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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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SI Staff posted 7/31/2019 21:23 PM

For BS's who have been or are in a relationship with a Sex Addict

DashboardMadonna posted 7/31/2019 22:57 PM

Thanks SI staff!


Okay, so now my reply went glitchy on my end and I lost my long-ass reply...you've all been saved.

LORDT, let me see if I can muster the strength and "some up"....

Lionne posted 8/1/2019 08:04 AM

I edited these guidance pages to omit the URLs in compliance with the site rules. However, these URLs are available on previous threads, the ones that are full, or you can PM me.

Nevermind, the mod gods fixed it up. If you see anything we missed, let me know.

Credit for this most recent incarnation goes to dontsaylovely

[This message edited by Lionne at 9:57 PM, August 2nd (Friday)]

Lionne posted 8/2/2019 01:53 AM

“Welcome" to 19. No one wants to be here. But there is help, kindness and common cause in these pages. Please feel free to express your needs. The resources on this page are specifically for people in the unique situation you’ve found yourself in. This information comes from the real-world experiences of spouses of Sex Addicts. We are not professionals and are only sharing what has worked (or hasn’t) in our lives. There are members here who have been dealing with this a long time and know people who have been in active recovery for 10, 15, 20 years. Read other’s stories and share your own.
It is possible to have a viable marriage after exposure. It’s hard work but possible. It’s also possible to have that same kind of happiness and fulfillment if you separate. For some people this is a deal breaker. Both outcomes are okay and a personal decision based on your own circumstances. Take your time to learn as much as possible and explore your options before making a decision – there is no need to rush.

List of resources for Spouses/Partners of SA:

This is the advice and list of resources compiled from past and current posters on this thread dealing with a possible or confirmed SA partner. Educate yourself about SA and codependency. (More on codependency in the second post.) Focusing on yourself and your own recovery will strengthen you to deal with the SA and the impact on your life, whether you choose to stay with your SA or not.

The SA must (generally accepted advice) seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). The SA must work their recovery on their own. Even if the SA doesn’t get help, the spouse needs to get counseling to recover from the trauma of being married to a sex addict. Be sure that the therapists are CSATs and/or trained in sex addiction and trauma. If you are in a remote area, many CSATs will skype their sessions. Contact some through online searches. Post here if you see someone you like. Maybe you can get recommendations through private messaging.

12 step meetings should be considered mandatory for SAs. They are also highly recommended for spouses. The IRL support of others going through the same process is invaluable. They are also a great resource for finding CSATS to work with. There are other avenues to recovery but 12 step programs are the most accessible and typically recommended. Real recovery work is HARD and isn't an excuse. An addict working the steps is digging deep into their own self.

Podcast Recommendations for partners of SA:
Marnie Breecker really gets it and was a spotlight in the dark for some of our members:
Part 1 (25 min): http://theaddictedmind.com/episode-21-relational-betrayal-trauma-marnie-breecker/
Part 2 (42 min): http://theaddictedmind.com/episode-22-relational-betrayal-trauma-marnie-breecker-part-2/
Another good podcast: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betrayalrecoveryradio

Book recommendations compiled over time and suggested by members:

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal, by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. (An essential read regarding trauma of spouses.)
2. Hope and Freedom For Sexual Addicts and Their Partners, by Milton Magness. (Primer for SA education for both SA and spouse. Great first book.)
3. Stop Sex Addiction, by Milton Magness. (Nice explanation of how the process of recovery ideally works with practical advice)
4. Silently Seduced, Kenneth M. Adams, deals with Covert Incest – when parents make their children partners. Excellent insight into childhood issues resulting in SA adult.
4. Facing Heartbreak, by Stefanie Carnes and Anthony Rodriguez. This is a workbook for partners of SAs. (workbook)
5. Intimate Treason, Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction, by Claudia Black and Cara Tripodi. (workbook)
6. The Betrayal Bond, by Patrick Carnes. (Very good book for anyone in a dysfunctional relationship.)
7. Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, by Stefanie Carnes. This could be considered the "bible." It has some info that may not be pertinent to your situation but each chapter is stand alone, so to speak.
8. 
Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets, by Claudia Black PhD.
9. Intimacy Anorexia, by Douglas Weiss. (Just the book for both SAs and spouses suffering from Intimacy and Sexual Anorexia.)
10. Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction, by Patrick Carnes.
11. The Storm of Sex Addiction by Connie Lofgreen- a newer book but highly recommended by recent members
12. Sex Addiction by Robert Weiss. Is recommended as a book for clinicians but comes highly recommended by a spouse here.
13. Real Hope, True Freedom, by Milton Magness and Marsha, primarily for partners. While there really isn't any "new" information, it is extremely useful, much of the format is Q&A. They cover many of the questions we all have and ask here. Comes strongly recommended.
14. The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel Van Kolk, this details the trauma your body has been through.
15. Sex Addiction: The Partner's Perspective, by Paula Hall
16. Treating Trauma from Sexual Betrayal: The Essential Tools for Healing, by Dr. Kevin B. Skinner
17. The Porn Addicts Wife: Surviving Betrayal and Taking Your Life Back, by Sandy Brown
18. After a Good Man Cheats: How to Rebuild Trust and Intimacy with your Wife, by Caroline Madden
19. The Porn Pandemic: A Simple Guide to Understanding and Ending Pornography Addiction- Andrew Ferebee

Online Resources for Spouses/Partners (meetings online or in person):
S-Anon (for the spouses/partners of SAs): http://www.sanon.org
Link for meetings in AUS. http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetingsaustralia.html
Link for meetings in the UK
http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetingsuk.html
Link for meetings in the US (by state)
http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetingsus.html
All other areas
http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetinglocations.html
SANON isn't for everyone, they aren't perfect, but at least there is the company of others who have BTDT. And they are often an excellent resource for information about CSATs in your area, those who are good, those who accept insurance, etc. 12 step work is just good common sense and a way to interact with people in a healthy way. Especially for spouses.

COSA (spouses/partners/children of SAs)
It's likely that you will not immediately find a meeting date and location online. You have to make a phone call which will be returned by a volunteer who will provide you with information. This is for security, to weed out crazies who want to come to meetings.

Omar Minwalla's Thirteen Dimensions of Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma (SAIT) Among Partners and Spouses Impacted by Sex Addiction©. It will come up in a web search. This is also highly recommended.


The websites of Dr. Milton Magness and Marsha Means are very helpful. Dr. Magness has YouTube videos, also. He is very clear on the need to alleviate the trauma of the spouses. Marsha Means has a whole online support program.

Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center - POSARC
www.posarc.com. This site is up to date on new findings, research and current events.

A website with good info on boundaries for dealing with an SA is: 
http://joy2meu.com/Personal_Boundaries.htm

Finding a Counselor or Therapist:
Look for one that is CSAT certified or specializes in trauma. Recognize that a poor therapist can actually hinder your healing if they do not have these qualifications. (some without may be good for you but many are not and you do not need to add therapy trauma to your issues).

To find a CSAT (Certified Sex Addict Therapist), look for one that specializes in dealing with spouses and trauma. http://www.sexhelp.com/sex-addiction-help/sex-addiction-therapists
www.sexhelp.com (Patrick Carnes main site, the founding expert of SA, there are many resources and info on SA)

- APSATS: The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists, advocates for the ethical care and relational healing for all those impacted by sexual addiction and betrayal trauma. Lists of providers that are CCPS (Certified Clinical Partner Specialists) and CPC (Certified Partner Coaches) who subscribe to a developing treatment model that acknowledges and responds to the traumatic stress found in partners affected by sex addiction.

Websites/Articles:
Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center - POSARC www.posarc.com
This site is up to date on new findings, research and current events. But I’ve learned the moderators hold views that are controversial.
The websites of Dr. Milton Magness and Marsha Means are very helpful. Dr. Magness has YouTube videos, also. He is very clear on the need to alleviate the trauma of the spouses. Marsha Means has a whole online support program.

http://www.recoverynation.com
Recovery Nation is An online community with online recovery workshops for both the SA and the spouse. (This should not replace seeing a CSAT and going to SA meetings for the sex addict but is a great addition to those things.)

Omar Minwalla's Thirteen Dimensions of Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma (SAIT) Among Partners and Spouses Impacted by Sex the institute for sexual health has information. https://theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/thirteen-dimensions-of-sex-addiction-induced-trauma-sait-among-partners-and-spouses-impacted-by-sex-addiction/

12 steps for S-Anon: (COSA is very similar)
1. We admitted we were powerless over sexaholism - that our lives had become unmanageable. 

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
There is a Humanist version for AA, can be modified for SA:


"Higher Power" is a concept difficult for many. I prefer to think of God as "good orderly direction.)
Not everyone is a believer in a higher power. The humanist version works for them.
https://theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/thirteen-dimensions-of-sex-addiction-induced-trauma-sait-among-partners-and-spouses-impacted-by-sex-addiction/

For SAs:
The SA must seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist]
12 step meetings are mandatory for SAs as generally recommended by CSATS.

Online resources for SAs:
To find a CSAT: http://www.sexhelp.com/sex-addiction-help/sex-addiction-therapists

Sexaholics Anonymous: (Recommended by most CSATS, more stringent definition of healthy sexual behavior) At this site there is information for the SA and spouse that may be helpful.
http://www.sa.org/
SAA: 
 Sex Addicts Anonymous, this group allows the addict to determine what sexual sobriety is, a problem if porn is part of the addiction http://saa-recovery.org/
SLAA: http://www.slaafws.org/ Sex and love addicts ( I have personal bias against them, I don’t believe love has anything to do with this. But you may have better results)
Recovery Nation is an online community with online recovery workshops for both the SA and the spouse. (This should not replace seeing a CSAT (see below) and going to SA meetings (see above) for the sex addict but is a great addition to those things.) http://www.recoverynation.com
http://www.candeocan.com This is an excellent source of information. They focus on the porn aspect of SA. This is an excellent source of information. They focus on the porn aspect of SA.

There is often mental illness associated with SA. Consider that a psychiatric evaluation be a part of the diagnosis, NOT to excuse the behavior but to facilitate recovery. Bipolar disorder and its similar counterpart bipolar 2 often have a hypersexuality component that drive an addiction. This link is a broad overview. It has links for further investigation.
http://bipolar.about.com/cs/hypersex/a/aa_hypersex.htm

We spouses have been betrayed in the worst way possible. Repeatedly. This is TRAUMA. Seek help from an IC who can help with this. (See recommended book, The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel Van Kolk).

Many people will tell you that there is no such thing as sex addiction. They cite the omission of SA in the DSM-4. This is the same publication that claimed autism was caused by the mother being unable to bond with their child. The label serves to direct the TREATMENT, and whether this is a “disease” or compulsivity. If the label enables the extinction of the behavior, go for it. Just don't allow yourself to make excuses for a spouse who is “sick.” No truly recovered addict will ever tell you they don't own the behavior. There is “hope and freedom” from SA. Whether you stay in the relationship or not.
These recommendations lean heavily toward 12 step work because it’s been seen to work. Other paths may have equal success. But 12 steps have the benefit of being free and widely available, if only online or by phone.


[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:23 PM, August 2nd (Friday)]

Lionne posted 8/2/2019 01:59 AM

Codependency is NOT Coaddiction. Some old time therapists still use this term. Run far and fast.

Here are some thoughts on Codependency as it relates to sex addiction. (Used him as the SA but could just as easily be her. Choice of gender based on the majority posting here).
As a way of explanation let’s address the term "codependent." It's a hot button! It seems to be widely misunderstood. Codependent does not mean that you have any role in the addict's choices and behavior. You did not CHOOSE him because of some unmet needs or because your inner child needs to right the wrongs of the past. One long member was told this was the very thing back in 2008. Sure got her knickers in a knot.

Now, SA therapists and researchers use this term to describe the damage and trauma to one's soul when living with an active addict, EVEN IF YOU HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE BEHAVIOR. MOST of us know what it's like to live with a cranky, secretive person as the addict deals with the mechanism of addiction. The addict is constantly tap dancing to remember his lies and figuring out how to explain discrepancies in his story. Most of us knew SOMETHING was wrong in our marriage and we began our own dance, trying to fix things about ourselves that weren't broken in the first place, trying to figure out what would make our partners happy, general appeasement, all at the price of our peace of mind. That has elements of codependency.

Or maybe not. Where is the line between codependency and being a responsive, empathetic and attentive spouse? This isn't clear to many of us.

I KNOW I exhibited codependent behavior and, unbeknownst to me, I enabled it. I made excuses for late hours, grouchiness, and my lack of a normal sex life. I did it for tons of reasons, many of which have roots in my FOO, a messed-up group for certain. 12 step work helped me identify this and stop it. I never really "worked" the steps, and don't attend meetings any more although we socialize with some of the couples we've met through SANON and SA. IMO, 12 steps are a good, mindful way to live one's life and interact with others.

All this to say, I think codependency is terribly unhealthy pattern in relationships. It may not apply to you. But I believe it's worth considering it because it is so very dysfunctional. Think about it, take what you need and leave the rest.”

BTW, if you acknowledge that some people ARE codependent in a relationship with an addict, there's compelling evidence that this disappears once the addictive behavior is extinguished.

Be well!

delilah2016 posted 8/2/2019 14:18 PM

Lionne, Thank you very much for that clarification on codependents. I truly believe that I had nothing to do with my husband's SA or escalation of his SA before Dday #2.

After I found out about his SA is when I went over every minute of our 28 year marriage and even before the wedding and started putting the pieces together. Then I saw the few and far between signs and the behaviors that I can now recognize.

My codependency was in every area of my life. I was taken advantage of at work, in my friendships and of course in my marriage. I have now lost all of my friendships due to them not being able to handle the SA or because I am no longer the giver in the relationship. I am setting boundaries at work which is tough because everyone is used to me being the go to person for everything. My whole life has been turned upside down. I am soooo much better at boundaries, but I have no true friends. On Monday I have an appt with my boss to discuss my being taken advantage of and "bullied" by a coworker. And as for my marriage, who the F knows. Things seem to be better, he seems to be better, but.....he no longer sees his IC, he still sees the psychiatrist for meds. The meds don't seem to me to be working as well, he says he will take a higher dose, but he doesn't follow through. The meds cause ED (or so he says.....), but who knows. I really don't care. I'm so unattached to anything he says or does. I'm staying for financial reasons. I know I deserve a better husband, but I'm not sure I would even look for one if we divorced, so why should I give up my lifestyle...

I was looking for a retreat to go to this summer but instead my daughter (who lives across the country from me since shortly after Dday #2) and I went on a trip just the two of us. It was a fabulous week and much needed time for just the two of us.

I'm starting the YouBloom "An intensive, online workshop designed for women who want to move beyond infidelity and betrayal trauma." program soon. We'll see how I feel after I complete that program.

marji posted 8/2/2019 17:17 PM

Lionne Thank you for getting Page One here again--now at chapter 20! And thank you for explaining so clearly and fully about co-dependency. Your reference page was a huge help to me just days after discovery almost 4 years ago. You continue to be a great source of strength and inspiration. Extremely grateful.

whoami62 posted 8/2/2019 18:33 PM

I don't get the chance to check in often due to my summer work load , but still managing to stick with our therapy for H's SA and me for my trauma

Currently dealing with a couple of heavy things...for me . it's time travel.
Besides his porn addiction , he had a PA with one of the cam girls and brought her here to where we live to work for our business...he's a sucker for damsels in distress and rescuing them

In the summers of 2015 and 2016 , she was here and I was forced to be around her

The practice we attend is comprised of all kinds of addiction specialists and they work as a team...
I revealed to my IC that I suspect that H was potentially sexually abused last Monday

Tuesday , we met with the team leader and he pretty much went full throttle on my H ...it was gut wrenching and I felt like I had betrayed him...I felt sick to my stomach and thought I might pass out.

I want this to be addressed but it happened in a manner I wasn't expecting...I strongly believe that H doesn't actually know in a conscious sense what he is hiding ...but very confident that there is something very dark

This guy knows his stuff and he isn't exactly gentle...
I trust him , but man , this is brutal

And I am also questioning if I can ever feel safe and protected in my marriage ever again

marji posted 8/2/2019 18:54 PM

whoami forgive me but you've said several things here that I find confusing. For example, are you saying you were so upset to the point of almost passing out because of how the counselor was speaking to your H? If that is what you meant I am wondering if maybe you are taking it upon yourself to protect your H from bad feelings? And if so, is that wise?

I am also puzzled by your saying you were forced to work with one of the girls your H had betrayed you with? Did you mean that you knew who she was, what they had been doing and you felt you had to tolerate that?

Also was wondering if you were saying that the counselor whose approach made you so upset was speaking as he did because of what you had told your IC about what you thought was your H's childhood abuse. You've said that your counselors work as a team but working as a team does not give your IC the right to reveal things you have said to in confidence without your permission. Client privilege between you and your IC is still inviolate. Seems that this counselor situation has given you extra cause for concern. Maybe this is not the best group to be working with.

ashestophoenix posted 8/2/2019 21:05 PM

delilah, I know what you mean. Once I started creating and implementing boundaries, I upset a lot of people. I realized then that I needed to make new friends. Friends who cared about me and respected my boundaries. It's been liberating.

whoamI, I agree with Marji. I'm uncomfortable with the therapist revealing your concern about possible sexual abuse in your husband's life without getting your permission. I firmly believed my husband suffered from covert and possible overt sexual abuse as a child. He is way, way, way too scared to look at that. I don't know, maybe he'll get there. I doubt it.

But I also think that we need to learn to let our partners deal with their messes, to deal with their feelings. I agree that maybe your compassion for your husband might be so great that it is hard for you to see him be uncomfortable. But he needs to learn to be accountable for his behavior and to learn to deal with uncomfortable emotions. Once I let go of being responsible for worrying about my husband handling his emotions, I felt so much better.

ashestophoenix

Lionne posted 8/2/2019 21:42 PM

And I am also questioning if I can ever feel safe and protected in my marriage ever again

I will never feel completely safe. No matter what he does, no matter how much work he does, I know I can be blindsided at any time.

I do work to be able to trust ME. I still have that plan to leave, specific down to the items I'd take with me. Certainly, if there is ever another physical encounter I'm gone. Less clear is porn. I might just make that second bedroom my home.

whoami62 posted 8/4/2019 13:20 PM

@marji
We have both given written consent for our counselors to speak to each other...this is what this particular practice does and for the most part , it has been beneficial.
The founder of the practice , his wife and also two sons work there. They do work as a team and it is very intense , however sometimes it is a bit too intense, which is how I felt the other day.

My H felt ambushed and I wouldn't have wanted for him to feel that way in this process....I personally think it would have been better if the approach on this particular subject was handled one on one . I wan't trying to protect him from his feelings, I just think it would have been better and he would have opened up more had I not been in the room

We have both seen other therapists , both individually and together...like I said , this is a very hands on , diving in approach ...it isn't easy , but then again living with and dealing with all of the trauma associated with the sex / porn addiction as well as the PA and EA wasn't exactly a walk in the park

And no, I didn't know a thing about the nature of H relationship with this woman until long after she was gone..that's an odd question to ask frankly.

This practice was recommended by the CSAT that my husband HAD been seeing and I do feel confident in them , but it has been bumpy at times.

marji posted 8/4/2019 15:46 PM

who thank you for explaining your therapy arrangement and of course if you feel it's helping you then that's all that matters.
But giving your consent for a therapist to speak to another therapist is not the same as giving a therapist permission to reveal things you have said to him or her. That requires your consent to forgo patient/counselor confidentiality and that's fine too as long as that is what you are comfortable with.

It's not unlike an attorney for one person involved in a legal matter to speak to the attorney of the other person. But that's separate from the attorney revealing things the client has said unless the client gives permission.

So in your case, your IC should have asked your permission to share with the other IC what you had said about your H and had you consented to that, you would probably not have felt so uncomfortable when the subject came up.

But again, if these counselors are helping you that's all that matters. Confidentiality standards are for your protection and it's only your well-being and your opinion that counts.

Thank you for explaining about what you meant by being forced to work with the woman and I am sorry if my question seemed odd. It was your use of the word forced that was puzzling; what you meant was she was working there but you had been kept in the dark by the whole situation and so in that sense were "forced" into that arrangement. It's not unlike my feeling I had been raped for ten years since I wouldn't have been intimate with my H had I known what he was doing. And yes, it's a weird question, but I do know of a woman who felt forced to continue working where her H's AP was because at the time she had to maintain her job. Also another situation where the H refused to fire an employee who had been his AP. This stuff can get very crazy.

I am very sorry that that turned out to be part of your story but good that you are on a better path now and again, if these people are helping you that's all that matters.

secondtime posted 8/6/2019 07:12 AM

Thank you all for your replies re: making amends in the previous thread. I was out of town and hadn't had a chance to read them until now.

I'm upset that he's making amends to me last, but maybe he's working up to it. And it's his recovery that he works as he needs to.

I honestly don't know what I want from him, exactly. And I don't know if it matters, because I'm sure even sure he can ever been what I need.

I've ditched IC for now. M IC was not helping me at all. I have few options in town. He's had a rough go with his. We work opposite hours during the summer, and I won't further be penalized in terms of scheduling so he can see an IC. September is just around the corner anyway.

whoami62 posted 8/6/2019 07:24 AM

@marji , yes we all have our own stories and in dealing with the SA spouses.
Had a good session with my IC yesterday and we discussed what happened last week , which was good for me to explain myself better ...I am not trying to protect my H , but there have been a couple of times when he has wanted to stop going because he feels overwhelmed.

There have been a couple of times in particular where he is confronted in a very direct way and he hasn't handled it well.
Our couples session was skipped this week because therapist is on vacation ...my H is enjoying the break

veryhurt2018 posted 8/6/2019 08:30 AM

secondtime- My SAWH is not at the step where he makes amends, but I would imagine that if he made me last it would really make me upset. I'm sorry. Good therapists are very hard to find so keep trying. If you find the right one, he/she can be a savior. I've had lots of bad ones but finally found a great one and I'm holding on tight.

I just started EMDR therapy, as I'm really struggling getting over the trauma of this last year. I've never really had anything hard in my life, it's always been really easy, so this rocked my world. I'm really hopefully that this will help me. The woman that I'm using doesn't use light therapy, she uses these two things that you put in your hands that vibrate. They are called "thera-tappers". So far, they seem great, but I've only gone once so I don't know what the future brings. Have any of you gals done this? If so, did it help?

I started searching again about a week ago and found about 50 emails to/from a co-worker that were really sexual and graphic (they were old but still hurt). They were so painful to read. I am the type of person that can't stop myself from reading them but then the pain is overwhelming when I do. Ugh. I feel like this will never end.

On a happy note, my SAWH got his one-year chip the other day for SAA. I was proud of him.

marji posted 8/6/2019 15:46 PM

whoami --your SI tag is interesting. You're asking yourself who you are and I hope you're able to know that you are a very intelligent, very thoughtful and very caring person.

I think what you're saying is that you are not coddling or trying to protect your H from bad feelings but that you know him well enough to know that the bad feelings he gets when confronted openly honestly and directly by the therapist might have him deciding not to continue with therapy--the very kind of therapy that might result in something positive if he was willing to work with it.

Ive been post discovery for almost 4 years now and know several women whose husbands reacted like that; and some did stop going--just wanted no part of feeling bad.

Hey, don't many, maybe most betrayers pursue extra marital activities to escape from feeing bad--unhappy about work, or themselves or their responsibilities or whatever . . . so it's logical in a way that they don't want to be confronted now when they've caused such damage. Not right, not helpful, not healthy, but logical.

Our therapist was also very direct; my H didn't seem overwhelmed and didn't consider leaving but that's because he has an unhealthy ability to detach-to disconnect--so upon leaving the therapist's office he'd just talk about something totally unrelated as if he'd not been there at all. A very intense hour was typically followed by my H asking me, not what I thought about anything in the session, but what did I want for lunch. He didn't have to quite therapy because in a way he wasn't there at all.

So there are different ways they have of escaping from self-reflection and responsibility. And what are we to to do?

Great that you were able to have a good discussion with your therapist. Maybe the team can figure out a way to engage your H in honest exploration without having him feel so uncomfortable that he wants to quit. You deserve a partner that is willing to change and do the work necessary. You seem like such a patient and understanding person. I hope he is able to do the work that can make him worthy of you.

doesitgetbetter posted 8/8/2019 15:46 PM

And I am also questioning if I can ever feel safe and protected in my marriage ever again

I thought I could feel safe again in my marriage, and in fact I think I reached that point at one time post DDay1. Then DDay2 came, and the SA diagnosis. I figured out that I probably couldn't ever feel safe in my marriage. Then DDay3 came, and I found out that I CAN feel safe because I can protect myself. Let me explain.

The first two DDays, I was blindsided. Even on DDay2 when I knew what he was capable of because of history, and I was watching him and looking for things out of the ordinary. I missed them all. Again. The problem was I had armed myself after DDay1 against infidelity, not against addiction, not against an addict. All the books I read on infidelity left me inadequately armored against my dragon. On DDay1 AND DDay2, SA was sleeping with other people for 5 years each time before I found out. That's a LOONG time to be in the dark when I had my eyes wide open.

But after DDay2, I armed myself against the dragon that I was facing, and not just against the boogeyman that I didn't know the form of. I armored myself against the addict, I learned my SA's "tells", I learned how to push him, I learned how to pull him, I learned how to talk to him, I learned how to watch him. And this time, when DDay 3 happened, he had not been able to meet anyone in person, and had been messaging with people for 6 months. 6 months is still a long time, but I count this as a huge win for ME because I was able to figure things out in 1/10th the amount of time that I did before. And to be totally honest, I didn't dig and find things the first two DDays, I just stumbled upon them.... this 3rd DDay, I found it myself. HUGE win for me!

So, will I ever feel safe again. Today I say yes! I feel safe because I am the protector of my safety, not him. I have empowered me, I trust me, I listened to me and my gut, I stood up for me, and I was flippin awesome at it if I do say so myself! I would never expect my husband to protect me or make me feel safe ever again, because I know he can't. But I can. You can. We all can!

And Whoami, it is uncomfortable for the SA to be "pushed" like that, I get it. But they've been hiding and running from their feelings for so so so very long that it sometimes takes a major jolt and mega drilling to get through the thick layer of bedrock that they have placed on top of their feelings. Sometimes dynamite is needed to break through that bedrock, and while shocking and incredibly destructive, it's the quickest and most effective way to get to the soft chewy center. (I think I may have mixed like 8 metaphors there, sorry, hope no one got lost.) It's like taking a child to the Dr., the Dr. sometimes has to cause pain in order to heal a wound, and that is the same in this case as well. Emotional pain can be more painful than physical pain, and often more difficult to fix, but it has to be done. I understand that you were sad because of how they came at him because you are a compassionate loving caring human being, but he'll be fine. He's a big boy, and he'll be fine. He needs this, it will be good for him, much like when we take the kiddos to the Dr. and it hurts them, it is for his own good. Stay strong!

marji posted 8/9/2019 13:36 PM

doesitgetbetter Huge congratulations to you on finding your strength. You inspire and help us all to find our own self protection. Thank you for sharing your far more than just survival tale-surviving and thriving.

Just a note though re your note about whomi'sexperience. She explains that she wasn't sad for her husband's difficult time at the therapy session but was concerned that his uncomfortable feelings would mean he would not continue with the sessions.

I understand your analogy to a child not wanting to take the medicine that is going to make him better. When I first read her posts, that analogy occurred to me too. But it's not apt. Her husband is an adult and can make choices a child cannot. Her husband, much like mine, made very bad choices. But so be it. We can make our young children take the medicine; we cannot make our spouses do things.

What whatami is concerned about is not an uncommon problem for therapists--and not just those dealing with emotional problems. Physical therapists can face the same challenge if what's considered to be useful modalities cause pain in the process. In some cases if there is too much discomfort, rather than being helpful, the process causes people to quit.

whoami62 posted 8/9/2019 14:00 PM

Thank you for the kind and thoughtful responses.
@doesitgetbetter , I liked your analogies..kinda hit the nail on the head..especially the soft chewy center.

@marji , yes regarding my tag name here relates to how I felt last year this time when I became I member here...I , like many others who find themselves here don't recognize myself , much less the man that I married.

Summer months are difficult for me as they serve as a reminder of when H's whore was here ( she is eastern European and spent a few months here in 2015 and 2016 )

Time travel opens up some old wounds for me and make it harder for me to remain focused and not get caught up in pain

If my husband had it his way , we would just focus on the future and I know that isn't possible ...unless I want to wait for another relapse.

Our therapist refuses to let him off of the hook because he tells him that he needs to understand what brought him to the point of SA and the acting out that went along with it

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