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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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Lionne posted 10/8/2019 20:39 PM

And to Crazyblindsided and DemolishedInside, I'm reading your posts in D&S. I'm so sorry you are dealing with all the crap along with trying to recover from the trauma of being in a marriage with a sex addict.

I'm holding you in the LIGHT....

ashestophoenix posted 10/9/2019 09:46 AM

Lionne, it's not you. He still is exhibiting distorted thinking. It's showing you he has not yet fully recovered. It's not just getting sober. They have learn to manage their emotions in an adult way. They have to learn to defer gratification. They have to grow up. They have run away from this all their lives. I just keep thinking of my SAH as an emotional toddler.

After six years, my husband is developing some emotional maturity. It's very slow. He doesn't like to do the work. But he is doing the work. He's just starting to see the benefits of growing up. I think IC is very important for them but they need a really skilled counselor. And they have to continue to keep up their sobriety program. I think that was a very good idea to tell your husband to update you on each 12 step meeting. What did he learn about himself? What step is he on? What is getting easier? What does he still struggle with? Those are reasonable things to ask and they would help both of you if he would engage. He will resist and suck at answering, but he needs to learn the skills to communicate. It's not negotiable. My husband varies on his ability to do this, but he is improving. How much you want to stay on him about it is up to you.

I have detached to such an extent that the ups and downs of my husband's work doesn't bother me so much. If he gets on my nerves, I shut him down. If he abuses me, I shut him down. If he doesn't stop, I walk away. I have made explicit that I will no longer warn about divorce, I'll just file if I am unhappy. What I do say now and then is "I'm so much better when you aren't with me. I'm happier and at peace. I need you to be kinder and more reliable." I ask him to repeat what I said in order to make sure he heard it. And he has to do this in a mature way.

Detachment has allowed me to really see if my husband is progressing in his recovery and his emotional health. My life with him is immensely easier. There is no comparison to the past. But it's not a happy marriage. I gave up on my marriage and told him so. I just stopped working at it. It was so liberating! It was like a million pounds came off of my shoulders. It does create grief. Grief for what I wanted and didn't have.

What I need is to see consistent, sustained changed and loving behavior from my husband. For a long time. And even then, I may never trust him. I know that. I've said that. I no longer hope for it. I'm not really waiting for it. I'm able to watch him and assess but still focus on my life. That's what worked for me.

ashestophoenix

paripassu posted 10/9/2019 11:50 AM

My husband's psychiatric assessment came back yesterday in prep for creating a treatment plan in his ind therapy and us beginning marital counseling. The therapist/psychiatrist wanted to know what exactly we were dealing with (ie underlying mood disorder, etc) before we proceeded. He was diagnosed with impulse control disorder not otherwise specified (for the sex addiction), coexistent with anxiety.

Getting the results back was both a relief (no NPD or other difficult to treat disorder) and a trauma. The write up of the things he told the psychiatrist included many sordid details of his sexual acting out, most of which I knew about but were still sickening to rehash. I felt both deep sympathy for what he was going through as a young adult that drove him to this and disgust at the mental picture of him picking up street prostitutes in his early 20s and all the other things he did since then. It's a lot to handle emotionally. Even if he had taken ownership of this problem much earlier - confessed it and sought treatment when we were dating or before - I'm not sure how I would have responded if someone I was dating confessed a lifelong use of prostitutes and that they were a sex addict in recovery. But I wasn't given that option. It didn't all come out until after we were married. So now we are trying to move forward. I am trying to stay sane - dr prescribed some sedatives for me for a month or two to cope with the trauma - and he is working the steps of recovery. He's got a long road ahead - learning how to cope with pain without acting out, parenting his inner child, building empathy and a moral framework, etc. Somehow I have to figure out how to accept the reality of who he was/what he was doing all those years (even if he is perfect in recovery and never does it again). I haven't been able to do so yet - every time I start thinking about it I fixate on it and cry and get really upset and anxious. I don't want it to be true.

Lionne posted 10/9/2019 18:51 PM

Thanks for the affirmation, Ashes. You are right. I think I'll sit in on his IC meeting and bring it up. I have a lot of faith in this guy, he's smart, sees the forest and the trees, and talks straight.

It's hard to know if this is fixable or a deeply ingrained personality trait. Like you, I wonder if he's got the time to grow up.

Paripassu, I love your username. Sure wish I had married someone with equal moral foundations.

Recovery is hard and long, one foot forward, two back. Best advice I was ever given was to take care of myself and leave his recovery to him.

Educate yourself on sex addiction. Arm yourself with knowledge.

doesitgetbetter posted 10/10/2019 18:50 PM

Feeling very..... lost today, confused, unsure. I shouldn't say today, it's been a lot lately. May 2019 was our 3rd DDay. This time there was no hookups, but not for lack of trying. I'm not minimizing his behavior at all, it is what it is. I'm conflicted... maybe that's the best word. Should I stay or should I go?

If I stay, there will always be potential for more DDays. He has never been faithful to me, or anyone else, for more than 3 years at a stretch. We've been married for 21 years now. I don't want to be 60 and be exposed to HIV, or even worry about that. I really do hate dealing with the triggers all the time, and with every DDay they pop up all nice and shiny like they are new once again.

If I go, I'm worried that I'll be alone the rest of my life. That is truly my biggest fear, to be alone. I had an awful childhood, nobody wanted me (not even my mother). People would always use me for what they wanted out of me and then leave me. So I started leaving men before they could use and abuse me and throw me away. I left my first two husbands for really small stupid reasons. But this guy, I fell in love. Stupid of me, I should have known better, I'm unlovable so I shouldn't have loved another... I was clearly setting myself up for this. I'm in my mid 40's, look more like Roseanne Barr than anyone else, have no retirement, live paycheck to paycheck, nothing much to offer anyone. I like to think I have a sunny personality, but that seems to only attract people who want to use me, and I'm tired of being used. I won't be able to support myself alone, I won't be able to vacation probably ever, I certainly won't be able to live a decent lifestyle. But I don't want to be alone. I don't want to be bitter and untrusting of the next guy (if I was so lucky for there to be a next guy). How do you trust another human being after your husband that you loved beyond anything ever has ripped your soul to shreds repeatedly, in the most intimate and painful ways possible?

I feel old. I feel every day of my 45 years. My knees creak, my back aches, my feet hurt, and my butt is too big (so is my front, my sides, my arms, my legs... you get the picture). Is it the lesser of two evils to stay? At least I'll have someone to grow old with if I stay? Or is the devil in my bed going to be my demise? I truly don't know what to do..... I haven't done any therapy this time or last time.... we couldn't afford for both of us to go and I figured he needed help more than I did so he'd stop chasing other women. I guess that wasn't money well spent cause he keeps doing it.

So where's the guru that will tell me what to do and how to be happy and that everything will be alright if I just do xy and z? I need that. Because all of my life decisions haven't worked out so great for me so far. I just want to be loved like I've loved him. Why is that too much to ask?

Thanks for listening.

Somber posted 10/11/2019 18:09 PM

Doesitgetbetter,

So where's the guru that will tell me what to do and how to be happy and that everything will be alright if I just do xy and z

I wish it were this simple! You are being so critical of yourself and you deserve better from him and from yourself. We get used to putting ourselves down and accepting blame for their behaviour. That needs to stop. I have been told once that we teach people a level of abuse we are willing to accept by the way we treat ourselves. Self abuse is damaging too and you are too wonderful to continue with that! You are important. You are enough. You deserve to be happy and that is near impossible when living with an active addict of any kind. Try to detach. You are traumatized and it takes a lot of time and dedication to process that and heal. You are trying to cope with something none of us should have to try and cope with.
If he isnít changing or willing to change that makes it harder. The only person we can change is ourselves. I suggest working on self care, self love, posting lots on here and trying to find a way to access IC. That sunny personality is still there and that alone is enough to offer someone who deserves it.

ashestophoenix posted 10/12/2019 07:53 AM

doesitgetbetter - I think Somber had good advice. I'm concerned about how bad you feel about yourself. And I get it. Living with an SA and then discovering their addiction is traumatic. And the trauma has been going on a long time, we just couldn't put our finger on it. And trauma re-ignites old trauma.

I am still shocked at how much my husband damaged my self esteem. Shame on him. But I have to take the action to heal. In my case, I found a very good individual therapist to help me. I couldn't heal on my own. I needed help.
If you can't afford a therapist, I suggest trying out different Alanon or Anon groups. Online forums like this can also be healing.

When I changed my question from "should I leave or stay" to "what will I do to feel better about myself", my life started getting better. I started feeling better. It's slow, but it's steady.

And the good news, for me, has been the answers to what to do about my husband emerge from the work I do on healing myself.

Put yourself first. Focus on what makes you feel better. Try to find something that feels good each day. Sometimes I could do this, sometimes I could not. Keep adding to your day. Do something you used to love and haven't done in a long time. Do it away from your husband.

Doesitgetbetter, you are worthy, you are lovable. Anyone telling you anything differently was lying to you to serve their own purposes.

Positive "self talk" becomes really important. We've taken in too much negative views about ourselves from our addicted partners, the culture at large, media, and in many cases, our parents. Our challenge is to expunge those messages and never let them in again. It's hard but we can do it.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 7:54 AM, October 12th (Saturday)]

secondtime posted 10/12/2019 17:09 PM

Does it get better-

I had some of the same worries after DDay1.

In my case, morbidly obese..fertility problems, a decent career, but no c-suite executive path. And I had two kids.

All in all, at 32, I was damaged goods.

By DDay2-I had two more kids.

So, now a mom of four, with a toddler, at 44.

It took my husband 12 years to really accept that he is an addict, recovering now. I told him, I cannot wait for him to to get epiphanies every 12 years. I seriously just don't have the patience.

It is sobering to know that I'm the only person in this world that knows I have worth and that I'm important. I mean. I would prefer that my parents and husband value me over their dysfunction. But they don't.

I'm not afraid to be alone. I would also rather be physically alone over being "with" someone but mentally and emotionally alone.

So. Maybe it's because I'm not a looker anymore, but I measure my success/worth/lovability by the fact on whether or not I'm a good person. Do I mostly honor my commitments? Do I judge others or do I just stay in my lane and mind myself? Do I try to do things for others as those things speak to me? Do I use nice words? Do my words and actions match up? I figure those are the only things that really matter at the end of the day. I figure, take care of these things, and everything else will be taken care of.

marji posted 10/14/2019 17:36 PM

When I changed my question from "should I leave or stay" to "what will I do to feel better about myself", my life started getting better. I started feeling better. It's slow, but it's steady.

Put yourself first. Focus on what makes you feel better.

Doesitgetbetter Yes, it does. Yes, it can. Yes, it should.

Ashes is telling the truth here. Try doing something each day that feels right, good, worthwhile. It can be something so simple as listening to music that you like.

I have music on just about all my waking hours; at home; while Im walking. It's not the music I listened regularly to before d-day; but it soothes me. I try taking a long walk in a beautiful place each day-if the weather doesn't permit I try walking somewhere else.

Being with people I like and who like me is helpful; can't do that every day but I try as often as possible.

Early on I practiced a very rigorous mindfulness program; 45 minutes each day.

Journaling can help; meditation. Doing volunteer work; a hobby, a new skill.

It's a lot about doing things that require our mind's attention to something else; and treating our consciousness to positive energies.


allusions posted 10/17/2019 15:08 PM

My husband relapsed and got back into looking at porn on the internet. This after a big confrontation back in June involving me and his CSAT in a session. The biggest thing CSAT was trying to get across to him was honesty. I made it clear that I can work with him having a slip if he comes to me and tells me immediately (like the next day) but not if he continues to lie and look at porn. The past 3 days he's been looking at porn while he was sitting right next to me in his chair. I grabbed the laptop out of his hands an hour ago(with a look of terror on his face). He immediately started saying how so, so, sorry he was, and how he was planning on telling me, blah, blah, blah. I told him to get out. He left a little while ago. I know he texted his sponsor and is going to an SAA meeting tonight. Right now I'm feeling relief that he's out of my sight but I still feel in turmoil.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 10/17/2019 15:46 PM

((allusions))

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. And yes, I always felt that a slip was far less problematic if he came to me immediately afterwards, than if I had to discover it myself.

I don't really have any words of advice, just hugs. And a high five for telling him to GTFO.

delilah2016 posted 10/18/2019 16:57 PM

Not sure is anyone is looking for inexpensive help for Betrayal Trauma work, but I found a website called Bloom for Women and it's been a big help for me!

There are a lot of free mini courses and through that I found a course on their website called YouBloom. I'm in week 8 of a 12 week course. Video's and assignments a few days a week. A message board to share with the people taking the course and a Q & A each week for you to ask questions, then they do a video answering the questions. The 12 week course was under $200. Money well spent! Not sure when the next YouBloom will start, but there is a lot to watch for free until then.

To healing.....

demolishedinside posted 10/19/2019 08:38 AM

Thanks, Lionne. Itís a process. Just saving and hoping to find my ovaries to file in January or soon after. This is a hell I canít continue to live in.

Doesitgerbetter, you deserve better. We do. I spent so much time feeling bad about myself and I just canít. I wonít. His crap is his. Iím glad to feel the relief of knowing that when he acts out, itís no longer my problem. Please know that you are amazing and it will get better each day, if we find a way to detach and move forward. Please know I still struggle to do this all of the time (who wants to be cheated on while saving to D, when he refused to move out)?!). we are here to listen. Please know you ARE wonderful and enough. Repeat it over and over. I am enough. Because sister, you ARE.

crazyblindsided posted 10/19/2019 10:17 AM

And to Crazyblindsided and DemolishedInside, I'm reading your posts in D&S. I'm so sorry you are dealing with all the crap along with trying to recover from the trauma of being in a marriage with a sex addict.
I'm holding you in the LIGHT....

Thank you Lionne for your kind thoughts

My STBX confirmed a new A he had been having over this last year. Yay me I get to go get tested for STD's once again. Honestly at this point the only thing I feel for him is disappointment and disgust.

I will finally be getting out of this. I used to have strong fears about leaving and was paralyzed in limbo, but I'll take alone at this point.

What is surprising is once I got past the initial separation I actually liked being alone. Now there isn't someone criticizing me for the TV shows I watch, or things that I say. He no longer gets to comment his displeasure when I go out to dinner with my girlfriend. It's been quite lovely

Somber posted 10/21/2019 15:24 PM

Sometimes I wonder how long I truly am going to hang on for.
In the span of a week, Iíve gone from wanting to leave to allowing myself to be convinced that there is hope and repeat!

There hasnít been more acting out sexually that I know of for at least 6 months. I have also stopped being a detective and have worked on detaching and focusing on myself. Perhaps if I searched I would find something or perhaps he is white knuckling it for booze and sexual behaviours.

I can say that he is persistent in us reconnecting! He goes from groping me at any chance and pushing for sex. Sometimes I still give in to lessen the tension and sometimes just because it feels good. It feels good at the beginning and then my head takes over and I canít wait for it to end!! Other times I refuse and am more honest with my feelings. He can be supportive with this only to try again later and by later I mean within the same day or 2. Other times it becomes a walking on eggshells environment. I refuse to kiss or cuddle ever as those seem more intimate than sex. He keeps pushing for that but I know his intention is for More every time.
Anyhow, the past few days have been okay, he has show his best side and supportive side when I declined. Doing other helpful and kind things for me and kids. However he keeps trying...
Then...I pick my kids up at school and a former affair partner asks me to tell him not to text her again and claims he texted her the other night. Wtf?!?
So many mixed messages or master manipulator or really good at living a double life!! He has me convinced he is seeing a new therapist this week and starting an outpatient SA program...
No idea what to do or believe anymore!

[This message edited by Somber at 3:29 PM, October 21st (Monday)]

DevastatedDee posted 10/21/2019 16:33 PM

Oh Somber, a relationship just should not be this hard. You have to be completely exhausted. Just reading what you're dealing with makes ME feel tired and ready to kick his ass and I don't even know him.

Somber posted 10/21/2019 16:59 PM

Thank you DevastatedDee ❤️
I am beyond exhausted! Every time I feel like things are okay or Iím just enjoying the quiet limbo, he pushes for more than I can give...or now this woman saying he was texting her. So infuriating!

crazyblindsided posted 10/21/2019 17:06 PM

(((Somber))) I'm so sorry it sounds exhausting. I remember being exhausted from it all.

The more I detached the uglier he got and the more I was punished.

he pushes for more than I can give

This was my STBX too. Always pushing for more. It's interesting that after they get what they want they aren't nice anymore. At least that is how mine would act. As soon as the lovebomb phase ended he would be back to complaining about him and then it was pointing out my deficiencies. Sure enough he was in an A. I discovered it after we separated. He probably couldn't put on his mask straight enough for his new girl

HeHadADoubleLife posted 10/21/2019 17:20 PM

My heart breaks for you, Somber. For all of us. I have tears streaming down my face as I type this, because I know this pain so well. This is a day in the life.

I refuse to kiss or cuddle ever as those seem more intimate than sex. He keeps pushing for that but I know his intention is for More every time.
This right here is something that only the spouse of a sex addict can understand. It seems like such a tiny little thing. But in the end, this was everything to me. Knowing that he couldn't just lay with me, or hug me, or play with my hair, or kiss me without the ultimate goal being sex. And if he did refrain from trying (which wasn't often) it was not for lack of thinking about it, only because he knew it would piss me off, or actually make it less likely for me to have sex with him.

Knowing that every single loving gesture that I gave so freely simply because I loved him - hugs, kisses, back rubs, foot massages, etc. - had ulterior motives behind it when he was reciprocating just crushed me. It still crushes me.

He tried so hard, but only to get what he wanted. "See! I've been hugging you more, like you asked!" Immediately followed by, "So why won't you have sex with me?"

And the answer is, because you didn't hug me because you love me. You hugged me so you could get sex from me.

Then when I started calling him out on that, he got smart and stopped saying the second part out loud. But I knew that sub text was always there.

He would spend tons of time and money buying "this awesome new thing that's supposed to be amazing for you!" when it came to sex toys. Idiot didn't realize it was never about me not enjoying sex with him. It was about me feeling that sex was the only thing he valued me for. And buying new sex toys for me honestly just reinforced that feeling.

If only he could have just hugged or kissed me like he meant it - just as an expression of love, and not a means to an end - things would have been so different.

I want the kind of love where someone just looks at you and can't help but kiss you because your smile makes you look beautiful to them. The kind of love where they come up and give you a hug from behind while you're doing the dishes, then walk away, because that hug was all they wanted. The kind of love where they see you crying, and they drop everything to comfort you. The kind of love where they are overwhelmed by their need to wrap their arms around you, to hold you for holding's sake.

Call me broken, or cynical, but I'm beginning to think that kind of love doesn't exist. Everyone says you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. Well, I already know I'm pretty fucking awesome. And all of you ladies are too! So why on Earth did we fall in love with such broken people?

I'm just so incredibly sad for those of us who fell deeply, passionately in love with men who seem incapable of returning it in kind.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 5:34 PM, October 21st (Monday)]

demolishedinside posted 10/21/2019 18:37 PM

Hehadadoublelife,
If you are cynical, Iím with you. I donít believe it exists anymore. I see everything so differently. I fear that means I will spend the rest of my life alone, but so be it. I only know that I gave my whole heart. I was not perfect but I absolutely always had his back, while he was busy stabbing me in mine.

I pray we all find peace and joy. We sure as hell deserve if. I want so much to read of you rising up and living amazing lives.

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