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Emotionless Infidelity Part 4

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rebplay posted 8/10/2018 20:13 PM

Idiot me- Iím so sorry youíre dealing with this. Youíll have to let us know how tonight goes. I hope heís true to you. When youíre fresh out from discovery or even after quite a long time, youíll hate the betrayer, youíll be sad, youíll be scared, youíll
Be so pissed off, youíll feel like life isnít the same, youíll
Wonder whatís real and whatís not, and so on. Itís awful ups and downs. Take your time, breath.

burn posted 8/10/2018 23:49 PM

Hi IdiotMe-
Glad you found us here- so sorry to hear about all you are going through. I took some time to read your posts on JFO. So many similarities with our WH's... some common to all waywards, some more specific to those with ASD. My WH is also miserable in every job he ever had. They just dont understand him...they arent as smart as him... whatever the issue is, he is always looking for a new job even though he is pretty successful at work.
He still refuses to accept the diagnosis, but at least he is accepting guidance from our MC on how to deal with those issues. He has made progress, for sure, I just had to curtail my expectations of what he was capable of.

However, it doesnt sound like you are yet at the point of working on fixing things. First he has to be honest about what he has done. I know my WH is very literal, and he would deny having sex if it was "just" handjobs- which is a possibility (although no less horrifying). He had to get to the point where he realized he would lose me entirely before he was able to be honest with me. If he hadn't finally admitted to everything, there would have been no chance at R. The continued lies were almost as bad as the infidelity itself.
For my WH one thing that helped was giving him the book- "How to Help Your Spouse Heal." He literally needed an instruction manual to tell him that he had to stop lying and to help him understand the damage he had done. It may be premature in your case, until you can get him to stop the absurd line about getting a shoulder massage (BTW- my WH also hates massages of any sort... maybe ASD related?)

IdiotMe posted 8/11/2018 09:06 AM

Rebplay_. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. They mean more than you know and I truly appreciate it.

I watched my husband all last night on his location tracker and believe it or not, he did not go back to that place. I'm kind of surprised actually. I know I scared him with my confrontation, but I had no idea how truly affective it was. Just maybe, he got the picture. Hard to tell at this point.

Burn- I've only been with my husband really 2 days since I confronted him and when I first spoke with him, he said he is NOT wiling to go to MC. That definitely will have to change. I have an appointment with the therapist that diagnosed and told me about his Aspergers a week from Monday and I'm counting down until I get there. One thing I didn't ask the therapist when he told me, was if he ever told my husband? THAT will be interesting to find out because my husband was so hit and miss with therapy, that I don't remember if he ever had a private session with him after all of the testing. (This was like 15 years ago) This therapist has helped us with other things since (middle daughter and ADHD and anxiety) so he knows my husband and the entire family very well. He'll tell me what to do to get my husband in the door. More than likely it will involve an ultimatum.

For my husband and work, I asked him again just last night on the phone, what makes his work so unbearable, why is this place so much more stressful than the last...and get this...he hates 24 hour shifts, which I can understand, but really thats normal in his profession,..... and in the call room where he can sleep, THE FAN IS TOO LOUD. That's it. His life is miserable, he's forced to go to massage workers for happy endings, because the fan is too loud. (he told me during our big Come to Jesus moment that he went to this place "this one time" because of the "stress" at work.

How does he not get how crazy that is? I've told him repeatedly to use earplugs and someone can knock on the door if he's needed, I've heard him tell this story to the hospital administrator on the phone (in the car) and I heard the administrator tell him the same thing about earplugs and knocking. He says the roof vibrates when the thing kicks on. The whole thing is so stupid and ridiculous that this is somehow in his mind tied to his seeing hookers. Seriously?

Thank you so much for the book recommendation. I've bought it already and it's on it's way. And what's funny is that the Amazon confirmations go to my husband email so he'll also see it's on the way...probably at work during his down time while he checks email.

And yes the whole massage hate is a ASD thing. Many people with ASD dislike being touched in general. My husband will flinch if he's touched without seeing you coming or expecting to be touched. It's a sensory thing.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I'm sick over the whole thing and would just like the truth. Has this been going on our entire marriage? And what really goes on there?


Superesse posted 8/11/2018 10:03 AM

Hi, IdiotMe, I also hate typing that insulting name for you, and besides, you are smarter than I was, shown by the way you have handled this (I read your JFO post today....way more self-control than I exhibited when I JFO!)

Okay the Aspergers diagnosis might partly explain what - to you - seems like totally illogical excuses for massage parlor visits....bear with me, here.....it seems like he keeps coming up with the same weird explanation (don't we hate that?) But to me, I hear he has himself convinced that obnoxious sensory stimuli have the power to drive him to do stupid stuff, like go get a "massage," is that correct?

Of course, that is no excuse to do what he did at a massage parlor, but you also noted his heavy porn use....he obviously uses sex to self-sooth, and here is the Aspergers angle: noises and things that would not bother a normal person (Neurotypical, they like to call it, to reduce stigma) really can and do annoy Aspergers people, they "jangle their nerves" way more than most people's. So I wonder if he is not, as you seem to imply, minimizing his reasons, when he points to those noise or vibration things being enough to drive him to seek his preferred self-soothing antidote? Just found that to make sense, given what is known about Aspergers people.

My SAWH seems like a possible Aspergers with some ADD traits (lots of overlap, they say). We haven't been able to get him any diagnosis. However, not liking to be touched is not one of his issues. He is like a big cuddly bear with touching or being touched, and he is also way less sensitive to noise and odors, than I am. So I guess it isn't one size fits all. Perhaps it is more about the need for touch being divorced from what they consider "intimacy," due to whatever reason, possibly from infancy. Glad you will see a qualified psych who has evaluated him! You also mention his need for everything to be top notch, and how his standing with others is ultra-important to him, all of which sounds like he exhibits some classic Narcissist traits. And when you mentioned how he liked to be sexual, I also got the picture of a lazy john, laying there while the woman does all the work, and I thought of how Narcissists love to be fussed over. Or babies.....

You sound like Superwoman, doing everything you do in your marriage, and he is okay that you do it all? Was it always this way? If so, he may have chosen you for your competence and energy, in which case, I am wondering if he was acting out like this his whole life before you met, as mine was. I, too was a professional, self-supporting woman and it took me years after D-Day 1 in 2002, to get this history out of my SAWH, but eventually I learned that he had been going to prostitutes or massage parlors his entire adult life, after he lost his virginity that way at age 19. He never had any other relationship before ours, other than paid sex! Yuck.

Well this is long now, just wanting you to know I empathize a lot with your situation, I think you will be okay, get the help you need, and the sooner the better. And come here for more support!

IdiotMe posted 8/11/2018 13:21 PM

Hi Superesse!

Thank you for responding and thank you for your compliments that I'm smart and have self-control. I appreciate that as I have no one in real life I can discuss this with and certainly don't feel that way.

Yes, everything you're saying about him self soothing does make sense, and perhaps that is the reason he went there. That could all be true. And I know you're not trying to make excuses for him, you're trying to help me to understand. I'm just not sure understanding changes my feelings about it in any way. He still turns my stomach and I'm not sure what to do other than therapy to not feel that way.

And OH YES, you are right about his narcissism. He's a classic narcissist and the therapist agrees with that. With a HUGE ego even though he denies it. And boy does he dislike any other men or women with big egos. He runs across that a lot with the people he works with and I get a kick out of the stories he tells me about the people who don't put up with his shit. He HATES those people and will avoid them like the plague. And I just bet those people can't stand him either.

Here's a good story for you. My husband is chronically late. Like 30 minutes late wherever he goes and depending on where he is supposed to be, it could be even later. He has zero respect for anyone elses time because they should be honored enough to wait for him because he is a "VERY BUSY PERSON". (He's not the slightest bit busy when he's off work because he does nothing). Anyway, I made an appointment for him to get a dental checkup and teeth cleaning (because he is far too important to make appointments for himself, that's my job) and he shows up 30 minutes late. And you know what they did? They turned him away and told him he had to reschedule!!!!! OMG....I have seriously never seen him so angry. He was so offended! This was probably 12 years ago and he still goes on about it like it was yesterday and is pissed that my son and I go to that dentist. (I'll go them forever!) He refuses to EVER step foot in that office. MADE MY DAY! (and still does every time he brings it up)

And yes, he absolutely did pick me for my abilities. Most of the time I think he picked me ONLY because of my ability to get things done and have 50 balls in the air at one time. Because he can only have ONE ball. And that's the only ball he can deal with. And don't throw him another ball, talk about other balls, or God forbid we come across another ball, that's the end of the world and he becomes paralyzed and can't deal with even his one ball.

And yes, he did do this before we were married. Of course he didn't admit to that until shortly AFTER we were married. I remember there was some movie on TV and I asked him out of the blue if he ever been to a prostitute and he said "Yes". I was so shocked by that, that I didn't respond. I probably said "oh wow, that's scary" or something like that and changed the subject. But dummy me just assumed he was single for too many years and now that he was happily married he would never have to do that again. Idiot me again.

And I'm sorry about your husband too and I'm glad for you that he's cuddly. I miss that more than anything. I'm going to have to read back and find your whole story as I've only read bits and pieces. These boards are super helpful and mean a lot to me right now. The people here are so kind and helpful. (except that one annoying guy, LOL)

Thank you again for taking the time to read my story and chatting with me. I truly appreciate it. :)

marji posted 8/11/2018 13:48 PM

IM I know your H's "stress" explanation sounds crazy and is crazy but it's also a very common and "explanation" for EIers and SAs and as crazy and ridiculous as it is that is what they really think and feel and sadly it's often pathetically true.

They are people who chose (or continue to choose) very unhealthy forms of escape from their bad feelings. Their destructive choice is not unlike the choice of someone using drugs or alcohol; they used sex to make themselves feel good; to escape; to avoid and their bad feelings of anxiety, anger, resentment, boredom . . . .rule their daily life and daily choices.

The picture I've got of your H based on your posts, is of a pretty sullen, grumpy, grouchy and self-centered man; a malcontent. If it's not the 24 hour shift and the noise, it could be something else. I doubt that ear plugs would have really solved the deeper problem and I think it's generally the deeper issues that lay behind betrayal.

Their use of prostitutes to make themselves feel better suggests serious discontent. Not unlikely that serious psychological problems are often behind traditional affairs as well. These guys have issues.

So many of us feel it's important, even essential that they seek help and start to do the hard and serious and very time consuming work to learn about themselves; to learn who they are and to change. Some of us have made that kind of work a boundary for our own safety. And that hard work has to start with and requires radical commitment to honesty. It's honesty that's the key essential trait behind any decent person and decent relationship.

Right now you want to know the truth and right now it seems your H is reluctant to give it. Of course you want to know what he did and for how long. I remember that feeling almost as if yesterday though for us it's three years later. I remember shouting on the phone that if he didn't tell me what the money was going for I was going to check into a mental hospital and he'd have to take care of our dog. He told me. Just later that day said it was for a year. Turned out over ten and he even lied when I had the bank records in front of me, mumbled something like "that can't be." Right. But the truth did finally get spoken. So. I do understand how the it feels.

I wish I could give advice on how to get the truth, the facts, you are seeking. We're really going into their private world--I described it as my H's secret tree house. And we're not cordially invited. We've intruded, we've found out and their secret is out. I guess in a way they in shock too. A way different sort and I doubt it's traumatic but they're surprised and on guard.

Its hard; they hate having us know; they feel ashamed. But they have to be told, they have to learn that honesty is key to any decent life going forward--either together or separately.

You asked "what really goes on in there?" Where I live, what goes on might depend on the place; some are "full service" and some basically the massage and hj though some will pretend to be the non FS when they are. Not sure it really matters though since anything someone wants is available somewhere and what is available can change even in the same place. They are all illegal; they are all disgusting; so it's not really what goes on there so much as what's going on in our partner's and spouse's that they indulged in something so degrading and wasteful and destructive.

Superesse posted 8/11/2018 16:04 PM

IM, that's a much better handle for you (and thank you, Marji, you rock, as always!) I just had a couple paragraphs written for you, with hopefully-helpful comments before my screen locked up, I hit "refresh," and lost them all; maybe a sign I should be briefer.....

Most of my story was poured out here last fall, and then a little bit over the winter months. I have been in "Limbo" for 16 years after my marriage blew up with the same sort of news you just got.

First I want to tell you, I understand that you are still reeling from this shock, and not ready to make a lot of decisions yet. But a warning: waiting and seeing becomes Limbo at some point. It is not a good place to be, either for our mental or our physical health.

No kids here, but still, I hung in for financial complications that I saw no way out of. And 12 years later, years during which I always thought it was just my own resistance to getting past his kind of emotionless, cold-blooded betrayal, and my (largely unconscious) fear of that false self he continued to show me every day, my SAWH was suddenly arrested for soliciting a prostitute (he found on a website). It was a local police sting to try and discourage drugs and associated human trafficking. My upstanding, self-respecting, affluent, established and well-liked husband's dishevelled mugshot made the papers, the nightly news on TV, the internet (she was not underage, or he would now be on a sex offender list for life.) But his defense attorney told him he will have his arrest follow him through the rest of his life, as Court records systems and Google don't forget.

You might tell this story to your husband, because eventually it could be his story, too. Eventually, it will come out, and he will need to get help for his problems. Like mine never did, despite all the counseling we went through - a year of intense MC (he needed IC, but I was in trauma and I appreciated being informed). He never sought IC.

An aspect of personality disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is that they rarely find the motivation to do the deep work needed to fix themselves. They truly do think it's the rest of the world's fault! Sounds like your husband has that mindset, in spades!

I read where you were considering just doing the roommate thing, like I am now with my SAWH. (And cuddly he is and was, it's just too bad I finally realized I was risking my mental health, trying to enjoy that aspect at the same time I deeply feared his inner monster! So now, we don't share much of that at all, and I hate that, but it was my decision - too many nightmares whenever I allowed him too close...).

I had my reasons for hanging in, which put me in a situation I felt helpless to steer myself out of, economically. I paid a very heavy price for that decision, in reality. Imagine being in the middle of a trans-Atlantic crossing in an old wooden tall ship, when pirates commandeer the ship, kill your beloved Captain, tie you up in the hold, but keep feeding you every day, any food you like! You have no idea why they keep you alive, your life feels like it's over. Nor do you know where or when you are really going to wash ashore...you are just a prisoner now, with no hope of getting back on course. But you are still sailing, still have some physical needs met.,..that describes the last 16 years of my life!

You have heard of Stockholm Syndrome, where captives eventually bond with their captors, who are seen as "protecting" them, and the prisoners then resist being freed? It is a real phenomenon in humans, and I think that helps explain how I've never "seen a way out." Please don't do that to yourself, if you have as many options as it sounds like you do.

Secondly, I hurt for you, when you say you thought what we all tend to think, when he admitted having been to a prostitute in the past: you thought it happened when he was single and that kind of "desperate" behavior wouldn't be necessary, now that he was married, right? Forgive yourself, it is part of our culture to believe this. We all are told that men have sexual needs that they cannot control (not a universal truth, but many men really are out of control). We think a good woman will fix all that! We probably think that, because we were told that sort of advice by our mothers, Dear Abby, Cosmo Magazine, and our grandmothers undoubtedly told our mothers the same thing, and on back in time it goes. Even in the New Testament Bible, Paul advised married couples not to "deprive one another of conjugal rights, lest the devil tempt them to sexual sins..."

But what we learn is that normal sexuality has little to do with these guys' EI. Marji summarized it well. They aren't normal. In both my late sister's and my own cases, our SAWH's paid for sex with a prostitute the same DAY as we had had loving sex with them. It has nothing to do with the old "deprivation = motivation for paying a prostitute" although before I met this man, I might have accepted that premise because my first husband was a Navy Vietnam vet, and he told me, before we married, about the Japanese whore houses he and his mates visited on liberty in Japan. I accepted that "need idea" because I was a naive 19 year old girl, who had already seen the long lines of crew-cut sailors in white dress uniforms downtown in my city, Washington, D.C. They were lined up to go into a raunchy strip club for "entertainment." I just told myself it was pretty common for the military men!

We just need to forgive ourselves for not realizing all the ways this kind of sex-for-sale damages the man's capacity to be a real lover!

Well, epic post here. All as my way of saying: You are NOT an Idiot!

marji posted 8/11/2018 18:02 PM

Awesome discussion, Super, truly awesome.

But Im wondering on this:

all the ways this kind of sex-for-sale damages the man's capacity to be a real lover!

Wondering if their underlying personality flaws, deep, dark and serious issues lay behind their capacity to be real lovers. Surely their engaging in EI didn't improve their loving ability but that the damage was done way before they engaged in any type of sex; that their capacity for genuine, intimate and normal, healthy relations was seriously limited by damage done way back in childhood and that those limitations show not just in matters of sex but in all sorts of other interpersonal relations; seems the EI stuff appeals because it requires nothing from them but money--so it's a symptom of damage that's already them and they had no capacity to be real lovers to begin with.

Granted not a cheery thought no matter what came first but just can't resist an analytic share. Maybe still working on residual confusion. Thank you for helping clarify.

IdiotMe posted 8/12/2018 08:23 AM

I wish I could give advice on how to get the truth, the facts, you are seeking. We're really going into their private world--I described it as my H's secret tree house. And we're not cordially invited. We've intruded, we've found out and their secret is out. I guess in a way they in shock too. A way different sort and I doubt it's traumatic but they're surprised and on guard.

Its hard; they hate having us know; they feel ashamed. But they have to be told, they have to learn that honesty is key to any decent life going forward--either together or separately.

This sounds so much like my husband right here. I've always felt he has this private world that I've never been privy too.

And yes, he's very sullen, self-centered, and withdrawn right now. He hasn't always been this way...it's just a place he's managed to put himself. He can't make any decisions, as I've been trying to sell this house down here and buy a home where we will retire and he's gone back and forth about that I don't know how many times. I wonder now if it wasn't the house he was indecisive about but his commitment to retiring with me?

Divorce is a big consideration in my mind right now. I'm just not sure how I will do it. We have a lot of long term investments and properties tied up right now and I have been funding his retirement plan with my money for several years now to offset taxes. It's just going to be a nightmare and knowing his personality, he'll not cooperate and he will be bitter.

But right now, I'm miserable the way things are. I will have to babysit him until I can trust him again (and that may never happen) and I'm not sure I want to even bother. Like Friday...I sat glued ehe phone to that damn location finder and had a stroke every time he left the house. My internal thoughts were "He's on the move...lets see what he's up to". And then I think, this is ridiculous. And Friday on the phone, he was so anxious to find out when I was coming home. And I wouldn't tell him. He asked me several times and I shrugged it off and said "Oh, I haven't decided yet". When he asked again, for the second or third time, I asked him WHY he wanted to know, and his answer didn't make sense. So now I'm assuming he was trying to plan another rendezvous when he claims he was trying to plan to come down here. But again, that doesn't make sense because my son starts school next week. But who knows how aware he is right now of our kids schedule? And right now I'm watching him on the tracker as well, he just got off work after a 24 and will he go home or will he take a spin to the whore house before going to bed? Is he planning on going there when he wakes up? (Which I think is his pattern) What he doesn't know is that I'm planning on leaving here between 12 and 1 so I'll be home when he gets up...maybe. But then I think to myself, should I wait and go home tomorrow and watch what he does tonight when given the freedom to make a bad decision?

And I HATE thinking about this. I don't want to think about this BS. I want my normal life back and that's never going to happen. Not as long as I live as long as I stay with him.

IdiotMe posted 8/14/2018 08:50 AM

But what we learn is that normal sexuality has little to do with these guys' EI. Marji summarized it well. They aren't normal.

Hi Superesse,

Thank you for sharing with me your experiences and words. I so appreciate it. And this above is what I do struggle with and part of it makes me really angry.

With my husband, we haven't been "together" for probably two years now and the whole time, I thought I was being respectful of his erectile dysfunction. I didn't want to embarrass him by talking about it as I know he's very self conscious, so I just let it go and figured he'd given up as that's kind of his personality. We had talked about viagra before in regards to a friend of his he prescribed it for and he had made comments (this was years ago) about how he wasn't a fan of the medication for medical reasons I think related to heart problems. I don't remember. And now to find out he went elsewhere because he was too lazy to "bother" with me, is just disgusting and infuriating. Me, being respectful to him, and him being as disrespectful as a husband could be. What's wrong with this picture?

I went home on Sunday and surprised him. He was home and lying in bed but that's normal because he had worked a 24. I quickly confiscated the keys to my mothers car and he'll never have access to those again. And I have a voice activated recorder I want to eventually put in his car to see if he's up to even more that I'm unaware of. I really don't think he is, but I clearly don't know the real him. I'd just love to hear him talking to himself (if he even does this which I've never experienced) to see what he says to himself in private. I've also noticed that he's totally ditched his iPad and just leaves it in his bag for work. This leads me to believe that he is trying to stop with the porn since I confronted him about that. When we had our big talk I told him that the therapist told him 15 years ago that porn contributes to the downfall of marriages, and that I've spent my time trying to make a happy marriage and home, while he's done nothing but work towards our marriage failing.

As for childhood damage, I wish I knew more about my husbands upbringing. His mother was very nice but I know had depression issues along the way....and my FIL was a nice, quiet, very reasonable and kind man. I didn't know them well as my MIL's dementia started shortly after we married and we lived a state away. And he wasn't there for them at all. I was sickened by the way he didn't visit them. He was always "too busy and stressed".

One thing I do know is that if I stay with this man, I'm buying nursing home insurance ASAP. After this BS, I'll be damned if I dedicate years of my life taking care of him with dementia. I would have done anything for him before, now, ....the hell with that. And yeah, I know that sounds hateful and bitter.. OH WELL.

marji posted 8/14/2018 20:55 PM

Have never heard of nursing home 🏡 insurance but have heard and do have long term care insurance which includes nursing home care if needed. And yes getting insurance like that is an excellent idea.

But IM, I'm wondering if you are selling yourself short in this relationship to which your H seems to give so little and to which you have given so much. Seems like you don't know what exactly he has done or for how long but there seems to be so much else that, well, seems missing. Maybe this discovery can serve as a guiding light, an alarm, a signal for change. A kind of twisted, sick and sad way that shows you some to be living your life. It should certainly be alerting your H about a major transformation that he needs to work on.

IdiotMe posted 8/15/2018 09:03 AM


But IM, I'm wondering if you are selling yourself short in this relationship to which your H seems to give so little and to which you have given so much. Seems like you don't know what exactly he has done or for how long but there seems to be so much else that, well, seems missing. Maybe this discovery can serve as a guiding light, an alarm, a signal for change. A kind of twisted, sick and sad way that shows you some to be living your life. It should certainly be alerting your H about a major transformation that he needs to work on.

Yes, I was talking about LTC insurance. My mother always called it "nursing home" insurance so I guess that term is what stuck in my brain! She had it for years but I did everything I could to make sure she never had to go there.

As for my husband, I had another talk with him briefly yesterday and told him I had an appointment with the therapist and asked again if he had a problem with going. He said "Yes, but that doesn't matter, does it?" And I said again..."Listen, do you see our marriage continuing or not? Because if you're not in for the long haul, I need to know because right now, without help from Dr. G, I don't see that happening and I need to make my own plans. Then he said, "Dear, I'm sorry for hurting you. And I'm doing a really good job of beating myself up over this too and I feel really bad. " So I said, "Are you seriously looking for MY sympathy?" He said no. And I said, because this is all about YOU, YOU , YOU. Everything is always about you. You're not the victim here and if you feel bad and are beating yourself up, it's the result of your bad behavior. You didn't this to yourself and I'm the person wronged here. And you need to start acting like it. He said he's been trying. So I asked him what he's done to "try" since I've barely seen him. He wouldn't tell me. I said he should tell me so I could recognize his attempts to do better but he wouldn't say. So I said, whatever it is then, there needs to be more because it's definitely not enough. The only thing I've noticed is the absence of the iPad. (Which is still absent btw)

I also told him about the book I ordered and asked if he would read it. He never agreed to read it but said he would "Look at it". Who knows what that means. I have to wait until tomorrow though when our son goes to school because I don't want to risk him seeing it.

So that's where things stand. He has been more "present' in our family. I have noticed an improvement there as well. I'm just nervous how long any of this will last. I know he doesn't want to see the therapist because he's embarrassed and he knows he can't lie to him and I do want the truth.

Superesse posted 8/15/2018 10:32 AM

IM, these SAs are all about themselves, and so of course he doesn't want to go see a therapist, he doesn't want to see anybody who will puncture his thickly-armored ego. I would like to be less blunt, but I can't think of an easy way to say this: you are not going to get from him what you really need to, until he has confronted a lot of his issues. And clearly, he isn't demonstrating a willingness to confront them in himself.

Neither did my SAWH, despite my investing $100's of dollars in mail-order books for him to read, on the topic of childhood sexual abuse that he claimed to have suffered after the bad news about his prostitute habit came out. When I mentioned the books I'd ordered to a crisis counselor I saw briefly, I was told that I could not act as his therapist. I had hoped if he read books like one by Mike Lew, it would help him unlock and recall his own FOO abuse, and then from there, I hope he could start working on his sex addiction. Lots of my hoping.....Well, for a guy who cried and said he wanted his marriage to recover, I was astounded at how impenetrable his defenses remained against doing this kind of digging and then making positive changes I COULD SEE and FEEL.

We did weekly 2 hour MC sessions for a almost a year, and saw several other counselors after that year, to see if they could break through his shut-down self. Nope. One counselor noticed his "resistance" and said he couldn't help us further, until my SAWH was prepared to face himself. But this is exactly what my SAWH didn't want to do; to this day, he hasn't shown any interest in connecting the dots between what he learned growing up and his actions in this marriage. I gave up trying to get my needs met from him, after a few years of frustration. What he was doing, as he told me, was "I'm not looking at porn, I'm not looking at other women..." as if that kind of "white-knuckling" was going to fix things back to the way he wanted us to be? No surprise, he never got better, which is why he is now carrying a criminal suspended sentence through the rest of his life. Sad story, and yet, very common with sex addicts.

IM, your needs for consolation and trust are so real and important to be met, yet please understand that you cannot expect such a damaged person to meet them adequately, until after he has begun his own journey. When you asked what he has done to try, and he wouldn't tell you, I suspect he most likely can't bring himself to describe to you how much he has been trying to get his urges under control. He thinks of that as doing something! He's "not acting out," but he can't ask you to be happy that he isn't acting out, because why should he "need to," to begin with, so he says nothing. As Lionne says, even in Recovery, it's still all about the addict.

TexasBroken posted 8/15/2018 22:18 PM

Can anyone give me some insight on what the "right" therapist looks like?
We went to our second session today. We both agreed there were a lot of awkward pauses. Our therapist seemed like she was running out of things to say.
I have never been to couples therapy so I don't know what a good vs bad therapist would look like.
She hasn't offered us any guidance. She often takes deep breaths as if shes overwhelmed.
Also, today she was 10 minutes late calling us in but still ended at 6 as if we started at 5.
Anything would help. Thanks

marji posted 8/16/2018 10:54 AM

Texas you're describing someone you should probably not be working with. The right one is the one you will feel comfortable with. It will be someone you don't have all these doubts about.

The right therapist is the therapist that's right for you. You will not be questioning his or her style or intelligence. A sessions might feel hard or stressful, it may raise new issues or bring out old ones but you should have a sense of its being worthwhile your time and money and effort.

burn posted 8/16/2018 19:32 PM

Texas-
It can be hard to find a good fit for a therapist. Even if one is good and well qualified, they might not be the right one for you. I went through a few IC's before finding the right trauma focused counselor for me. As for MC- we tried three. The first one was ok, but it eventually became clear he was in over his head with us. One session with number 2- again, she was ok, but I wasnt feeling she was the right one. Number 3 has been working with us for a year. Came highly recommended from multiple sources and although its been painfully slow, i think she is the only one who has the skills to help my WH. She is well versed in the trauma of affairs and has been supportive of me to work through my pain while trying to allow WH to be heard. She calls him on his BS too.

I have a hard time picturing a therapist who would run out of things to say.
If she runs late often, I would find that frustrating, but most therapists run a 50 minute session- if you start at 5:10 it would usually end at 6. But I agree with Marji, the right one is the one that feels right to you. Dont waste time and money on someone who isnt working for you.

veryhurt2018 posted 8/18/2018 17:58 PM

Found out May 9th, 2018 that BS has been cheating with prostitutes on and off for 8 years!! The pain is truly unbearable. I basically had a breakdown and it took 2 months to wrap my head around it. Feel like the hurt will never go away!! He wants to stay married, and weíre in counseling but I donít know if weíre going to make it. Before this, I thought we had the perfect marriage!! Now I feel destroyed!!!

marji posted 8/19/2018 07:51 AM

VH I am very sorry that you had to find SI but it's very good that you have.

I found out three years ago --as of next week--that my H of 30+ years had been visiting prostitutes twice weekly for the past ten and strip clubs for the previous two.

These revelations are beyond shocking; they cause extreme trauma. We learn that we have been with a stranger; all of reality takes on a different color, a different shade. They have been leading a double life and so we had been living a lie; difference is they knew the lie; we did not. So we find out and it's makes for crazy.

There are lots of us here on SI who have been betrayed. There are thousands and thousands more out there who have never heard of SI; some find out about their mates; some never do. Doesn't really matter. What matters is that we survive. And you will.

If you are working with an IC that is helping you then stay with that person. If not, then find someone who will. Ideally a betrayal trauma therapist but it can be someone else--whoever can help you regain your balance, your sense of self. See if you can find a support group; some are lead by betrayal therapists; some of self lead. Check out the SANON and BAN support groups. Being with others who share some of what you are feeling, some of the same situations, and who can share what has helped them, can be the key to getting better; to healing from the trauma.

Be sure to get proper rest and nutrition; be sure to be with people you like and who like you. Whom you wish to share with is entirely up to you but do not isolate yourself.

If you are not already in some sort of daily exercise or mindfulness activity take that on as a self-help project. Your task now is to do everything you can to help yourself. Self-care is the key.

There are many books out on market now about betrayal and how to process the trauma of learning of it. Lots here in the SI Healing Library; lots available instantly as Ebooks.

Some people find journaling helpful. I did. It's important to give everything a try.

VH-you feel destroyed. But you are not. So your goal is to start to feel ok again. You thought your M was perfect. So it's very shocking to learn otherwise. But sometimes learning while very painful, can bring us to something new and positive.

Again, I urge you to seek out an IRL support group. I found SI to be a life saver; attending a weekly support group has helped too.

You are definitely not alone. You will be ok. But it takes lots and lots of time and lots and lots of work. But you will be ok. Really.

veryhurt2018 posted 8/20/2018 08:30 AM

marji, thank you so much for your response, I so greatly appreciate it. Reading this website has been a godsend for me as I feel so alone.

I've actually done nothing but focus on healing for the past 3 months (I don't work), by reading several books and going to 3 different counselors. We found this center that is close to us that deals with nothing but sex addiction and has been very helpful. My WS has joined a support group for SA's and I have joined one for spouses of SA's. So not only am I going to a couples therapist, an individual therapist, but I also going to this support group which has been amazing. I highly recommend something like this if you can find it close to you.

I don't know about you, but the big thing for me has been staying healthy for myself. I actually stopped eating (completely) for about 2 months and lost about 35 pounds (which I needed), but it was in a very unhealthy way. I'm now eating very healthy and still trying to lose a little more weight.

My WS has been very transparent and shared all passwords. I also limited his cash (he usually had $500 at all times and now is allowed $60 at a time) and he has to show receipts if he wants more cash, because that's how he was paying for the prostitutes. I signed him up for an app called Life360, which tracks him everywhere he goes, and so if he leaves work, I will get a notice. That was a big thing because he was doing this during work lunches, which makes me sick.

I feel like we are on the right path, and sometimes I feel like we're going to make it through this, but there are other times that I'm not sure. We were very in love and had a great marriage before this, so studies show that that's a good thing. The big thing that we have to get past is that he is still "blaming me" for this and saying regularly that our sex life was in a "rut" and this is why he turned to prostitutes. Very painful to hear, even though I know deep down that it's not true. I just keep on wondering if I had given him more sex, if this would have happened. He's right, our sex life has changed, but that doesn't give him the permission to do what he did.

I love reading everyone's posts. I just can't read them right away because I have two teenage boys that are very observant and nosy and want to see what I'm reading all the time, so I have to read/respond to this website in my office (home office as I don't work).

Sending healing thoughts to all of you!!

marji posted 8/20/2018 09:27 AM

VH Sounds like you have a great support team in place. And good that you are eating well again after some time on the betrayal diet.

But again, you are so new at this new life. Some here on SI have talked about taking over seven years to get to some place of relative comfort and joy, of feeling basically"recovered." There are members in my weekly support group who say they are now feeling better--after ten or more years. It' quite an individual thing but I think any time less than a year would be very unusual.

One of the main motto's of our group, is Progress not Perfection. I think that's a good attitude for many things.

So, hang in there, continue doing all the good things you are doing and you will be ok.

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