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New here....need advice, questions.

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RizzieDizzysWife posted 1/22/2020 14:33 PM

Sorry- another question.

I don't know how to phrase this without sounding defensive and passive aggressive and I don't want it to come off that way. Perhaps this is my skewed way of thinking and I need to understand.

I've read through some threads here and so many people are trying for R and their spouses or partners have had months or years long affairs with someone-both emotional and physical.

Is one long, continued affair with one person not as as bad as several intermittent physical interactions?

Is it because its only with one person? And thats not as bad as continuing to seek out cheating? Isn't continuing an affair making the same decisions day in and day out? Is an emotional affair easier to stomach because you can understand that the person was "in love"?

I do see that continuing to seek it out is an issue but I also don't buy that "it just happened/we just fell in love" crap that my ex-H pulled on me so many times.

I guesss in my mind, the fact that it was only about sex made it better than an EA. For me, I don't think I could forgive another EA. I think I would be angry and done. Is that weird? That I feel so differently? Is it because of my ex?

Is it the addict part that makes it worse?

I try to think, what if it was alcohol? Drugs? Gambling? Would I leave then? And the answer is it would depend on how far it goes. The same as now- I would need to have non negotiable boundaries.

One last question- In the non negotiable boundaries- is there a way to say- if you DO have a sexual encounter with someone you must also tell me about it immediately? But the relationship will still end. Lol. There's no alternate consequence, though....

I know this is extremely co dependent behavior because I feel like what I write will dictate his behavior like if I say that then he could just want to hide the sexual encounter even more because I said divorce and not be honest or divorce. UGH.

EllieKMAS posted 1/22/2020 14:47 PM

RDW - cheating is cheating. Whether it is better or worse than somebody else's situation doesn't really matter that much. For some people EAs are harder than PAs, for others the opposite is true. So whatever 'bad' it is to you is what it is.

Boundaries are so hard. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and that is probably the most difficult thing for me to do for myself even now. I think the important thing to remember about boundaries - they have NOTHING to do with the other person. Boundaries are for YOU. And you can set them however you need to to protect your emotional space.

I agree with you on the CoD behaviors. Boy I had them too. But you need to put it front-of-mind that you CANNOT change his behavior. You can only change and control you. I remember feeling so scared early on, like anything I said would make him leave. Truth be told he was always going to leave anyways. He just didn't want to do it because of the financial burden to himself and the fact that he is a giant man-baby that can't take care of his own self.... I digress.

You have all the power in your boundary setting. The hardest part of them is sticking to them when they get violated - and realistically speaking here, he WILL violate them. Also, if he actually told you the truth and you had all of it right now, it would make him the unicorn of cheaters. Having been on SI for over a year now, I honestly can't recall a situation where a new BS actually had the whole truth when they hit JFO. Pretty sure older-timers than me would say the same. All of that to say, it is probably better for you right now to work from the assumption that he is still lying to you, because he almost certainly is.

sorryforeverythi posted 1/22/2020 14:56 PM

Is it the addict part that makes it worse?

Why? if you're an addict then you're an addict, addiction to one thing leads to addiction of many things

I try to think, what if it was alcohol? Drugs? Gambling? Would I leave then? And the answer is it would depend on how far it goes.

Based on everything you have said I don't think you want to leave him so it wouldn't matter the addiction

One last question- In the non negotiable boundaries- is there a way to say- if you DO have a sexual encounter with someone you must also tell me about it immediately?

Hey I don't trust you but if you do cheat you have to pinky promise you will tell me

I am sorry that I am so harsh, it just seems like you are just looking for justification from us to do what you want to do which is stay with him.

As I said before in the end it is your choice. It always has been. Talking to you has helped me get over my crap, so I thank you for that.

What I did was think of my 20 year old daughter and what would I tell her if she came to me and told me everything that you said. I would tell her to run. I than did the same thing with my story and came to the same conclusion.

If he wants to change he can change. Divorce him get your ducks in order and make him earn you back. You are codependent for whatever reasons you have in your past, its just part of who you currently are, you can work past it but you need to start being honest with yourself.

I don't want to keep beating a dead horse and I am really trying to understand your love of someone that treats you so poorly and is so arrogantly stupid about how he goes about it.

Action speaks louder than words and he is doing a lot of yelling and maybe a bit of action, only time will tell.

When a person shows you who they really are, believe them.

[This message edited by sorryforeverythi at 8:12 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

Notmine posted 1/22/2020 16:43 PM

First of all, please know that although we can sound super harsh, we do have your best interests at heart.

As I have shared before, my FWH is an SA. He has been sober for 4 years. He (and I) are also addict/alcoholics, sober 24 and 22 years respectively. I posted earlier about what he does,,,what he NEEDS to do, to stay sober and to be a safe partner for me AND to deserve the gift of a marriage to me.

This statement makes me really concerned for you:

I agree he has messed up since then but not near as bad....

You need to understand that a "mess up" for a sex addict is like giving me "just a little" alcohol. All it takes is ONE, or a sip, or a taste, to take me over the edge into the full blown addiction cycle. This "messing up" is his way of testing the waters. ALL untreated addictions progress. He has started the fantasizing (emailing others to check to see of they are responsive to his overtures). The sexual acting out will come next because his addiction, his DISEASE, is not being treated. He is not going to counseling. he is not going to meetings. PLEASE UNDERSTAND, he will need to attend meetings for the rest of his life in order to stay sober. This is NON-NEGOTIABLE. Not for a year, not for two. FOREVER. He must make sobriety a priority, a lifestyle, which means he needs to be around other recovering addicts and he needs a sponsor. He also needs a counselor who specializes in sexual addiction.

I am TELLING you that I see the signs that his disease is progressing. I am very familiar with these signs. No matter what your contract says, he will hide, lie, cheat and steal to feed his addiction in its active state. It may go dormant for a while, but if it is not being treated, HE WILL ACT OUT AGAIN! It will start out where it stopped and progress so it will get worse.

It is not cute or endearing that he is emailing other women about your reaction to their body parts. He is running with a deviant fantasy - probably along the lines of a three-way. The point is that he is participating in sexual fantasizing/acting out and he is a SEX ADDICT!!!!

nekonamida posted 1/23/2020 07:37 AM

It is not cute or endearing that he is emailing other women about your reaction to their body parts. He is running with a deviant fantasy - probably along the lines of a three-way. The point is that he is participating in sexual fantasizing/acting out and he is a SEX ADDICT!!!!

I'd like to point out that even if a threesome isn't his intent, he's still getting something additional out of mentioning you in those posts. Some extra thrill, an extra foot in the door, or feeling of security by mentioning you. It's still part of how an addict thinks and it's very common in sex addiction to bring an unsuspecting partner into the fantasy. Posting their intimate pictures without their knowledge, saying they too are interested in whatever dirty talk is going on, even creating fake ads or pretending to be them for sexual gratification, etc.

sorryforeverythi posted 1/23/2020 08:08 AM

I was thinking of your situation at the gym today.

I guess what I thought was that it is kind of fucked up your loser husband is reading all the advice you are being given.

It's like he is planning his strategy based on what advice we give. It seems almost sociopathic.

Like he is trying to construct a play by play in his infantile little mind on how he will be able to stay one step ahead of anything we recommend you do.

I see he has stopped posting on the wayward side as well.

I'm sure he really, really wants this to work out because he is doing so much to face his deficits and change.

Like I said in my previous post, actions speak louder than words.

[This message edited by sorryforeverythi at 8:10 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

annb posted 1/23/2020 09:16 AM

Filing for divorce would ruin me right now. Everything I have built with him. We have set and succeeded on so many goals.

^^^Hi, I have to admit I just scanned this thread, but your comment here jolted me.

You've been with this guy ~3.5 years, and you feel this way after that short of time? I understand you love him and have had goals together, but I think you need to think and think and think about a future with a guy who has so many issues, this could be your life forever.

If you decide to stay, it's going to be a long, long, difficult road. You are going to be hypervigilant for years. It takes years for a run of the mill infidelity to heal, you are dealing with so much more. You will be policing his every move, is this how you want to live the next five, ten, fifteen years?

I'm not saying you need to make a decision right now, but you should be thinking about what the future holds for you by staying in this marriage.

I hope you find peace.

HellFire posted 1/23/2020 09:35 AM

That he has stopped posting, is an indication that he doesn't truly want to change. I'm sure he has told you it's because we are too negative,or some other such bullshit. The truth is, change is hard. If he can't face some internet strangers calling him on his shit,he doesn't want to change. If he can't handle people telling his wife to protect herself,take care of herself, and that maybe this marriage isn't healthy for her, he doesn't want to change.

I hope you followed through with the polygraph today. And I hope he passes.

RizzieDizzysWife posted 1/23/2020 11:31 AM

We both decided to get on this forum together and read each others replies- I've read quite a few of them to him. We are hoping to learn. I'm not sure how that turned into him being a sociopath.

To be honest, the people on his thread were very encouraging and had a lot of good advice. We were both surprised that it seems that he got the responses like that and I got the harsh ones, lol.

We have both been talking about if this forum is helpful for us. He has never once defended himself. I think he feels sad that me reading this makes me feel anxious.

I feel like we've both gained a ton of knowledge from everyone here and its helped me go into this with my eyes wide open and an idea of whats going on.

BUT. I went from understand what was happening, having a plan, and seeking support, to suddenly feeling as though there is something wrong with me if I don't leave, being told that my husband will NEVER change, no matter what, that everything he is saying to me is a lie and I shouldn't believe a word he says, being told that he probably has a burner phone or multiple burner phones, that my GPS isn't accurate, that I need to subject him to polygraphs every few months, etc etc etc etc.

Now I'm not saying that all of these things couldn't be true. They could. I could be dating a total sociopath. He could be murdering people while I sleep or something. But without any evidence of any of this or any prior history of this, why am I going to torture myself into thinking all of this?

I've read through all his past phones, his emails, his computers, his texts, whatsapp messages, fb messages, IG messages, everything. From his past before me and from with me. I know everything he's ever done. He told me everything that was in there, too. About the men. About every girl he ever did anything with. I know it all. He's slept with a lot of women, yes. He's a serial cheater, yes. He has a fucked up past, yes. He is a sex addict. And I am better for facing this head on with all the knowledge under my belt than I am burying my head in the sand. So I thank you all for that. So much.

But as I'm sure you know, if someone isn't ready to change, you cannot berate them into changing. I am simply not at a place that I am ready to leave. I have not seen enough evidence that my husband is not trying or that he is lying about more things. If I get to that point, then I will leave. If I feel like I'm spending more of my time monitoring him and worrying than having fun, then I will leave. But I haven't felt that way. I have not stayed up countless nights worrying. I have been sleeping in my bed next to my husband.

I can't remember the user name, but to the person who posted here and on his thread, I just want to say that your post helped us both the most. I think the most important thing that I realized from all of this is that his behavior (what I didn't see as much of a problem, the internet stuff) is all a trigger and can lead to a slippery slope. That if he doesn't get treatment and knock it off then it will continue and GET WORSE.

We both read your posts twice and then read the one you posted on his thread. He agreed with this so much and explained it to me in terms that I could understand. He told me its kind of like when I've gone on a diet and then I tell myself oh I'll just reward myself with one little treat and then all of the sudden I've scarfed down every unhealthy thing in sight and its all gone and I've blown my whole diet and fuck it and I go on a binge of food for a few days and then it hits me a few days later I feel shitty about myself. That made a LOT of sense to me. Of course his is on a much larger scale and more devastating for himself and his family. He said he's basically been playing with fire. He's kept the really bad behaviors at bay while still engaging in some of the little ones but those escalate when he has alcohol because his inhibitions are down and he isn't able to go through his usual process that he has. He has a process where when he thinks of doing something he asks himself if in the long term this is a good decision for him. And then he's able to stop. Of course he lies to himself about the small things obviously. And that's the slippery slope part and the part that he needs to nip in the bud, and nip it in the bud NOW.

The hard part for me is that I'm not the jealous type. I know a lot of you see some of that behavior and think its disgusting. And I have to remind myself that in a sex addict its not okay because its a slippery slope. The problem for me is that I am a sexual person myself and I enjoy doing things like going to strip clubs, fantasizing about threesomes, etc. So its hard for me to know the line of what he thinks is okay because he actually thinks I think its okay and what he thinks is okay because its justifying as a sex addict behavior. Does that make sense? Like if he was not a sex addict, and there was a porn model on twitter, and I was sitting next to him, I wouldn't be bothered by him writing "my wife would like your tits". In fact, it isn't unreasonable to assume that he actually thought I would like them. Now. The part thats inappropriate (to me) is that he did this without telling me. This also tells me knows at some level that what he did was not okay. And he knows that these things are triggers for his SA and not just someone who is engaging in behaviors that are okay with the consent of his wife.

I did not realize that my behaviors were enabling him and allowing him to engage in his sex addiction with my permission. Now that I think back on it, we did do some things (TOGETHER) that I feel like were probably triggers for him.

ETA: because someone will probably think this, I just want to point out that he never, EVER coerced me or even ASKED me to do these things. Actually, I feel a little sick thinking back on it, because a lot of them were my idea. And NO. I wasn't doing it because I thought it would keep him happy, etc. When I was single I would go to the strip club with my friends. I don't really identify as bi-sexual but I do find women attractive. I've always been very pro-sex, I watch pornography myself, I read erotica, I write erotica, I've posted on forums, I've had ONS's, etc. The difference obviously is that I'm not a sex addict and I am learning now that some of the things I think are okay are a trigger for him. And I will say that YES it was HIS responsibility to tell me these things were a trigger. However I'm not sure that he has totally explored and figured out all of his triggers, which is I think where SA comes in. We talked about it last night and he was able to name some of his triggers but others he was unsure about. This will be his responsibility to figure these out, tell me them, and then hold himself responsible. But I think I need to know so that I don't go around triggering him either. I truly believe that he has been living right on that line for the past few years of doing just the little things that don't put him in danger land, but enough to get a little thrill, and then he backs off a little. Of course the alcohol through that to hell. That's why he needs to take the steps to reel himself back from that line. And he is doing that. Hes going to counseling again today.

Now that I realize this and he has explained this to me, I think we are both going into this with a clearer picture of whats going on. We went to a counseling session together last night and both I and the therapist asked him some pretty direct questions. He answered no to all of them. Of course he is still very much willing to take the polygraph test and is not worried about passing. His STD tests all came back negative as he assured me they would.

I also appreciate all the steps you outlined because those were very helpful. I think one place we got a little stuck the first time is that we both focused on learning ABOUT sex addiction and about childhood sexual abuse and didn't learn enough about what to DO.

Not everyone can just wake up in the morning and immediately know what to do. He has googled a lot of information and read a lot but your post was so helpful with clear concise steps and info. He liked the idea of 90 meetings in 90 days. He was a little anxious about figuring out how to work it into our busy schedule with 2 children and 1 car. I made sure to tell him he had to plan it out himself. But then I realized, okay, realistically, he is going to need some help from me. He is going to need to figure out my schedule and how he can have the car and make sure I don't have a conflict at that time so I can watch the kids. So I told him that he should start planning it out- We have a shared calendar app so he said he will put the meetings in the calendar with the dates, times, and addresses- and I said if he needs help with a plan then of course he is allowed to ask me for help.

We also talked about going to meetings for life. I asked him realistically, if he could see himself doing this. I told him that he had a lot of work ahead of him and that it seems very overwhelming and that he has a choice on if he wants to commit to it or not. He has a choice just like I do to leave the relationship and not commit to recovery. He absolutely wants to commit to recovery and said that of course it will be hard but it would be harder to live life the way he was living before.

I know so many of you have been burned before and are hurting too. I'm truly sorry to all of you that have been hurt. Moving forward I just don't have the answers. But I know I am not where you all have at some point gotten to, where you decided it was enough. Its absolutely possible I'll get to that point. And its possible I won't. The only choice I have now is to wait and see.

I don't know that this forum is the right place for me, right now. Maybe I'll be back and tell you that you all were right. Maybe I won't. I simply just don't know. But I think I have to deal with the information I have now and move forward. Just as burying my head in the sand isn't helpful, neither is playing out worst case scenario in my head and freaking myself out to the point of having anxiety attacks. If I do that I can't be calm enough to even think rationally.

Thank you all so much for your advice and support. Some a little harsher than others, lol. We feel armed with more knowledge and tools and ideas after having come here. I know this is a place I can come back if I do decide that I'm done, and get support. Right now we are going to focus on R, and he's going to focus on getting better.

And please, save your "if you're still reading this, but xyz!!11 you're gonna die and he's a liar and sociopath and you're both gonna get AIDS and you're gonna regret it!!!" It's not going to make me leave its just going to make me take a xanax. (THAT WAS A JOKE DONT ACCUSE ME OF MEDICATING MYSELF TO THE POINT OF OBLIVION LOL)

If you have words of encouragement I would love to read them before I move on. Otherwise, again, thank you. Thank you so much.

[This message edited by RizzieDizzysWife at 11:41 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

fareast posted 1/23/2020 11:44 AM


You have done exactly what is so often prescribed here. Take the advice you can use and leave the rest. Donít sweat the advice you discard. But I would advise over time to come back and read the posts. You may have a new perspective. Check in the healing library. There are some permanent threads that have great info. But you take the advice you think you can use and apply it to your situation and toss the rest. Itís your life. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. You are aware of what you are dealing with. Good luck to you moving forward.

[This message edited by fareast at 11:52 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

sorryforeverythi posted 1/23/2020 11:47 AM

It sounds like you made your decision.

I really hope it works out for you.

Sometimes I wish my exe would have tried but she didn't. Sometimes I hope she tries to come back, I don't honestly know how I will handle it, but by then I will probably have moved on.

Best of luck.

We will always be here if you need us again.

[This message edited by sorryforeverythi at 12:57 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

Notmine posted 1/23/2020 18:11 PM

I agree that people on this site can be unhelpful with comments based purely on conjecture, but I have found that the majority of the posters have their hearts in the right place. I am really glad that you found my posts useful.

It IS his responsibility to let you know what his triggers are. Defining his triggers are part of why he needs a sponsor...someone who has taken the journey and can help him recognize his own triggers. I am really glad that he seems to understand that recovery from this is a lifetime commitment. I can tell you that although it seems really overwhelming at first, living a life in recovery is really rewarding and amazing. Be very careful though, there is a HIGH chance of relapse for any addict....expecially one with such a traumatic history. He really needs help with his Family of Origin issues and will not be able to deal with them on his own. Your husband is very damaged. It is ok for you to help him (scheduling,etc.), but you cannot do this FOR him. Again, I recommend al-anon (or the equivalent for SA) for you so that you can learn about the difference.

Fantasizing is part of what causes a sex addict to act out....stay away from that until he has a handle on what he can and cannot do safely. This may well be out of the picture for good and you have to be willing to give it up if it is a problem for him. NO strip clubs. That can be a very slippery slope for a sex addict, like going to a bar is for me. He should not engage in ANY sexually charged activities online or otherwise. Period. Sex addicts have a very hard time distinguishing between what is appropriate and inappropriate (no more comments of a sexual nature or that objectify anyone). This is something that they begin to see over time as they work on themselves. Sex addicts tend to objectify women/men and they need to begin to see them as human beings. This should become less of an issue as a recovering person works the steps and takes the actions recommended. If he stays the course with therapy and engages in 12 step recovery on a consistent basis for the long term he can make the transformation from a person filled with shame and self-loathing to a person who is free...from lying and deviance and dysfunction, and self-destruction and despair (but he will ALWAYS be an addict). That happens over time in recovery....over several years for most of us. For you, this may mean a life filled with chaos and pain. It means that you will always need to be aware of what he is doing, especially if he stops the meetings and stops engaging in a sober lifestyle focused on wellness. There will always be a risk of relapse. Always. I feel like you need to know this. His recovery is his responsibility, but you cannot ever be naive or completely trusting again. Your part is to have clear boundaries and to enforce them if necessary. I wish you both the best of luck.

Corazonroto posted 1/23/2020 19:20 PM

I admire the strength it must have took you to get to this point.
I am exploring similar pain too to all the negative responses. It's hard to have perspective and good to get harsh opinions. But it's hard to hear and I'm not sure I agree to all. I'm looking for more stories that work and admire the effort you are willing to go through. And I guess I have some questions for you.
When were you last happy? Where does your anxiety come from? Will you be able to live with these doubts forever? Could you just accept that he is this way and continue to live with him? How much time have you spent thinking of him compared to time spent thinking of yourself?
I suppose I mean these questions as self refelxion and not so much necessary to post answers to here.
I think both you and I need to start focusing a bit on our own needs and understanding that we don't need another person to fullful them for us. Maybe then they won't be so important and can't hurt us so much.
I'm sorry you're having a hard time, I hope you find a way.

Lifeexploded posted 1/24/2020 08:20 AM

I hope things work out for you. If they don't we will be waiting here with open arms, nonjudgmental.

I don't remember what his polygraph questions were, the last one was almost 3 years ago.

Now I'm even questioning if he figured out how to cheat the test. He's a good liar.

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