Just something I heard a LOT about in the postings of wives M to bi/gay husbands support group online.
We have been in R for over a year now. H has been clean and sober for 17 months now. I had really been avoiding thinking about some of this stuff but I haven't been sucessful about it lately.
Maybe that is a good sign?
I'd be lying if I said it never crossed my mind. Especially since, quite frankly, OW looks like a man in bad drag. She does the blue eye shadow right up to the eyebrows thing that I haven't seen on another person since the 80s. In fact it was H that first said he thought she looked like a transvestite.
Since I mentioned that not wanting to see my face made me feel cheap we have been having a lot more plain old vanilla sex and he doesn't seem to have ... um... trouble with that if you KWIM. So I don't *think* he's gay but I have wondered about bi.
Shucks - I am a freakin' stay at home soccer mom. I drive a mini-van and everything. I can't believe I am discussing my H's sexual proclivities on the 'net and speculating about whether or not he is gay. Am I on Candid Camera?
Long term undiagnosed depression, self-esteem issues, continued lies, non disclosure of affair information, "sweep it under the rug" attitude, lack of empathy, blameshifting, gaslighting, # of women, kind of women, length of affair period, his paralysis about moving toward me, his admission that he only lets me into 25% of who he is. His lack of vulnerability, his assumptions, his "jabs", his voice, his breathing, his sleeping, his lack of ambition, his hair, clothes, his weakness, his anger, his profession, his lack of boundaries with women, the way he "people-pleases" except with his family.
I wonder why you are trying to R?
Just peeping in to recommend a book that explains very well how an addiction develops -
"The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior" by Craig Nakken
My IC recommended this book when we were exploring a different angle in understanding the dynamics of my relationship with WSO.
The single most enlightening concept I learned from this book is that as the addiction develops, the addict is no longer operating from rational thinking, but is increasingly being driven by the emotional payoff of the "fix".
Hope this helps. I didn't read through the entire thread, so I apologize if this book has been mentioned before.
Why? Why do they become SA? That is the big question isn't it. According to my FWH the common theme in his group is "being too emeshed with their mothers in an unhealthy way and having a distant father." The emeshment plays out in all kinds of ways but distant or absent father is solid.
I hear ya loud and clear. I was organizing a fundraiser to help AIDS orphans in Africa and writing a book on climate change when I found out that my WH is SA. WHAT???? But I have the perfect life, I thought... Yeah, right.
I think there's always someone who can get sober on their own -- but for every one that can, there are dozens that need treatment. The best thing treatment has done for my M is brought my WH face to face with EVERYTHING he's done. So many SA brush off much of what they do -- like kissing a co-worker but not going any further seemed like nothing to him, relative to everything else he's done (including with men). They're so good at compartmentalizing and minimizing their actions. And you get into these ridiculous arguments about whether it was legally wrong, morally wrong, whatever. If it violates marriage vows and shared values, it's wrong. If you have to lie about it, it's wrong.
Hang in there. I found the more I faced it -- the less power it had over me (in the long term. The short term sucked big-time.) And I'm slowly realizing that my "perfect" life was a charade -- and slowly working up the courage to actually confide in people outside of our little "club". In the meantime, though, this site has saved my sanity.
My H CAN'T be a drug addict OR a sex addict because I drive a MINI-VAN for crying out loud.
And you get into these ridiculous arguments about whether it was legally wrong, morally wrong, whatever.
H and I had one of these talks this morning. We were talking about some of his riskier sexual behavior - getting BJs from OW in VERY public places where it is nothing short of a miracle they were never caught. I personally think people probably DID walk in on them because of where they were doing it and H just can't face it yet, but who knows.
He says of course it was morally wrong because it wasn't me he was doing it, but says there was nothing wrong with it by it's very nature. I am coming from the "if you excited by the idea of doing something sexual that could land you in jail you have an issue".
Hell, they were doing it in places that it wasn't likely that I would walk in with the kids - but it also wasn't totally unheard of and I did make unexpected visits on occasion. Also somewhere that it didn't happen often, but sometimes his MOM popped in for an unannounced visit.
I almost wonder if his being an alcoholic makes it MORE confusing. He tries to compare the 2, and in a way they are pretty much the same thing. But I think the problem is that his alcohol addiction had progressed much further than his sex issues and that is why it "feels" different to him.
I asked him if he got a "high" out of doing it in public places. He said that he found it "exciting" but he doesn't know if he'd consider it a "high". He also said he doesn't obsess about sex like he does about booze. But I asked him - did you ever spend a whole day thinking to yourself "I hope OW gives me a BJ today" and of course he said his answer was YES.
It is just so confusing sometimes because what is "normal" seems to be so subjective when it comes to sex. I know my H is a little freaked out after our talk this morning. He is being pretty cool about it, but he did say he feels a bit like I think he is a sexual deviant.
And yup - H had a distant and absent father and step father. And his mom? I could go on about HER all day.
[This message edited by dazdandconfuzed at 1:41 PM, November 9th (Friday)]
And yup - H had a distant and absent father and step father. And his mom? I could go on about HER all day.
Perhaps the good thing that has come out of this for me. For years, his family made me crazy -- I could never put my finger on it, but a few hours with them and I'd literally want to scream. Yet there was no obvious "dysfunction" unlike my own alcoholic family (though my mother had been sober for a decade or more when I met my WH) so he always presented his family as perfect. Father a judge, stay-at-home mom, big house -- ya know, the good Catholic family.
BUT when all this blew up, my WH finally owned up to how crazy his growing up years were. He used to masturbate up to five times a day to deal with his anxiety. His mother never touched him, never said she loved him, his father worked all the time... Finally, he admits that I'm not so crazy...they are.
Hallelujah for that, at least! Vindicated at last.
He struggles every day to stay away from the porn images in which he found comfort for 3 to 4 decades. I have become very Al-anon in my response. I have dropped the hypervigilant state where I check on his activities on a regular basis. I am learning to trust my 'gut' more. If I feel something is wrong, I trust that. I have told him that I am trying not to check on him all the time anymore. If I continue to feel something is wrong over and over again, he will find me drifting away. At some point if this continues, I will one day just leave. I am really tired of confronting him time after time after time when my 'gut' tells me something is wrong. It's time for him to deal with all of it. He agrees with my plan of action, realizing it's up to him to come clean with me and not to rely on me keeping him 'in line'.
I know letting go of the hyper vigilance is hard. H and I are just starting to explore the SA issue so he is not "in recovery". But he is in recovery for drugs and alcohol. I was such a wreck when he first got out of rehab that I bought a breathalyzer and actual drug test kits on the 'net. Our MC thought I was joking when I told him - he didn't even know a person could buy that stuff.
I ran out of test strips a while ago and the cheap breathalyzer I bought broke and I haven't replaced either because you do get to a place where you finally realize you have to let go. I imagine what you are going through is much the same.
H is still in the "my family is pretty normal" kind of place, pretty much. He is SO fooling himself.
His mother cares about appearances and that is it. She goes on and on about how her family and her grandkids are her life. We see them every 3 or 4 months whether we need to or not. On the few times we have called her and asked her for help with something she always has some social engagment that just can't be broken. On occasion she invites us over and then says we can't actually stay because she has invited too many people and there is no room for us. Refused to block off her stairs when my kids were crawling because it might inconvience her "other guests". Stuff like that.
I think with H it isn't so much as a need to be seen as perfect as he feels he is worthless. Both of his sisters are doctors. He still hasn't decided what he wants to be when he grows up. Mom sees his little sister at least 3x as often as she sees us. We live a little over an hour away and she needs to take a plane to visit little sister.
It's just so sad, so many people who are just so broken.
Eternal, my WH is a good Catholic & compulsive masturbator as well. (5-6X daily).
I'm not going to waste any more of my life/time/energy trying to "fix" these broken types! Its time to Move
I don't believe its possible to MEND most of them-- esp. after finding a site like squirt.org where "hook ups" & quickie anonymous sex areas (parks, rest rooms, etc.) are listed for so many cities!
He is what he is.
I need to find who I am and keep working toward My Goals.
Life does not stand still.
But, ever since I M this Problem Chile, I have been stagnating.
I will not allow him to continue to bring me down nor will I be his mommy, nurse maid, therapist, hall monitor, etc.
It really is a messed up world.
You remember that, dreamlife, that YOU are someone worth saving.
I understand the relief of having a name for it and an explanation for the contradictory behavior.
I hope you both can make getting professional help a priority. It must be really hard to know he is a SA, but not have any ongoing treatment right now. I think you're right it's just a matter of time or else it's ongoing.
My WH and I are taking the time every single evening to check in on where we are at -is he acting out, wanting to, how I am feeling about everything, etc. Is he willing to communicate like this?
Married 8 years, together 12 years
2 young daughters
FWH in IC for SA
My WH's IC (new one, 2 visits only) seems to be very versed in men's issues, addiction and WH is very impressed with him. IC is telling him his behavior is not normal and has a game plan to treat him.
The only behavior my WH says is still going on is the objectifying/sexualizing women he sees. No porn, no other sexual relationships, no perusing "dating" sites. He is working on stopping the ogleing (sp?)with the help of IC. The IC also says they will get to the bottom of why he does it, what happened in his childhood that SA developed, etc. WH feels very encouraged and hopeful he can stop doing destructive things.
When does a spouse stop checking and checking. I have all his passwords (unless he's lying) for email and voice mail. I am not above showing up at his work to check on him, etc. When is it still smart to try and find out if he's being honest and when is it time to stop?
I am so tired of being in the parental role. Logically I know that even with my hyper vigilance I was unable to keep him faithful. So, I would love to just let go of it.
Do you just go into it with an attitude of, "if he does it - he does it. I have no control over it and I will notice a change in him".
I guess my question is where is the line between being healthy and sticking your head in the sand?
PS: I think my MIL is NPD and she divorced the only dad (step) my WH was attached to. To this day thinking about his parents divorce can bring tears to his eyes, it was so painful for him. Then he sets up his own marriage for failure. WTF?
The best thing you can do is try very hard to work on yourself. As you become more confident you will find you have less need to check up on him. I practiced this hypervigilance for a long time, because I was so scared of imagining a life without him. I looked in his eyes to define myself for far too long. I don't do that anymore. I no longer 'need' him; I 'want' him. There's a huge difference.
I have become very tuned in to my husband's feelings, if you will. After reading a lot of material on sex addiction, I am even more tuned in. I can literally sense when he is 'using'. I have learned to trust my gut. When I get that anxiety knot in my gut, I know something is wrong. Sometimes it's not him causing it; sometimes I fall back into ruminating about the 'ditch pig' he had the A with. But I am learning to find the source of the knot in my gut. If it's not some other cause, I can almost always trace it back to him using porn. There is a sense of distance that I feel from him. Even if he makes the effort to kiss and hug me, I can feel the difference. You will get there, Mama2girls. Remember time, understanding the problem and concentrating on yourself.
Thank you, all.
I have so many questions.
Here is the dilema I have no expertise to answer. Perhaps you can help.
Okay, so after d-day my rose colored glasses lifted long enough for me to really analyze my history with H. It is obvious that I ignored red flags and pushed right along with my fairytale life.
Let's just say I am a master rationalizer.
The SA is no exeption to these skills but I am having a hard time visualizing having children with H. I want to have children. I want to have children with him. But I feel like my responsibility to my unborn children is greater than my personal desires.
Perhaps that sounds silly. But, I'm thinking about going to talk to a SA specialist about the kid thing. I really just want them to tell me everything will be fine and to chill out. Basically I want to convince myself that I am being unrational.
I feel as though if I can just change my attitude or perspective I can endure anything and be happy.
I'd like perspective from everyone.
For those with children:
If you knew then what you know now, would you have had kids with your spouse?
For those with out:
How are you dealing with these kinds of doubts?
[This message edited by sheltered at 9:05 PM, November 14th (Wednesday)]