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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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Superesse posted 4/6/2020 00:47 AM

I think I'm in the same situation as ashes and secondtime described. Right now, we all understand our priorities must be sanity and survival. We need to focus on how we will deal with whatever outcomes we must face; scary times. I think we all have had more than enough drama and trauma coming over the airwaves every minute for the last month.

Skeeter, I know you were hoping for a tolerable solution to coexisting with a guy with such attitude problems. It must be tough during such times as this. One day at a time! While I take it you feel fairly far along in life at age 57, reverse those numerals and ask yourself how you'd feel if you were 75, with his set of personality traits? Most people don't lose their basic temperament.

I have a 77-year old friend whose ever-cranky "old man" is now in his mid 90s. He has never been overly sociable, being a retired military combat officer, decorated, the whole bit. For 30 years, she has done everything his way: she cooks all his meals, stays home all the time, maintains the huge yard and gardens, and for the last 15 years, she hasn't felt she dared even go to lunch for an hour with her girlfriend! He gets "worried" and gives her a lot of grief. I guess she tolerates this because she has security, and he never cheated on her. But his dictatorial limits on her have ramped up as he aged. Now he is bed-bound, just got discharged from a rehab facility due to the virus epidemic, so he could come home as he insisted he wanted. He needs skilled rehab to get his legs working, and it is hard to get people just now. I feel his time is short. It has not been pleasant for her. Point is, Narcissists and other disordered personalities usually don't age gracefully. So if yours is cranky and paranoid now....imagine what another 20 years of that attitude will do to him - and to you! You don't have to make any such massive decisions right now, but it does sound like he has that cycle thing going on; it may be a permanent feature of his personality.

Everybody, we need to just hang on, and get through this terrible time however works best for each of us.

Somber posted 4/6/2020 08:36 AM

It's so much conflicting information and intensity - that alone I guess tells us that these are profoundly unhealthy relationships.

It sure is!! Itís disheartening to be where we are Skeeter. You still have so much life to live!! Put yourself first. I think you should hope for more than a platonic friendship. Dream of what life could be without the abuse, trauma and continued pain. I hope your in IC too.

It sounds like many of you are in a platonic friendship so to say...noting that, would you have left earlier if you could go back in time? What happened that you stayed?? Sobriety? Therapy? MC?
Just curious....

skeetermooch posted 4/6/2020 11:02 AM

Superesse, that's a cautionary tale for sure. I'm on the fence as to what I'm willing to tolerate for companionship - especially now with this virus. Just having one other adult I can turn to - even if it is my cheating fucked up husband - is a comfort or was a comfort until he pulled that shit show with my son. Even without those kinds incidents there's a price - PTSD triggers - constant ill-ease - not knowing when he's lying and when he's telling the truth. But there are a lot of moments of comfort - cuddling up in bed, watching tv, making meals together but they are mixed with angst and fear. I don't believe angst and fear are acceptable but that won't change.

Put yourself first. I think you should hope for more than a platonic friendship. Dream of what life could be without the abuse, trauma and continued pain. I hope your in IC too.
I don't really let myself hope. At my age - I've had a lot of relationships. Most of my serious relationships have been with disordered, unfaithful/dishonest and/or emotional abusive men. They have been successful, good providers, seemingly very in love with me and committed but also very problematic. They all sweep me off of my feet, give me the sun, moon and stars and then sneak off to cheat of me or become ugly and abusive when they feel insecure.

I was dreaming of someone exactly like my husband - creative, smart, good politics, monogamous, gentle, devoted...and he showed up and I thought - wow, I held out for exactly what I wanted and felt I deserved and this wonderful man showed up wanting the same things. I was so happy, felt so blessed and loved and appreciated. He did too. He'd been a life-long atheist and would say that meeting me made him think that maybe there was a God because he felt so blessed and loved and understood. I thought he was amazing and I was so proud to be his wife. Now, I'm in the worst pain of my life. A pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. He's not the man I thought he was - he only aspires to be that but he's content with lying about who he is while he figures it out.

I'm in IC and it's not really that helpful honestly. She actually concurs that there aren't a lot of good men out there. So, I can't leave for a future I've got no faith in, at least in terms of ever having a healthy relationship one day. I have to leave because this relationship is too harmful. With what happened with my son, it is. I can't put my son through that ever again. I would put myself through it though.

I guess I have to have faith that I'll be okay. I always am. I can take care of myself really well - I have been happy alone at many times in my life. I have to trust that will continue. I know growing old with this man is probably not going to get any better - maybe I'll get better at ignoring his carrying on but he's not going to change. And then he's so unhealthy that I'm sure like your friend, Superesse, I'd end up wiping his cranky ass for years.

It's just being alone - this year so many of my friendships have fallen away - I'm down to just a few friends in the town where I live. Of course I wanted and still want a companion - but I've got to let go of that for now.

Shubininte posted 4/6/2020 11:57 AM

Hello,
I am new here. I'm hoping to find someone with a background similar to mine who might be able to relate a little more closely to the specific loss I'm grieving at the moment.
My WS and I have known each since our early teens. We were each others first and only for everything. We didn't have sex until marriage. Not only did I find him attractive, funny and charismatic, but he had a good head on his shoulders. He was a strong leader type, he was a good friend, he cared about the well-being of the people closest to him, he was a person on high integrity and moral standards. We shared the same values, religion and had similar life goals we wanted to achieve. He was the complete package. Last October he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. He had been harboring a secret porn addiction his whole life and as life became more challenging he allowed himself to indulge more and more through massages, phone sex, oral and finally full on penetration sex. He had sex 50 times with prostitutes over the course of 14 months. I'm am completely heart broken. I'm such a romantic and I had the security and sacredness of of knowing that all our experiences we've ever had was only with each other. Now I've gone from 13 years of being his one and only to one of 50+. He is truly remorseful and wants to try to work things out. Ultimately I would like that too, but I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to work through this type of loss. It's so heart-wrenching to go from "it's always been just us" to "I'm not the only one." When he says "That's the best I ever had." It's so hard to have the reality that he's had experiences with so many others. I just want to know if there anyone else whose WS and themselves were both virgins when they got married (emphasis on the married because he had made vow to be faithful to me before having sex with me) and now have to deal with reality of multiple sex partners? Are you still together? Can you give me the an idea of what it looked like to work through that specific type of loss?

skeetermooch posted 4/6/2020 19:33 PM

Hi Shub,
I can't say I'm in a similar situation in terms of virginity but my husband is a sex addict and shattered my trust. I hope you can connect with folks here with experiences more relatable for you. It's challenging under any circumstances - I can tell you that much.

Somber posted 4/7/2020 07:38 AM

Now I've gone from 13 years of being his one and only to one of 50+. He is truly remorseful and wants to try to work things out.

I donít have the same situation as you but what most of us have in common is our husbands are sex addicts. The degree of their addictions and acting out vary. We also all have in common the pain of discovery. Some of us have had many discoveries like myself, others like you have a discovery of multiple different encounters at once. The pain is unbearable either way. I empathize with what you are feeling.

You husband lived a double life. He seemed to carry on at home with you just the same as always. He has been at this a long time. No apologies and promises to change are going to fix this. Actions, therapy, SA program or groups are needed. All of that even will only work if he wants it too. The change has to be with him. You canít change him. No amount of love, hopes and dreams will change him. Itís a hard reality to accept, I know. Loving an addict is a very lonely place to be, but you are certainly not alone here ❤️

How is he remorseful?

You must be in shock. Take care of yourself , be kind to yourself. One day at a time. You donít have to make any decisions today. Journal, post on here, seek counselling to process this.

crazyblindsided posted 4/7/2020 15:10 PM

I'd just rather stay with he devil I know even if I don't feel romantic love or attraction for him. Unfortunately, like Somber, mine isn't sober and is too mentally ill. He's demanding, paranoid, critical and cranky - and he's still so triggering. I'd give anything for a platonic friendship based partnership devoid of drama and trauma.

I can so relate to this right now. Being stuck in this pandemic has been surprising for me as my WS has been helping out a lot and is even taking action to change his work hours that I complained about. He has agreed to go to therapy and really wants a chance to show me that he's serious about fixing things.

Watching him and the kids do things together and him helping them as well tugs on my soft side. I'm beyond confused.

I'm not anywhere close to being sexually attracted to him or wanting to have sex, but I can see us being good roommates.

I felt like I had gotten so far but still was struggling with my decision and then this pandemic hit and turned my plans to move out upside down.

Seriously it just feels like too much work and I want to just enjoy myself and my kids while we are still a family and at home.

I really just want my WS to be a better person, which may never happen and I still may leave but this pandemic has changed everything and i wasn't expecting that.

I feel like I've been here so long , have been so wishy washy with my plans and now this. I just want a simple life and I have no desire for any future partnership so I get the whole 'devil you know.'

ashestophoenix posted 4/7/2020 19:11 PM

It sounds like many of you are in a platonic friendship so to say...noting that, would you have left earlier if you could go back in time? What happened that you stayed?? Sobriety? Therapy? MC?
Just curious....

I'd say my husband is more of a roommate than a friend. But I'd also say that we seem to have reached an awareness that we will take care of each other as we age and especially during this pandemic. So is that friendship? Or something else.

Yes, if I went back in time I definitely wish I would have left my husband. I wish I had left him about year five of our marriage. One of the early things my therapist told me was "you don't have to forgive him." That was so healing! I just let go of forgiving him. I focused on forgiving ME! I forgive myself for marrying him. I actually left a worse sex addict (didn't know that was what I should have called him at the time, but know it now) for my husband. My husband was a better person than the man I was with before him. I have a seriously broken man picker. And in my first years of marriage, being with my husband made my life better. The sex wasn't very good (surprise, that, eh?) and he wasn't a very passionate or romantic partner (once I said "I do"), but my life became more stable, I was better off financially, we did fun things.

But I knew fairly soon that my husband was lazy and selfish. Didn't know he was dishonest. Knew something was off sexually but could not get him to talk about it. Was clueless about this addiction. I tried to address it by taking myself to therapy, going to MC, getting him to IC. One of the worst things that happened to me was my IC told me that I was "projecting disappointment" about my husband and that the problem was with me. I believed her and doubled down to be more appreciative. I look back now and realize how abusive that advice was. She never met my husband! My current therapist sees this as therapy induced trauma and said that IC just didn't believe me.

Then my MC told me that my husband was one of the most devoted husband's she had ever seen. What the????? Another therapist who was an idiot who didn't believe me and couldn't accept my truth. So my husband got off from having to change and I was told, again, to be more appreciative and work harder on my marriage. Both these therapists were women!

I threw myself into work and that turned out to be life saving. I enjoyed my work, enjoyed my colleagues, felt valued and spent lots of time at work since my husband clearly didn't want to spend time with me.

Then I got sick. I got diagnosed with lupus. I was up and down for years. Then I shattered my leg and had to get hardware. That took a long time to heal and rehab...about two years. Then lupus made me very, very sick. It got in my central nervous system and nothing they gave me made me better. As a last ditch effort, I had a new chemotherapy approach. That "reset" my immune system and after the chemo, I got fungal/bacterial/viral infections and almost died from those infections. But I lived, and I have been in remission for six years. I take no drugs anymore. It's a miracle. And during this time, my husband's addiction really escalated as he tried to "find my replacement." I will never, ever forgive him for that.

So, I was trying to stay alive and didn't have the energy to leave. I was still doing lots of interesting volunteer and community work while all of this was going on.

Then D-day. I was so shocked. I got lousy advice from my MC and moved to the place I am now with my husband. Wish I had moved him to a different state. I knew about the addiction at this point, but not about just how long it had been going on and how much he had been doing. I found that out after the move. That is when I found my current IC who specializes in trauma and is healing me from all of this pain.

I stayed because I believed the message that I was the problem. I stayed because early in my life I was taught that I was worthless and unlovable. I was shocked at how low my self esteem was. I was shocked at how I truly didn't take care of myself. Now I do take care of myself.

In fact, they now think that I got lupus due to my early childhood trauma.

And, I got the strength to get through to my husband that he was an addict and that I would leave him. And over the last six years, he has worked on getting sober, then to address his significant issues.

I know some of you have character disordered partners. Mine isn't character disordered, but he is profoundly broken: immature, no self esteem, unable to relate to others in a healthy way. He's working on this with a very good team of therapists. He's made tremendous changes, which surprise me. He's got a long way to go.

I waited too long. I got trapped in the idea I was the problem. I got hooked on hope. Hope was the last thing I let go of...the hope he would change, that I would have a better marriage. My hope now is only about me.

I realize I will always have grief about my past. How could I not? Sometimes it overwhelms me. But I also have learned to have compassion for myself, to forgive myself, to be kind to myself, and to take care of myself. If I had been able to do all of that decades ago, my life would have been much different.

My husband is trying so hard to get me to fall in love with him again. But it's still immature and self centered. He's clueless about what interests me, what I like and desire. He's sober, but still fundamentally a selfish and lazy little boy. I see changes, but it's slow.

To see me with him, I'm polite. I don't shame him in public. But I never smile. I never touch him. I look incredibly cold. Which is true. I look dislikable. And I don't care. Sometimes, though, I will be triggered and my rage and contempt will leak a bit and then I scare people. They don't know about the "before" of my marriage. They don't know my truth and I'm not interested in spilling it to everyone I know. I'm so done with the addiction and the insanity of it all.

I've detached from the addiction. I detached from the craziness. And I detached from my husband. I started letting go of small pieces of my marriage and letting go of the hope things would change. I felt so much better! And, wouldn't you know it, when my husband saw and felt those changes, he became much more serious about getting his act together. It's pretty clear to me that he didn't think I would every leave him. He knows now that I would.

With all of that, I still have my life. I'm still working with people who enjoy me. The pandemic and social distancing is sad for all of us. But I feel so much better about me.

ashestophoenix

skeetermooch posted 4/7/2020 21:33 PM

Seriously it just feels like too much work and I want to just enjoy myself and my kids while we are still a family and at home.

I can totally get that and I don't see why not. You're not done yet. That's all. And this pandemic rightly changes priorities - the basic thing of having our families together, seeing your kids happy with their dad, having support to run the household... are to be cherished. And certainly it's brought out some really good stuff in our husbands (and some bad as in my case).

If mine weren't such a psycho I'd be settling in with him for awhile right now - his temper just fucked it up.

skeetermooch posted 4/7/2020 21:37 PM

I've detached from the addiction. I detached from the craziness. And I detached from my husband. I started letting go of small pieces of my marriage and letting go of the hope things would change. I felt so much better!

Ashes, thank for sharing - that was really powerful and hopeful and validating.

I too left another sex addict prior to meeting my husband, only my husband is a far worse sex addict. I'm in the broken picker club too. I want so badly to get where you are.

secondtime posted 4/8/2020 15:30 PM

It sounds like many of you are in a platonic friendship so to say...noting that, would you have left earlier if you could go back in time? What happened that you stayed?? Sobriety? Therapy? MC?
Just curious....

Yes. I would have absolutely left after DDay1. But, I was young and naive at 32. I didn't really understand what it meant living with an addict.

He put 3 years of sobriety together after DDay1. After 18 months, I could tell he changed, and decided it was safe to try to work on our marriage.. Turns out, we didn't need to at that point. Just cleaning up our own side of the street was enough.

I felt safe enough to buy a house and have another kid with him.

Sure, he worked his recovery, but it wasn't enough.

Which led him to a relapse, and now he's officially had another 3 years under his belt again.

I stay because of finances. It's really that simple. I'm the breadwinner. We had an unplanned pregnancy I could not terminate. My fourth child should not exist, statistically, my chances of natural conception were that low. While I'm more of a "God helps those that help themselves" sort of person, I do think that it was not in my place to make life/death decisions on behalf of my last kiddo.

While IC would be useful for me, it's not the time.

I'm not willing to enter in MC with my husband.

I'm pretty direct with him, in terms of what I need.

I think this statement is fairly direct. "Look up the five parts of a good apology. That's what I need every time you apologize to me."

And, my husband ignores that and gives me the "I'm sorry you feel that way apology."

My approach to his addiction is an agnostic approach-I don't have any data that proves or disproves that he's sober, he's working his recovery, and that he's really sorry for what he's done.

I have no desire to let my guard down until I get data the proves he's sober, really working his recovery and that he's sorry for what he's done.

skeetermooch posted 4/10/2020 12:03 PM

If I could go back in time I would have left after dday 1.

At the time we were five months married and I caught him sexting on facebook. I just couldn't face the humiliation of another failed marriage and I couldn't reconcile the discovery with how devoted and adoring he was. I decided to believe it was an anomaly and go back to basking in his adoration. Big mistake.

I wish I'd never married him. I wish the few weird incidents when we were dating had caused me to dump him. They were all red flags warning me of danger ahead. I just didn't want to see it.

Somber posted 4/10/2020 14:36 PM

Seriously it just feels like too much work and I want to just enjoy myself and my kids while we are still a family and at home.

This sounds ideal, to enjoy ourselves and our family while we are stuck at home. I wish that for you all.
Some days this is even the case for me as well. Those days I enjoy the break in tension it give us. Yet no matter how long we are isolated or how nice things are for the moment or day, I still feel so lonely and distant. I want comfort, someone to snuggle with and laugh with. I want to enjoy time with someone but I canít let this wall down. I canít be close to him; my instincts just yell for me to not even go there. I suppose I can let my guard down and enjoy the Moment but itís risky and scary. Itís hard. We are cordial enough, have nice moments with the kids as a family but it still feels so utterly distant and cool. I can change that easily by being physical with him but at what cost.

Itís all so overwhelming. Also that being said, weíve been in the house all day today because it is freezing out and I have spent 90% of the time pleasantly entertaining the kids while he watches non family movies alone.

Iím just so sick of feeling so lonely.

Somber posted 4/10/2020 14:51 PM

Thank you for those who responded why they stayed and if they would have left earlier...
The consensus is that we all would have left earlier had we known what we were in for. I also feel that way. I wish I left before we got married or before we had children. There are so many red flags while we were dating even that I ignored as well.

One of the early things my therapist told me was "you don't have to forgive him." That was so healing! I just let go of forgiving him. I focused on forgiving ME! I forgive myself for marrying him.

I like this. I canít forgive my spouse; there is too much to forgive. I need to forgive myself for staying this long, making excuses for him and rugsweeping.

But I also have learned to have compassion for myself, to forgive myself, to be kind to myself, and to take care of myself. If I had been able to do all of that decades ago, my life would have been much different.

I need to do this too Ashes. What a long road you have been on, Iím glad you have healed and made peace with things best you can. I often wonder how different my life will be staying vs leaving.

I have no desire to let my guard down until I get data the proves he's sober, really working his recovery and that he's sorry for what he's done.

A long road for you as well...we were all niave to what living with an addict really means. That is likely why we all stayed a little longer then a little longer. It takes a while to really see, accept and understand what it really means.
I have no desire to let my guard down either. I am more doubtful than hopeful that I will see data to prove heís sober. Itís just not going to be the case, maybe not ever and I dont want to stick around for years waiting for the day he can prove heís sober. So much has already been lost from our marriage.
I donít see it being repairable.


I wish I'd never married him. I wish the few weird incidents when we were dating had caused me to dump him. They were all red flags warning me of danger ahead. I just didn't want to see it.
.
I could have written the same thing. I feel the same way.

Currently I just feel stuck and lonely.

skeetermooch posted 4/12/2020 12:41 PM

Sorry you're feeling stuck and lonely Somber. It's tough.

we were all niave to what living with an addict really means. That is likely why we all stayed a little longer then a little longer. It takes a while to really see, accept and understand what it really means.

And by the time we see it - we are so invested and entrenched - extracting ourselves is daunting, scary, just an enormous undertaking. I'm trying to get the courage. I'd hoped to take baby steps in the right direction but I'm all of out of baby steps - the next step will have to be a big one - jumping off the diving board into the deep end, hoping the water isn't too cold.

Hope everyone has a peaceful rest of their weekends. Enjoy your kids and your quiet time. We're going to get through this.

DevastatedDee posted 4/14/2020 17:01 PM

I have been away for a while. I wanted to pop back in and see how everyone was doing with all of this.

I stopped visiting because I realized that my life actually doesn't involve infidelity or addiction anymore and I decided to just enjoy that for the time being.

I want to offer some hope for some of you who worry that you won't find anyone else, that you are broken and destroyed, that you will never stop feeling connected to the man you're so tangled up with.

First, once you're out of the constant roller coaster and stress and anxiety of living with a sex addict, that freedom alone will make the question of finding another partner a lot less important in your mind. I suspect that fear exists because you're so accustomed to your focus being on another person that it seems terrifying to lose that...I mean, what will you think about?

You. You'll think about you. You will become more than enough. You'll learn to baby yourself instead of a hurtful partner. You'll learn to care for you. You'll figure out what you really love and value in the world and you will focus on those things. Even the job of figuring out how to survive financially will become a rediscovery of yourself. For me, I needed a part-time job. That part-time job is with an animal shelter. That healed me more than any therapist. There is so much more reward in soothing the fears of a frightened dog than there is in soothing the fears of a selfish narcissistic addict. My extra money job became something I wouldn't quit even if I had a higher salary at my regular job. Two weeks ago I brought home a precious dog who kept getting returned. I worked with him and poured my love into that boy at the shelter and we healed one another. He deserves my compassion and love, and it is nice to give that to someone who is deserving of it. Even financial struggles can lead to new beginnings.

Second, I have no emotional connection to my XWH. None. I could see him walking in public with a new girlfriend half my age and all I would feel is pity for her. No jealousy. The love and connection does go away. It fades with clarity and more importantly, it fades when you start making yourself the priority in your life.

Third, I love my new home more than I did the nicer one that I lost. It's older, it needs more work, it's smaller. It is also paradise. It is MY home, which makes it the best home I've ever had.

Notice that nowhere in there did I state how much I miss having a husband? I don't. I am enough for me. If I meet someone and form a relationship, that's cool, but I don't need it and neither will you if you give yourself time to heal.

I care for you all and I have soooo much empathy for what you're struggling with. It doesn't have to define your future, I promise that.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 4/15/2020 03:27 AM

Dee!! You've been missed! Glad to hear you're doing well

How is everyone doing?

I'll admit, this pandemic/quarantine has put me in a position of feeling very out of control, much like what it was like to live with an addict. No matter how many precautions are taken, or how much social distancing is involved, there is a palpable tension in every interaction that I'm having a hard time processing. It almost feels like everyone is hiding something.

It is especially reminiscent of those early days when you're still piecing it all together, and you don't yet know what you're really dealing with. You know something is wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on what, and you're cautiously optimistic, because you've never met a challenge you couldn't tackle. But you're getting more and more scared and frustrated as time goes on because this seems to be the one thing you just can't fix, and if only you could get your hands on that oh-so-elusive magic key to unlock the solution to all of this, then everything would be better. But you can't, so it isn't. It's always just out of reach. And it's so very unsettling.

You have faith that it could be better, at some point. But it's not right now. And somehow you feel like the failure for that.

Even when you get out, you feel like a failure for not being better. Or at least I do. I have to fight the overwhelm in the grocery store as I'm going down the aisles trying to maintain proper distancing, but also frustrated as hell that someone is taking their sweet ass time in front of the one section of the aisle that I also need to get to, and acts annoyed when you ask them to move their cart so you can get by. I have felt physically trapped on more than one occasion when I turn around so that I don't have to pass by someone coming down the aisle, but then someone else starts coming from the opposite direction, and now somehow I'm stuck in the middle and I'm going to be squished in between both of them. And my anxiety is already through the roof, because of course nothing I actually need is in stock, and I'm searching the aisles for things that just aren't available. And I'm feeling guilty for even being at the store in the first place, because I don't have any money, so I'm hunting for the cheapest things, and yet everything on sale seems to be sold out.

I wonder why this feels so overwhelming, until I remember that yes, the body really does keep the score. I'm not really having such a visceral reaction because this particular grocery shopping experience is so difficult, though of course it's part of it. But my reaction is really because of what this present experience brings to the surface about my past. Because I'm reliving the same anxieties I used to have when I would shop for our family. Because living with an addict had convinced me that if I got all the "right" groceries, then he would be happy, and he would stop doing this to me. If I bought the fruit or pastries he liked, he *might* be in a good mood, and he might hug me because he actually wanted to hug me and not because he wanted to use it as an excuse to grab my ass. If I saved enough money on the groceries, then we would have a little extra in the account, and he wouldn't blow up about how he was always broke, so you'd better look for those sales HHADL, or risk a shouting match at home. I shake because these aisles I used to shop in, these were the battlefield where I fought for decency and respect. It was always just out of reach like it was shoved all the way back on the top shelf, but I had convinced myself that if I could get to the tippiest of my toes, I could somehow get even just one finger on it.

And then I get mad at myself for feeling this way. For letting a trip to the grocery store trigger all of my feelings of inadequacy. Of not being enough. Of not being worth a simple hug. Of not being deserving of decency and respect.

So be kind to yourselves ladies. Don't judge yourself for not being all the way better. Yes, your life can and will be better without addiction in it (whether that is through your husbands' work, or through leaving). But better is a sliding scale. Some days your "better" will be amazing. You'll feel the sun on your skin and be glad to be alive on such a gorgeous day with no worries in the world. Other days, better will mean allowing yourself to cry quietly in a corner of the grocery store, then picking yourself back up and remembering that you don't have to let this loser rule your life anymore.

I hope all of your pain eases. And I hope all of you feel better, whatever better means to you.

skeetermooch posted 4/17/2020 14:01 PM

I shake because these aisles I used to shop in, these were the battlefield where I fought for decency and respect. It was always just out of reach like it was shoved all the way back on the top shelf, but I had convinced myself that if I could get to the tippiest of my toes, I could somehow get even just one finger on it.

And then I get mad at myself for feeling this way. For letting a trip to the grocery store trigger all of my feelings of inadequacy. Of not being enough. Of not being worth a simple hug. Of not being deserving of decency and respect.


I was so moved by your raw, honest beautifully written post. The body does keep score - I feel scarred for life. Maybe that's the sunk cost fallacy that keeps me going back and forth and back and forth. I've already given so much that I'm pretty sure I can't get back - I've got to go all in, right? As if giving him my health, sanity and peaceful loving home wasn't going all in. But then he abuses me some more with rage and blame and I can't go back - but I can't fully leave either.

I know it won't end with divorce. I live in a small town - hearing about his new girlfriend or wife one day (and I will hear or see it) will devastate me again. Maybe they'll have a baby, more devastation. All while I struggle at nearly 60 to find my footing, to learn to live without companionship, to shoulder all the ups and downs, illnesses, finances, kids, etc... alone - once again. I've done it before but it's still so daunting and frightening. I don't know how to prepare for this. Maybe there is no preparing.

My mother had cancer in her forties, when it came back some years later, we all knew she would die and we knew about how long it would be. I spent amazing time by her side through this - but even with all of the time to prepare and doing and saying all that we both needed to do and say, it was still devastating.

I realized then that there is no way to inoculate yourself to pain - not even seeing it coming, getting therapy, leaning on spirituality - nothing mitigates it.

And I don't even feel like it's something to get through - like you walk on hot coals for ten feet and then the burning stops - no, there's no guarantee the burning will ever stop or that I'll be happy. Certainly it's more than likely I'll be alone relationship-wise. I leave because this hurts, knowing there will be more hurts in the next year or two or more as I grieve, and hoping it's all worth it because what comes next hurts less.

This sucks.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 2:02 PM, April 17th (Friday)]

Voorhees5 posted 4/17/2020 17:56 PM

I am new to site, is there anywhere here for support for actual sex addicts? TIA

HeHadADoubleLife posted 4/17/2020 18:36 PM

Hi Voorhees! I don't believe we have one yet. You can start a post in general asking for a mod, and they will contact you. You can then ask them if there is a way to start a Sex Addicts thread in I Can Relate.

I know they typically don't start new threads unless there is enough interest in them. And to be honest, we don't often see the actual Sex Addicts here. At least to my knowledge I haven't seen any.

If you are the sex addict in question (I checked your profile, and you didn't give any info, so I'm just assuming). You could start your own topic in general or somewhere, and just give a trigger warning in the title. Then ask for support. I know that might be scary. But I for one would reply and try to give help. I know there are probably others who might have a pretty strong visceral reaction to it, and because it's not in I Can Relate, it's not as "protected," but it's worth a shot if you would like support right now.

Also, don't be surprised if you don't get too many replies in this thread specifically... I would imagine many of the ladies here are triggered by a (possible) sex addict replying on our thread. Again, an assumption, maybe it's your spouse that is the addict, I don't know, you didn't give us much to go off of.

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