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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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skeetermooch posted 8/2/2020 22:36 PM

To think that we either have to choose between that kind of dumpster fire or no one at all is not reality.

That probably is a big part of it.

It's odd because I love being alone and I do well alone. I've been single a lot of my adult life. Being coupled has always been a bit challenging unless the guy is very independent. But aging has complicated that, as well as most of my family dying.

It's hard to explain without sounding like an idiot. As long as it's normal life stuff he's good. As soon as cheating, triggers or a disagreement arises it's a shit show. H's so mentally ill and emotionally unstable - he sobs, or goes into a rage, blames and calls me names or stalks off and leaves me to struggle on my own. Once in a blue moon he controls his emotions, which gives me hope - useless and unfounded though it is.

When I first kicked him out - I knew I could make it on my own but then over time, worrying about him moving on or bad-mouthing me or having to deal with seeing him with someone new got the best of me. I was a mess - I'd get better and get worse. No contact worked great until I broke it. Then with this pandemic - I let him weasel his way back in.

Right now, I'm scared - those months after dday were horrific - I was someone I didn't recognize - I couldn't function. I was in terror of living with him or without him. I have never felt so unstable in my life and I don't want to go back there.

I need to find some kind of strength, plan for the various contingencies and figure out how to move forward.

1. He does not have the capacity to love you.
2. He has no remorse for cheating on you.
3. He does not respect you.

I know these are true. I really do.


DevastatedDee posted 8/3/2020 08:21 AM

I'm sorry if I came across harshly, skeetermooch. I felt kind of bad about that this morning. Aging does complicate things, I know. And the pandemic, losing loved ones, all manner of things do make it harder to let go. Even when the feelings we have about a person are so tied up with bad ones and especially if they're trauma-based, it's darned near impossible to let go without going no contact for an extended period of time. It's hard to even see the rest of the world when your emotions and time are tied up with an unstable person.

The other side of the age argument is that we only have so much time on this earth. It would suck dramatically to waste even more than we already have with someone like this. Regrets about that just suck. You won't be open to forging a new life with new friends or romantic partners as long as you're tied with him. He will be what you have. I don't know if he'd be your best bet for someone to take care of and support you in the case of physical illness.

You have every right to live your life however you wish. It all depends on what you ultimately want. If you were with him because this arrangement was truly okay with you, that would be one thing and I wouldn't have said a word. You seem to be clinging to him out of fear, and that's not safe for you emotionally. That's not you living your best life and that kind of life just beats you down emotionally until there's not much left.

skeetermooch posted 8/3/2020 18:35 PM

Thanks Dee. I don't think you were so harsh but I can imagine my whining is getting old - it's getting old to me.

I think I would've made it out if not for the pandemic - boy that just fucked me up - first I was sick and though I never got tested, I'm pretty sure I had it and then I fell out with two good friends when they started dating. Weird and disorienting to lose old friends (one my daughter's dad) over reasons I couldn't, and still don't, understand.

If I could stop getting triggered by my WH everything would be just dandy, but I can't. The last two weeks have been really bad with triggers and since he will do nothing but get angry over it I'm not sure what to do - I can't completely hide that I'm triggered. Basically, he expects full unadulterated trust right now - and I can't give it so he's mad. I end up anxious and holed up in my bed for days barely functioning until the anxiety lets up.

So, no, I don't want to live like this. I want to not be in pain anymore. I want to not be angry anymore. I am so fucking angry. I must wish him dead 1000 times a day. How can I wish someone dead but be unable to break up with him? Fuck this trauma bond.

When things are good with him for long stretches, no triggers, I'm so productive and happy. My work is very solitary for the most part. Just having him around the house is so helpful. Before we met, I was trying to figure out a co-working space or some other way to have some kind of human contact while I was working - I was not doing well with the isolation. Of course - he's also alternately really really bad for my productivity.

My therapist told me I'll get to clarity eventually, to not be so hard on myself. I don't know how to live these days until I get there. He's coming back to my house any minute now and I'm dreading it. If I don't act happy it's going to be a shit show again.

DevastatedDee posted 8/4/2020 10:20 AM

Girl, you aren't whining. You're in a really psychologically hard situation. You do have a trauma bond with him and you need human contact and this was a perfect storm for him to exploit a weak spot and crawl back in. It often takes a long time to break out of this kind of abuse. He's emotionally abusive alongside of the cheating and that does a number on a person.

In a way, it's very simple. You can tell him not to come over anymore and then block his number and stop putting yourself through this. At some point I expect this will be what you do. Your therapist is right, though. It may take more time for you to be just absolutely fed up and done, for this current situation to hurt so much that battling loneliness is easier.

If escaping abuse was always so easy, messageboards like this and thousands of others wouldn't exist. Therapists would be facing major job shortages. It isn't easy. I'm pretty good at shoving my emotions to the side in my own self-interest and I am energized by being alone and even so I entertained the idea for a short time of staying with an addict who had cheated on me. I'm not judging you. Trauma bonds are real and they are powerful. It takes real effort to fight past them.

skeetermooch posted 8/4/2020 11:24 AM

Thanks, Dee.

Yeah, it takes time. This isn't my first abusive relationship - actually my third. They've all had slightly different hooks in me and they all took years to get out of. I stayed long after I knew I had to leave. I'm just really slow to embrace change - I'm that person who stands on the diving board for ten minutes looking down before they jump. I jump eventually but waste a shit ton of time before hand. But you're so right - I have to get to the point where I'm so fed up that my worst fear about leaving is more appealing than the thought of staying another day.

Today, I'm going to try to get back into therapy. I felt like I'd played things out with the last one - all we talked about was my ambivalence for the last several sessions, which wasn't particularly useful, although she was reassuring and nice. Maybe I need someone different now.

skeetermooch posted 8/4/2020 15:24 PM

So I snooped very minimally and it showed he was on porn hub, phone sex and webcams nonstop in July. I'm sure this is the tip of the iceberg but I could only get on his Ipad - he apparently recently changed his laptop password.

I'm not sure what to do with this. I'm not blurting it out immediately as per usual. That hasn't done anything positive. Days of screaming, lies and gaslighting followed by me caving in again.

I've been feeling so triggered for weeks and now I have the proof that he's been up to his old crap. He sat here and lied to my face repeatedly when I asked if he was acting out again. Swore he hadn't, got angry at me, told me I had a problem with insecurity and mistrust long before dday and it's not because of him. He sees me debilitated by anxiety, stuck to my bed 24/7 and still he lies to me.

He's a fucking selfish monster. Porn and all of that isn't so terrible but causing your wife this much pain and doing nothing to mitigate it is sociopathic and abusive. I have to accept that he doesn't give a crap about hurting me.

DevastatedDee posted 8/4/2020 21:58 PM

I have to accept that he doesn't give a crap about hurting me.

Yep.

And then you have to have a really honest come to Jesus moment with yourself and ask why you are okay with allowing him to continue hurting you.

idabel posted 8/8/2020 08:55 AM

Iíve been divorced since 2/20, separated since 11/19 but apparently I still had hope as Iím still so very much in love with him.

Last Thursday on 7/30 he ended things with me completely and for the first time in ever in our relationship ignored me and was mean. I was sad about losing one of my children and reached out to him for support.

I had called him the week before because he changed his google password and didnít tell me. He said he got knots in his stomach when I called and ďcanít live that way anymoreĒ. Yeah, heís found someone else and Iím just so devastated.

Logically I know he did me a favor, but emotionally Iím a wreck.

DevastatedDee posted 8/10/2020 11:06 AM

It will get better, Idabel. There isn't a convenient switch that we can flip off when it comes to love. Love does fade, but it takes time and honestly, if you just let contact lapse and go away it will happen much more quickly. It's a lot easier to fall in love than to fall out of love. So don't contact him and allow yourself to heal. Clarity comes faster after the love stops blinding us.

BlackRaven posted 8/11/2020 18:37 PM

My WH is entering an 45 day inpatient program for SA this week. We have been living apart since I learned of his 4 PAs with COWs a few months ago, but he wants to R.

He says his 'why' is childhood core wounds with FOO (who he still is in close contact with) and self loathing and that he was looking for validation. He hasn't figured out his 'how' (or at least not that he's telling me.) He has a history of drug and alcohol addiction as well, and stopped those after an inpatient program 16 years ago - then transferred his addiction to sex. He says he now realizes that his lifelong coping methods didn't work, and that he needs to find new ways of coping if he's ever going to be happy.

I keep thinking I should be pleased or at least relieved he's going into treatment, but I have so many doubts and so much resentment and so much hurt - not only for myself but also for our young adult D, who doesn't know the specific details but knows that her father isn't healthy and is going into an inpatient program. Even without knowing about the As, I'm so tired of the moods and the drama - waiting for the shoe to drop. It's hard to believe that will change or that we'll ever rebuild trust. And on top of it all, there's no Family Week at rehab because of Covid, though I went through that at his drug rehab and they never mentioned SA as a transference, nor the emotional distance as a sign of 'dry' relapse.

Not sure why I'm posting, just looking for some support from those who can understand. Thanks.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 6:47 PM, August 11th (Tuesday)]

skeetermooch posted 8/12/2020 10:31 AM

Hi Black Raven,

I'm sorry you're dealing with this too.
The moods and emotional distance are what I find most challenging. My WH has become outright verbally and emotionally abusive at times. He's so quick to anger since dday. It's a horrible way to live.

Wish I had more to offer.

DevastatedDee posted 8/12/2020 10:42 AM

I wish I didn't understand. My XWH had a history of drug addiction when I met him, but was supposedly in recovery for years. I didn't understand addiction, so I bought that even though he'd still drink beer. He moved onto prostitutes at some point during the relationship (I can only prove about 14 months of it, but I doubt that was all). He then fell back into drugs. I didn't discover the prostitute stuff until after he came back from rehab.

My advice after having gone through such similar crap is for you to take this time that he's away and focus on you. There's nothing you can say or do to make a difference in his battle. That is 100% on him. Your job is you. First, bask in the peace of being away from that drama right now. That's job #1. This time is all about you and being kind to yourself. No doubt you have been consumed with him and his issues for a long time. Put those aside in a drawer and refocus on yourself. Whatever that means, be it ice cream at your favorite place, a trip to somewhere you want to go, a peaceful day reading and napping, whatever those things are, do all those things. Pamper yourself. When my XWH went to rehab the first time (for drugs, pre-DDay), I spent that month doing whatever was financially and rationally feasible for me. I browsed local antique stores, walked nature trails, bought myself really good shower gel stuff, relaxed and read books, explored nearby towns, got take-out at my favorite restaurants, sat contemplating life in front of my fire pit, etc. Mostly I just took the time to breathe.

BlackRaven posted 8/12/2020 14:48 PM

Thank you both. He seems to be sincere in wanting to do the work. After some resistance, he's accepting the SA diagnosis, and emailed me today that he spent last night dissecting his sexual behavior from the time he was a teenager, whereas previously he'd only thought of his behavior in terms of his affairs.

When he stopped drinking, he stopped. Ditto drugs. So too, gambling. But he couldn't with the sex. The underlying behavior was always there. As recently as my former post I thought that the SA was a transference from the drugs. Now, after hearing what he said this morning, I wonder if the drugs etc was a transference from the SA. (There's been no porn or hookers, he can't even stand strip clubs. It's all about the validation from an actual woman.)

I can understand seeking validation from women because you were rejected by your mother. I don't understand having sex with them. I keep wondering if there's some childhood sexual assault that he doesn't remember. I suppose they'll get into all this at rehab, though historically he doesn't talk about things that are painful to him, even with therapists. He never would have gotten this far if I hadn't connected the dots while we were talking after DD1, and that only occurred because I've known him for nearly three decades.

I feel like such a fool. My father was an abused child (I only learned that as an adult from some cousins), and he's got his issues, he's a workaholic and he's emotionally immature, but it nothing like my WH. I can't believe that I unknowingly married someone who was also abused as a kid. I know they say you marry someone like your parents, but how does that happen with no knowledge!

My WH never mentioned the abuse from his mother until after DD1 - when we were connecting the dots. He spent our whole marriage/his whole life trying to please that bitch, saying she did the best she could, even while she treated me like shit. It was our primary source of conflict.

Sorry I'm rambling. I've told a few friends about the As, but no one about the SA diagnosis. I don't know how to do that without feeling shame and like I'm judged, especially if I end up R.


[This message edited by BlackRaven at 4:54 PM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 8/12/2020 20:28 PM

Sorry I'm rambling. I've told a few friends about the As, but no one about the SA diagnosis. I don't know how to do that without feeling shame and like I'm judged, especially if I end up R.

First off, not one iota of that shame is on you. I know that feeling, I was eaten alive by shame that I was with someone like that. But it's not ours to own. We didn't do this. None of us walked into marriages with sex addicts with our eyes open. We didn't know.

I do want to be sure that you know I would never judge you, R or D, since this is a thread I post in fairly often. I lean towards D when one is with an addict because I honestly believe that living with an addict is too much to ask of anyone and it so often destroys you right along with them. But judge you for it? Oh no, not remotely. It's an extremely hard situation. It's not so cut and dried when emotions are in play. I know that breaking it off with my XWH at times felt like crawling out of my own skin. I do not judge anyone who stays and chooses R. I have absolutely nothing but empathy and virtual hugs for all of us who have been married to a sex addict. If you stay and R, I will feel that he does not remotely deserve you and cannot even comprehend what a gift you're giving him, but I would never ever judge you. There's nothing weak about living and surviving with this stuff. It is the hardest thing I ever experienced in my life.

gmc94 posted 8/14/2020 01:22 AM

I keep wondering if there's some childhood sexual assault that he doesn't remember.
me too.

historically he doesn't talk about things that are painful to him, even with therapists.
mine either.... and IMO, that's not a good thing for an addict.

skeetermooch posted 8/16/2020 17:01 PM

I lean towards D when one is with an addict because I honestly believe that living with an addict is too much to ask of anyone and it so often destroys you right along with them.

I'm the poster child - I'm one stubborn, tough, walk on hot coals to get what I need kind of person - but I can tell you this has broken me. It's year since dday - well, dday 1, and I'm so decimated emotionally that I don't even brush my hair most days. It's gets better and it gets worse and then it gets devastating all over again. The repeated trauma is crushing. While I hope and believe I'll get better, I doubt I'll ever be the same again.

My WH too kicked other addictions but SA has been ongoing - unbeknownst to me. I too didn't have a clue about addiction, especially not how much pain an addict is okay inflicting on their partner to have their drug.

I've come to a place where I'm focusing on my recovery, happiness, well-being, self esteem, trying day by day to detach.

BlackRaven posted 8/19/2020 01:41 AM

Did any of your SA partners go thru rehab? If so, what was your experience?

I got a call today from the residential program my WH is attending asking:, ďIf possible, it would be beneficial if you made a list of: addictive behaviors that you are aware of, traumas that you are aware of, family of origin information, and any other information that you think may be helpful to our clinical team.Ē

Iím overwhelmed. I donít know where to begin, thereís more than 20 years of shit - and I donít want to re-live it all and spiral back into pain with no support between my IC sessions. On the other hand, I want him to get healthier, so I should do what I can to help ...

veryhurt2018 posted 8/19/2020 08:36 AM

BlackRaven, I can't believe they are asking you this. Don't they realize that you are going through horrible trauma too? Isn't this something that HE can tell to them?

My SAWH didn't go through a treatment program, although looking back, I wish he did. I'm glad your's is going.

Hugs!!

Superesse posted 8/19/2020 08:53 AM

Black Raven,

Sounds very much like your SAWH is "stonewalling" the therapists in his "Rehab" and they are seeking a way to break through his "denial" or outright refusal to work on his issues. (Just my experience, based on the year of counseling I suffered through for MY SAWH's issues!)

The trouble with that request is twofold:

1. If you do this "for them," YOU have shifted into being therapeutic "team member" but you neither applied for nor are qualified to fill that job description, right? Worse, it MINIMIZES YOUR TRAUMA. sacrificed on the altar of expediency for THEIR sake.

2. Anything YOU tell them, he will realize came from you and will just shut down and resist doing the work he really would need to do to get past it. They are HIS ISSUES, HIS MEMORIES, HIS STORY.

I'd politely tell them you need to disentangle yourself. Otherwise you act as a "facilitator" by "helping" and years later, he can just "regress" like mine keeps doing. UGH! Sorry about the vent here...

DevastatedDee posted 8/19/2020 09:01 AM

Agreed. If this is to be his work, it needs to be HIS work. If he doesn't take it seriously and get really honest, he's wasting everyone's time and money and that is on him. You aren't responsible for his recovery. If it's to be actual recovery, you cannot be the one telling them these things.

I had therapists at drug rehab call me with the same questions and I'd answer "if he's not serious and still hiding things, then let me know that so that I can go ahead and pack my bags." Addicts like to have someone to take care of them and this is another way of him being taken care of by you. That won't teach him to be an adult.

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