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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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Lifeexploded posted 8/9/2019 21:33 PM

I havent posted in a while, but I have been reading. Mostly to remind myself that Im not alone and to stay strong. So much of what you ladies says resonates with me. It is truly amazing how similar sa's are.

I need thoughts on whats going on with me. Sawh had a vasectomy. He has not had the sample test to make sure he is clear. The place that does it is a 40 minute drive away. The sample has to be there within 20 minutes of collection. Since he isnt supposed to masturbate (which I know darn well he does anyway), he made the comment that I'll have to go with him and do it for him in the car. Um. No. I told him he can do it himself. He just walked off.
The bigger issue has come up in the last week. He had some complications with the incisions healing and finally healed completely about a week ago. Since then he is constantly groping me. He grabs and massages my butt every chance he gets. Earlier today while I was getting our daughter out of her car seat he started running his finger under the hem of my shorts. This PISSES ME OFF. But I dont say anything. I dont act like i like it. I just put up with it. I dont want to have another discussion about why we arent having sex. I dont love him. Dont like him. Cant stand him really. Him treating me like a sex object just makes me so mad. If i say something, he will want to know what he has to do for me to have sex with him. Which is a discussion we have had twice. He knows. Chooses not to do it. My mom asked me if I can ever see us getting the love back and having a marriage worth stating for. I dont think so. He refuses to do the work he should, be open and honest about feelings, go to an ic, basically none of it. He teaches one class at church about porn, but i dont know how serious he takes that or if the guys really have accountablity at all.

Should I just bite the bullet and tell him that him touching me like that is not ok? Its nornal touching i think for a normal healthy couole. Which we are not. I just feel like Im holding on as long as i can because of financial and kid reasons.

Lionne posted 8/10/2019 07:19 AM

No, it is NOT normal. He is not respectful if he knows you don't like it, knows there are conditions you need to trust him to be a safe partner. He IS objectifying you, and most likely doing it with other women, albeit visually.

Tell him, and tell him why. Walk away, don't have the argument. Do it on the phone so you can hang up if necessary. Understand that this will most likely be another excuse to masturbate or engage in his choice of acting out. His CHOICE again.

Somber posted 8/10/2019 09:47 AM

I dont want to have another discussion about why we arent having sex.

So sorry you are struggling with is objectification. It dehumanizes us, we feel like an interest for sex without the hard work to earn that trust to deserve it again!!
I am struggling with the same thing! We are co-parenting trying to make it through the summer. I hoped to see more change and work on his part but there isnít. He is back 4 weeks from rehab now, barely attends meetings, barely sees IC, chooses movies with lots of sex scenes for us to watch in the quiet of our nights, waits in bed after he wakes until I am up showered and outta there...I know what he is hoping/waiting for. He tried to massage me in bed the other night, I let him. He then tried to pursue things and I felt confused and frozen. I then started to cry saying my mind is poisoned with intrusive thoughts and I canít do this. The silent treatment comes afterwards. Lastnight he asked to snuggle on the couch beside me, I declined to force things and be uncomfortable. Then he was silent and moody since. This morning he has ignored me and just texted me that he is gone to play tennis...not tell me in person he was leaving the house...we were both home, not at all wondering if it was okay and I had nothing to do...I didnít but itís the lack of respect that is the problem. I am used to being with the kids alone most of the time anyhow. Phew...so frustrated!!! I almost can convince myself to have sex with him
Just so this tension is lessened but I donít think that is the right answer?!?

I just feel like Im holding on as long as i can because of financial and kid reasons

Same here!!

doesitgetbetter posted 8/10/2019 18:38 PM

Lifexploded, Iím so sorry youíre in that spot! I guess the real path would be determined by what the end goal is.

In my case, reconciliation was the goal. So I held SAWHs feet to the fire. It wasnít an immediate thing and it took lots of work, reading and therapy to get there. But ultimately I told SAWH that he was no longer allowed to touch me in xyz locations unless abc situations where happening. He used to like to come home and grab a breast while I was cooking or doing dishes. I told him that was no longer acceptable. I let him know that because of his issues and addiction to sex, specializing interactions between us that werenít inherently sexual was off limits. This means, for me, he is not to put his hands under my clothes unless sex is imminent, or to grab any body parts that are covered by a bikini unless sex is imminent, etc. I let him know how it makes me feel, how it was something that he would do to me after he had spent all day sexting with other people, how I felt like a physical object in a part of his fantasy with someone else. I let him know just what it made me feel like.

Of course, he says he never thought of it that way. (Do they ever?) But it did work in our case. If s not been perfect, there are times that I have to remind him, but it has helped me a lot.

secondtime posted 8/10/2019 22:50 PM


If you don't advocate for yourself, no one else will.

My husband has never been the grabby type, so I don't have boundaries over that.

My boundary about sex is if I'm not feeling safe/emotionally close, we don't do it. Otherwise I feel really badly about myself.

And it's sort of a vicious circle. If I allow myself to have sex knowing that I'm going to feel used, I'm going to be resentful and want to avoid sex even if it's safe for me to do so in the future.

Resentment won't exactly help our marriage, either. And I don't want to have more hang ups about sex than I already do.

Lifeexploded posted 8/11/2019 10:45 AM

Yeah, its confusing. R would be an option but I dont feel safe. Lots of reasons why. Some examples : he insisted on getting fb again, and shortly adter i caught him watching an inappropriate video. A new young woman started working in his office and he didnt tell me. He has a history of getting involved with women he works around. So he is supposed to tell me. He didnt, then when i confronted him about it, he LIED and insisted that he had.

Yesterday he carressed my boob and then acted like he didnt mean to. I think I will have to say something. He also likes to hug me and lightly press his groin into me.

Oh, this reminds me of something else he does. He loves to startle me. He thinks its funny even though I get mad and yell at him to stop. Tickling too. Hate it. He knows I hate both of these things but does them anywah. Wtf is up with that!?!? Is this a man child thing?

Superesse posted 8/11/2019 15:31 PM

Yes. He sounds about 2 years old.

I wish I understood child development better, to be able to give you more of the "whys," but it is known that during babyhood and toddler years, many things can go wrong for a child that may result in this "stunted emotional development." From everything I have learned, a certain fixated "childishness" is pretty much part of the package with a sex addict. Many posters here have described the same behaviors. My XSAWH was like that, too; ick.

Some of the earliest developmental theorists (Sigmund Freud and later Erik Erickson) attributed it to "unmet childhood needs." Trouble with that theory was it presumed an innate, subconscious desire for wholeness and mental health whereas not all humans are blessed with the ability to help themselves alter their brain wiring, retroactively!

Partly it is because key genes "switch on and off" during critical brain developmental "windows" such as language skills, one prime example: after the optimum time window closes on that neural receptivity, it becomes much harder for a person to acquire another language. That's why a 2-year-old can easily learn two languages at the same time and end up fluent in both tongues. Later on, fluency never comes so easily.

The influence of genetic switches in general on development is still not all that well understood.

Erikson's concept also seemed to imply that all adults might be capable of healthy change so, one might think if they were to work really hard to solve those "unmet childhood needs" they should then be able to grow the F up and stop interacting with a woman like a child does with Mommy, right? (Am I the only one who ever thought like that? From his work with children, Erikson wrote that unmet needs at each stage would be carried forward and would complicate later development - a nice, clinical understatement, if ever there was one!)

With more neuroscience research, the explanation for these fixated kinds of behaviors (like his teasing/annoying/copping a feel) suggests something a lot more complex. Infantile emotions are encoded so deeply in the limbic brain as to have become almost "hard wired," due to the closure of the developmental window for it. Today, YOU cannot meet such deep childhood deficiencies, even if you wanted to try to take on that job! Don't stoop to that fixer role, like I tried to do for a few years! (A lot of us here can relate to that, I bet!)

Still, it is sad to know about their childhood, often filled with abuse and/or neglect, and can be tempting to try to "love them out of it." But effective change really lies first in better understanding the limits of developmental neuroscience, and that is above my level of understanding.

But in a word, man-child sums it up, nicely.

ChoosingHope posted 8/11/2019 23:24 PM

Hi everyone,
I'm a few years out from being married to a SA. I got separated in 2011 and finally divorced at the end of 2014. This website, and this thread in particular, were my lifelines.

When I decided I had no choice but to divorce my ex, I had a harder time on this thread. I felt like this was a thread only for women who were staying with their SA husbands. But I also decided to leave because I was so overwhelmed by everything I had to do in my real life - like go back to work after ten years of staying at home with my children. But occasionally I do look back here, and I wonder if my experience might help people. I truly believe it will, though I know that each and every one of us is in different circumstances.

I was married for more than 15 years when I found my ex's secret email account. It included a lot of very dangerous and degrading (extreme) S&M stuff, compulsive sexting with men and women for as much as 20 hours a day, meeting with anonymous male and female and group S&M encounters in hotel rooms and empty homes in our city, and a series of S&M affairs throughout the years.

I am missing many details here because they've grown fuzzy in my brain as the years pass and I go the therapy and do EMDR. But at the end of our marriage, I had two women approach me - I was this young, innocent mom with two babies - they both came to my little city house, which was right on a historic sidewalk - like two big steps to my front door, no barrier or protection. One rang the doorbell repeatedly and drove off. They other burst into my life and made me question my children's safely in the world. And now I'm forgetting the violent porn, the Craig's List Casual Encounters, the brutality of it all. The boldness of it all. The bruises on my ex's body, etc.

Anyhow, what I do want to share here is that I have been working so hard to overcome all of this. I can't honestly say that I didn't know anything was wrong during my marriage. I KNEW, but I couldn't prove anything. But my ex has been officially diagnosed with NPD (and a therapist said he's probably a sociopath) so he was always so charming and wonderful until challenged or questioned about my suspicions. Then he was brutal. I alway backed off.

I have divorced. It took three years and a six-month child custody evaluation. I am the primary custodian of our children, who are now doing well at 12 and 14. They see their father every other weekend and have not been exposed to people or violent computer porn as far as I know.

It was all agonizing. Every day during the long divorce I thought I might die. The shame, the betrayal, the danger, the waste of my life in my twenties and thirties for someone who used me like that!

Anyhow, I have worked my way back. I have not lost one friend, and I have gained many more because now I live an open life with no shame an no secrets. I don't expect everyone here to get divorced. But I do want to share my journey with you all, just in case anyone might seriously be considering it. I was 45 when my divorce was finalized. I was lucky enough to find a wonderful man who loved me dearly after a year of ridiculous online dates. But he wasn't quite right for me - he was eight year older (no big deal, really, but he SEEMED so much older than me). His love for me showed me that I'm really okay. I am lovable.

I knew he wasn't quite right, but now I have found, two years ago, the man I believe I always should have been with. I adore him. He is three years older than me. He is handsome, steady, honest, quiet (my ex was loud, which literally hurt my ears), kind, almost boring. I adore him. I trust him. My family and friends adore him.

But I have to share the most difficult of rides for me - harder than my DD, harder than finding out that my ex was having group sex on his way home from work. It's trusting another human being. I did not expect this. I was able to detach from my ex so easily with therapy. I was able to find another job. I could hustle for things when necessary, in my "polite" way. But I could NOT get over the feeling that my two boyfriends, post-divorce, were constantly cheating on me, hurting me. My brain went in ways that were insane.

I'm still working on this. I got diagnosed with PTSD, and I was so annoyed by it - I went to a prominent specialist on PTSD, fully expecting a mild anxiety diagnosis. But he diagnosed me with PTSD too. So I went to a third expert. Same thing. No one would say I just had generalized anxiety disorder. All of them said PTSD. I felt so broken.

Living with a SA in your house is traumatizing. Your spouse is supposed to love you and have your back. You trust them - your whole life is dependent on them and your love for each other. The betrayal is something I will deal with for the rest of my life. But I am determined to get over it!!!!

The lovely news is that my "boyfriend" and I are planning to marry in two years when his youngest goes to college. He is gentle and kind and I hope my PTSD doesn't fuck this up. I am the happiest I've been in my entire life. That is crazy at 50, nearly 51. My finances are sketchy, but I am joyful. It has been a long ride to get here.

For those of you still reading, I'm just writing this to show you that there is life after SA - a different life if you get divorced. I feel like this thread is really focused on women who are currently staying with their SA's, so I will not write again unless someone writes to me with questions. I just want to offer support for those who decide to leave - or for those of you, like me, who really NEED to leave. If you feel this way, just please IM me. I will check as frequently as I can.

Hang in there, girls. We are all worthy of better things. We did not sign up for this, we are NOT to blame. Stay or leave, we are NOT to blame. I can not write that enough. I will say one thing for this group: we have BIG HEARTS.

xo,
Hope.

DevastatedDee posted 8/12/2019 09:04 AM

For those of you still reading, I'm just writing this to show you that there is life after SA - a different life if you get divorced.

I think it matters that you post in this thread. What you have to say is important and relevant. I post in this thread though I'm getting divorced too because I care about the women who married men like this. Stay or go, what matters is that we all heal and love ourselves the way we deserve to be loved. We aren't extensions of the people who hurt us. We aren't merely collateral damage. We are human beings who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and all of us know what it is like to not be treated that way by the person who was supposed to be our ultimate supporter.

Every single one of these SA men deserve for us to divorce them. That isn't the only choice we have, but they have all more than earned that consequence. For any of us to stay is a gift so great that they cannot comprehend the grace behind it.

Odds are that many of us in these situations will wind up divorced regardless, so I think it's good to have people in different scenarios in this thread. Divorce isn't the end of the world and it's good to hear that from people who have been through it and come out on the other side with new lives.

kayaker55 posted 8/13/2019 00:42 AM

Those are some wise words DDee.
Thank you from me.

Lionne posted 8/13/2019 08:14 AM

Hope! So glad to "see" you! And thrilled that you are doing well...well except for the trauma that you are still dealing with. I truly believe that most, if not all spouses of sex addicts have ptsd.
I strongly agree with Dee, your thoughts are important here. I stayed/am staying but it's mostly because I won't give up the comfortable retirement I worked so hard for. And no young kids at dday. That is vital. My kids are okay, but still deal with the dysfunctional home life I provided because I had my head in the sand...and he was so good at deception.
Right. They all deserve divorce. At this point my husband knows it, is scared to death. I suppose I'll stay forever unless he interacts with RL OW.
I have learned to trust myself, mostly, but clearly would not trust another partner. I commend you for working so hard on yourself that it's become possible.
Best wishes for a wonderful (boring is good!) life!

nevergrateful posted 8/13/2019 10:13 AM

[This message edited by nevergrateful at 11:23 AM, August 15th (Thursday)]

Stupidorfoolish posted 8/13/2019 19:08 PM

FYI- Marnie Breecker has some new podcasts out there. This site was a True lifesaver for me. Found it on DD (3/17/2019)and it referred to Marnie and Her podcasts. They saved my sanity and gave me direction and I ended up using her as our couple therapist and use Zoom. Thank you again!!!! My first post. :)

Marie1793 posted 8/16/2019 05:35 AM

Yay found my password. (nevergrateful)

Just listened again to Marnie Breeker's podcasts. I only found 2. Are there more? They are so good. I would like to have a session or two with her.

She says it is like your house burning down. I must have remembered hearing that from the last time I listened to it because last weekend I told my husband it is like your house burning down with your cat that you love, dying in the fire. That is so weird that I would subconsciously remember that.

They say that the majority of spouses stay married so this forum topic may just reflect that.

I thought I was odd for taking 5 years till I came to (somewhat) terms with this after DDay with lots of TT. But I am not it seems. I think if I had been hit with the truth all at once, I would not have stayed. Frog in the hot pot.

How has going to see a therapist helped you? Should I continue to find someone? I always hear you need to seek professional help. I was going to see a csat and I didn't see it helping. Reading the posts here have helped me.

Thanks,
Marie

Me: 55, no more sex with SAH, lots of self-care
Him: 54, going to SAA meetings, doing the steps
Sex addict since childhood from abuse, men and women acting out partners
DDay: Somewhere around 7 years ago with
Lots of TT
Married 30 years.
Still married.

ashestophoenix posted 8/16/2019 09:22 AM

Marnie Breecker is so healing. In addition to the two podcasts, I found a You Tube presentation. Search on You Tube with her name. It's a series from the Center for Sexual Health. It's excellent.

Mariel, Marnie lists the numerous ways we're traumatized. I found a very good trauma therapist who has helped me immensely. My individual therapy has been life saving. She was hard to find and was my fourth try post discovery. I steered clear of CSAT's since they used the co-dependent model and I believe in the trauma model for partners. Marnie is a CSAT AND she believes in the trauma model.

But we are traumatized. It's not our fault and we're not to blame. But I do believe we deserve as much help and support as we can get to heal.

ashestophoenix

marji posted 8/16/2019 10:52 AM

There is also a newish podcast of Marnie Breecker's interview with Dr. Omar Minwalla with whom she has trained. Dr. Minwalla has written about the trauma created by the spouse or partner's habit.

The podcast is from August 4-just weeks ago. We cannot post links here on SI but it's an easy access Google to Marnie Breecker Omar Minwalla podcast.

I too found MB's podcasts very, very good. I have not yet listened to this interview but looking forward to doing that very soon.

marji posted 8/16/2019 11:11 AM

Marie Have never heard that the majority of betrayed spouses stay married; actually have heard just the opposite. But while statistics re divorce per se are readily available, not so statistics on betrayal/divorce and even less so on divorce where addiction was involved.

But such statistics are of little importance; all that's important is what's going on with us and our relationship. All that's important is what going on with you.

Many people have found a good IC helps but what is a "good IC" is very personal. A therapist I might find helpful may not feel the same to you. And labels don't necessarily matter much. An CSAT is someone who took credits and some hours of supervision at Carne's institute. In and of itself it does not indicate years of experience, or if a therapist works only to help those suffering addiction-trauma. But again, even a therapist who does work only with such problems and has for many years, doesn't mean that that person is the one you find helpful so, if you are able, do shop around for an IC that can help you.
The right person can make a huge difference to aid in your healing.

uddup posted 8/16/2019 13:52 PM

For those who have been in a relationship with Sex and/or love addiction, how has that person come to the realization that they have this problem and need help?

marji posted 8/16/2019 18:00 PM

uddup I've been attending SANON meetings regularly now for four years. My H has been attending an SA group and we also go to an SANON couples meeting.

Some people are told by others that they might possibly be SAs because of the type of behavior they indulge in. It's behavior that looks like a habit. Some possible SAs take the free online test that's issued from the Carnes Institute-Carnes is the person who introduced the concept "Sex Addiction" as a way of describing a disorder that involved habitual and obsessive behavior.

Some people self-describe themselves as SAs.

If you think your wife is an SA then you could have her take the 20 question test. SA is not just about behavior but about thoughts and feelings--typically the SA is constantly plagued by urges, fantasies, temptations so getting a good idea from the test requires the tester to be extremely honest since many of the questions are about states of mind, feeling, thoughts and not just behavior.

About telling your children have you considered telling them in a therapeutic setting-that is with the help and in the presence of a counselor? If you and your wife think that she is an addict or that he has additional mental issues such as bipolar disease then telling your children with the help of a counselor might be a help to you as well as them.

There is also a resource page here on SI, page one of the Sex Addiction section in I Can Relate.

So sorry you are living with this. You seem strong and smart and brave. You will be ok. Just a long hard time ahead. Your children are fortunate to have you there for them.


Lionne posted 8/16/2019 19:31 PM

How about "you need serious help. Your behavior is compulsive and may be addictive. I'm going to get help for myself and unless you get treatment, I'm leaving."
Treatment is no guarantee, however. But it is pretty much guaranteed that without help, the crap will continue and/or go underground. You have to detach from the outcome and be prepared, or start getting prepared to leave.
I've had two good ICs, but have had no luck finding one that truly addresses trauma, or used emdr effectively. Mine were women and simply wise (much like you all) They both have practical advice, asked questions and saw issues that had eluded me.
I also saw two crappy ones.

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