He is entitled to no consideration.

He isn't a monster. But he sure is the stupidest smart person I've ever met.

DestroyedWife80 posted 1/25/2019 16:51 PM

Shocked- I am RIGHT there with you! This seems like a common pattern between a SA and partner. Something to definitely explore! The odd thing is, rationally I think being alone would be VERY pleasant for meÖso I donít know why I clam up at the last minute and panic!

Lionne- I am so sorry to hear about the setback! I canít tell you how it makes me feel to hear you say this ďÖthe plans I've made are very appealing. Even exciting. Certainly more so than the prospect of spending more time working through this new trauma.Ē Wow! What a magnificent breakthrough!!! Instead of being weighted down by this seemingly ever present ticking time bombÖwe can choose to cut ourselves free and live a happy, fulfilling life WITHOUT SA in the picture ever again!!! I would never knock R, in fact , I desire it very much myself (the true, healthy kind)Öbut when you give the precious gift of R and they shit on it? You should be VERY proud to step into your new life, knowing you gave it all you had. You are a mentor and inspiration to all of us. God grant me to the strength that you have now!!!

Lionne posted 1/25/2019 17:34 PM

Oh, I wouldn't be so quick to hang that strength label on me. I'm a bit of a mess. I am sleeping a bit better with the help of meds, I'm forcing myself to do things, to work out, to eat right, I've scheduled two massages this month, etc. But I have nightmares every night, and am really a bitch to live with.
I am giving myself time and space. I believe I'll know what to do when the right time comes.
IT IS FREAKING HARD to find an IC, any IC that isn't a 45-60 minute drive. I'm just not up to that. We sort of found someone...He spent last week trying to give us a diagnosis. Mine is clear, depression and all the symptoms of PTSD. But It is simply infuriating that the DSM has NO category for him, except vague references to compulsive sexual behavior, and that insurance companies use that and only that to determine coverage.
He's saying all the right things. He's been saying all the right things for years. I insisted on drawing up a document designating who gets what monies. He said "I can't believe we are doing this." What the fuck did he think would happen!!? Oh right. He didn't think. Just chose to do whatever he wanted.
I didn't want to post about this. I was fooled. And while he has changed 180 since the bad old days, he still crossed the line, believing I'd never find out, knowing damn well how I'd react.
I still believe in recovery, and yes have been to many couples meetings. I just don't know if I want to even be part of this journey anymore. I don't want people here to be discouraged.
But even if you think recovery is strong, have an exit plan.

ashestophoenix posted 1/25/2019 19:14 PM

Oh Lionne. Iím so sorry. Sending love and light. ashestophoenix

Smjsome1 posted 1/25/2019 23:12 PM

Lionne - Iím so sorry. Hugs. You will do whatís best for yo, I know you will.
I wish I was there now

veryhurt2018 posted 1/26/2019 10:33 AM

Lionne, I'm so sorry you're going through this. You sound like you are strong and you will get through this and be stronger in the end. Hugs to you!!!

bluetears posted 2/1/2019 20:53 PM

[This message edited by bluetears at 10:29 AM, February 2nd (Saturday)]

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