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User Topic: Spouses/Partners Of Sex Addicts
2bewildered
♀ Member
Member # 20305
Default  Posted: 8:13 AM, October 9th (Thursday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. If you do not respect yourself, if you do not start awakening to your right to be treated with respect and dignity (and your responsibility in creating that in your life) - then you will be more comfortable being involved with people who abuse you than with people who treat you in loving ways.

I think that sums it up. For many reasons I have always been comfortable with not being put first, comfortable with being the one who gives and cares as opposed to one who is cared for, given to. That needs to stop. Part of what caught me in this relationship was that for a time in the beginning I was treated as if the sun and mon set and rose on me. It didn't last long, but I continues to make excuses for his behavior in the hopes that eventually we would go back to a time when once again i would feel that my needs were put before anyone elses. It was never going to happen, that beginning period was an act.

Scribbling, thank you for sharing that and the encouragement. As I read your post it dawned on me the last long term relationship I was in was with a recovering alcoholic. He was in AA when we met and there was never any slip ups or issues that came out of it. Actually he was a model of recovery, but now I wonder about it. WHy 2 addicts in a row. I certainly never enabled either's addiction, or was even aware of them when I got involved, but when I found out I stayed. New rule, no more addicts. period.

I am still struggling with missing him terribly and a large amount of shame for having that feeling, for what I put up with.

It's a day to day thing here. It get's better every day, but I can see the long term affects setting in. My faith in the goodness of humanity, my ability to trust and love, my desire to ever be involved in a romantic relationship again. All have been damaged. Every person I look at, I wonder what it is their hiding. There's this twinge in the back of mind that was never there before. When anyone does anything kid, I wonder what it is they want, what they are trying to get out of it. My whole life with him was lies for so long, was focused on figuring out if something was a lie. I feel that perception spilling over into every other part of my life. I suspect every word I hear.


Doing a decent job of moving on.

Posts: 1365 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: Florida
1Forward1Back
♀ Member
Member # 11057
Default  Posted: 8:32 AM, October 9th (Thursday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

7 yrs., as per usual, you articulate so well what we all struggle with as partners of SAs. Thank you again for your wisdom and incredible finds. You are right; that last point is so powerful.

Last week, I found another stash. My H had taken all the content on his CDs and simply transferred them to two USB sticks. He then showed me the empty CDs as proof he had destroyed his stash. Initially I felt sick, but quickly regained my composure. I made a great decision. Normally I would hold on to this information and sulk, using it to gain some sort of power and superiority over my H. I would have blurted out this information to him at an 'opportune' moment. Instead I decided to put on my 'big girl panties'. I confronted him when he came home in a calm, controlled and resolute manner. I made it clear that I could not stay in this toxic environment and I was finally at the point to set definite boundaries. I did not articulate those boundaries specifically because as I told him, I had to take the time to consider them carefully as opposed to stating specific ones in the heat of this moment and then never following through on them. I told him I did not want to discuss the specific actions he was to take; that was his decision. IOW, I did not tell him specific actions he had to take i.e. "you have a day to phone the other SA in the area". All I know is that he had to take action; whatever it takes to beat this scourge. He knows what he needs. I said I could handle slips on his part, but I would not tolerate any inaction on his part. No more excuses, no more lies, no more loving his addiction more than us as evidenced by continued hiding of a stash. I also added that I now understood how incredibly powerful his addiction was and that I had compassion for my addicts; our son, who is now 7 months clean from narcotics and working hard to stay that way, and my husband, who has tried to manage his addiction, not beat it. Compassion does not mean acceptance or denial. I informed him that he had now stolen something very precious from me with this latest find; hope. Hope that we had a future which included intimacy, something we had never experienced in our 33 years of marriage. I am not sure I can ever get a sense of hope back. If I decide it will never return, I then have to leave and set up a life that does not include him. He told me my calm and resolute manner scared him. This was different, he said. We shall see but I agree that I do feel different.

You have to understand how my H's addiction manifests itself on other planes to appreciate how his actions allowed me to feel a small glimmer of hope following the confrontation. Of course, he immediately started to format the two USB sticks, but I told him I've seen that before. I fully expected him to find another way to hold on to something he was SO petrified to erase from his life; a source of porn kept in a hidden spot that he could access in times of overwhelming 'need'. Thus I was not the least bit impressed by the erasing of these sticks. However, one thing he did do caused me to take notice (probably a better way of describing my reaction as opposed to my previous phrase, 'glimmer of hope.') The mind of an SA is very cluttered. The thinking is disorganized, especially when they are trying to manage the addiction. This disorganization spills over to their physical environment. Our house has became disgusting in that there is stuff all over the place and not placed in its proper spot; whether that be the garbage or some other place. The house is clean, thanks to our cleaning ladies, but they have to clean 'around' the clutter. Our son came home a couple of weeks ago and he said he could not believe how awful it was. He took pictures!! I cannot keep up thus I became discouraged and found myself staying longer at work in my office, where there is order and retreating to my side of the bed, also ordered. Within an hour of the confrontation, he went to the basement and started a major organization effort. He started by cleaning out one of our two freezers (which we do not need since it is only the two of us), throwing out old items. As someone who was raised to be a hoarder to never waste one iota of food, this was major. He is continuing on this venture. He has rented a storage unit near our house and has started taking stuff there; stuff that we need to sort through to make decisions what to keep and what not to, as well as items that need to be organized in various spots in the house. He is putting an ad in the paper today, trying to sell an old car that has basically been parked in front of our house for years, as well as the upright freezer. He will then get rid of our chest freezer and replace it with a smaller one. This will limit the amount of food he buys. As the chief cook in this house, he does most of the shopping. With his cluttered mentality that tends to buy food as if to prepare for an oncoming holocaust, our freezers become overfilled and items bought earlier end up at the bottom of the cluttered freezer and inedible due to time.

To some of you this may not appear to be related to SA at all, but for us, it is intimately connected. It is as indicative of his addiction as any acting out by viewing porn and masturbating. Will this lead to H calling our IC/MC to re-start sessions or meeting with the other SA that the IC put in contact with H? I don't know. All I know is it is a positive step. As I work with my Al-Anon group and the COSA online group as well as this ste, I will continue to grow and be more equipped to lovingly set boundaries and follow through.

Anyway, long post, but something I wanted to share with my dear friends here and get their thoughts


Me: 60 Yrs. (BS)
Him: 60 Yrs.(FWH- life long sex addict)
-2 ONSs followed by an A-2005/06
-cheated while we were engaged
-seems to stray every 30 years or so
D-Day-June 10, 2006
Working on own recovery. His is his!
Married: 37 yrs. Grown ch

Posts: 966 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Canada
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 3:02 PM, October 9th (Thursday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

1F1B,
I'm sorry I haven't responded personally to you sooner.

I think I personally would have handled the discovery/confrontation a little bit differently. He would have gotten the jump drives back...in tiny little pieces. I don't know what boundary you have set but reading your post made me realize I needed to set a clear boundary with my rSA. I will not have porn in my house. Period. If I find it, it will be destroyed. No warnings. No chances for him to take care it. I will not have it in my home. I don't worry about my rSA these days but at least he now knows that I will not hesitate to destroy his hard drive if I find porn on it. So that's the only thing I would have done differently.

I think your SA's cleaning up and getting organized is a very positive thing. He may also be getting rid of more stash. It's common for them to do this. For some SAs that is the first step before they can address some of the deeper issues.

My only concern is that it could also be a way to avoid addressing his addiction. We all know that a SA is a master at avoidance. So I just wanted to gently point that out. If he only focuses on the decluttering and you see no evidence of increased recovery work (going to meetings or counseling etc) that might be a red flag.

Are you working on setting your actual boundaries and consequences? Did you see my post about that? I thought that web page was really, really helpful.
7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
1Forward1Back
♀ Member
Member # 11057
Wink  Posted: 6:04 PM, October 9th (Thursday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hey 7 yrs., no worries. You are a busy lady with your new little muffin developing in your body. I hope all is going well with your pregnancy. I am so happy for you. I am experiencing a bit of the excitement that you must feel. My daughter, SIL and my grandson are coming home from Spain for Christmas. I start thinking about seeing that precious little boy for the first time and I can barely stand it. I told my daughter to fully expect me to be sobbing as I watch them come down the escalator at the arrival section at the airport. She says, "Yeah I know, Ma. I'm prepared for it."

I have no problem with what you write. I understand that I will have to become as proactive as you are. I am not making excuses, but you have to realize that I am working with 33 years of sex addiction; more actually, considering the years before we met and married. Had I just discovered the addiction recently, with him having acted out within 10 years or so, I suspect my reactions would be similar to yours and some of the other partners on this forum. But remember, I have allowed him to view porn and compulsively engage in self-pleasure for 3 decades and have not set any boundaries. I need to think this through carefully, and I need to work through so many years of accepting it, trying to understand how this intelligent woman who has very few FOO issues, allowed this to go on year after year, decade after decade. Whether allowing myself (and him, by extension) the time to work that through is the right thing to do or not, I cannot say for sure. I may be procrastinating out of fear and confusion. Again, I do not know. But I *do* know that I want to be on very solid ground before I go forward with setting strict boundaries etc. I'm not there yet. And whether feeling good about my decision to confront him in the manner I did rather than slipping into the victim/martyr role as I have done so many times before, was the right way to feel or not, again I cannot say. But you have to understand that this decision was huge for me; incredibly huge. A major victory and step forward! I WILL get to the place where you are, where there will be no porn allowed in my house and I will react to any just as you describe above. Perhaps experts would say that I really need to go from knowing where his porn stashes were and even accessing them to view and see what the big deal was and even being aroused at times and putting them back in the exact order I found them so he would not know I had found them...then getting to a place where I joked with him about the content on these disgusting videos/CDs and finding stashes of nylon stockings (he has a nylon fetish)...to now going directly to destroying any porn that I find including destroying his hard drive...I don't know. I do know that I do not want to feel any pressure to react in a certain way. Perhaps that's why I've been avoiding going back to our IC/MC. However I have to say that I have been incredibly busy at work and could not have fit in an appointment with him if I had really wanted to. The fall semester is so busy and more so this year as I have taken on new duties. I am much more settled, organized and knowledgeable in my work now, so I do have more time. You have to believe me when I say I am convinced that I am not sliding into continued acceptance of his crap. And that I am working my way towards setting firm boundaries such as the ones you describe. I respect you so much, and I guess I'm asking that you trust me on this. I spent the first two years after D-Day focusing on the affair and the OW, checking up on her almost every day. I was re-directing the real problem because I had spent 3 decades believing that my H loved and adored me even though he used porn and compulsively masturbated all that time. The ONSs and the A was the first time in our marriage that he 'crossed the line'. I was so stunned, so devastated. That discovery changed who I am. Yet deep down I had kind of expected this for all the time we were married. So why was I so shocked? I don't know. It's such a mystery. The emotional attachment he had with the OW was so devastating as was the revelations that he discussed me with her; things that should have never left the marriage. I needed so much time, probably way too much and perhaps an avoidance measure, to work through this, deluding myself into believing it was a separate entity, although you and I both know it wasn't. As you quoted an expert and a phrase I so appreciated and found so helpful, SA mistresses are simply 'porn with skin on', emotional attachments and all.

7 yrs. I know you were not preaching at me: you were simply stating what *you* would do. I'm just so fragile at times, with this new direction I'm finally taking, one that is *finally* realizing the reality of SA. I so need and want your and others' here approval which shouldn't be so, but there it is. I know you support, care and want the best for me. I adore you and am so thankful you are my friend and such a wonderful resource for all of us here. I have learned more from you, I think, than anything I have read.

I am very aware of my H's tendency to involve himself in activities as an avoidance measure. It's part and parcel of his attempt to manage his addiction rather than deal with it and get sober. This new passion for de-cluttering our physical environment could be just another attempt to do that. He threw himself into his hobby, taking on the top executive position which occupies a large part of his time. He avoided being alone at home by going to the hobby club almost every day. That has recently changed as he recognized what he was doing. He recently spent much less time there realizing it was not filling the emptiness. Whether he is sincere or not, I cannot tell. My trust level is so diminished. As an aside, I am working with H to clean up and organize the clutter. We went to the storage place together this afternoon after working together to choose what needed to go there first.

I have learned that SAs have stashes all over. At one point, he showed me some of it and I could not believe it. He actually forgot some of it. He said he had so much, that his mind was so preoccupied with having as much of it as he could possibly have, that he constantly looked for new hiding places. He still may have one. I really don't know. But I do not have the energy nor the inclination to go through every piece of clutter to look for it. That would take hours, even days, and I simply do not have the time nor do I believe it's worth all that energy. Was it you that posted here that partners know when their SA is using? It was the uneasiness I felt, the realization that I was falling into co-addict behaviour, not sleeping well, etc. that drove me to conduct a porn search that yielded the find of the two USB sticks. I am always amazed at that radar.

I am truly working on setting boundaries. I have bookmarked the web page you posted. I am determined to be faithful in my attendance at Al-Anon and my participation in the online COSA group, in addition to reading and posting here. At the same time, I recognize that these 'alanon' groups often have the goal of teaching you how to live with a an addict who continues to use. As a result, I determine to take out of these groups the things that are useful and disregard the rest. I do not want to live with an active addict and my activities in this journey concerning this issue are driven by this resolve. Am I saying this yet will find myself doing the very thing I do not want? I pray every day that this will not happen and that God will keep me constantly cognizant of this. I am also going back to IC, although I want my H to come with me for at least the first one or two sessions. There is something about having a neutral third person, a witness if you will, to our words. I think we need our MC to give us feedback on where we are right now. He's also excellent at being very blunt with my H concerning his SA. That's not so easy with my H. His manner is so gentle, so respectful and seemingly genuine that it is not easy to get down and dirty in terms of reality with him.

Anyway, my sweet friend, these are my thoughts. I so appreciate your support, your friendship, your 2 X 4s and your incredible knowledge level on this subject. I hope you know that.


Me: 60 Yrs. (BS)
Him: 60 Yrs.(FWH- life long sex addict)
-2 ONSs followed by an A-2005/06
-cheated while we were engaged
-seems to stray every 30 years or so
D-Day-June 10, 2006
Working on own recovery. His is his!
Married: 37 yrs. Grown ch

Posts: 966 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Canada
Daisiemai
♀ Member
Member # 21158
Default  Posted: 7:48 PM, October 9th (Thursday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am new to being an aware spouse of a SA. My dad, mom and brother all have different degrees of sexual addiction, as well as substance addiction.

My SO's SA started is porn, amature porn and then moved onto a physical state with woman he met on myspace. He has fought his addiction on his own for several years, in the beginning he was young and thought it was hormones and it would go away. Recently (with coming clean about cheating on me) he finally excepted that he had a SA.

My SO has aggreed to IC/MC. My biggest problem is how to go about finding a counselor for us. We have seperate insurance (He has state insurance, I have insurance thru my employer), I have MDD (medicated), I have been sexual abused and grew up in a violent home. He has mild paranoid pshyzophrenia (medicated), he was sexually abused and has a sexual addiction. That is the short list.

Can anyone give me advice on how to go about find a counselor for us?


Me: 31
Mr. A:30
Together 2 years
Dday: 9/16/08
Darling D (5) from past marriage.

Update:
11/6 Mr. A moved out while I am away at a conference.
11/8 Mr. A tells me he wants to be single.
11/13 Mr. A and I decide to take one day at a time.


Posts: 59 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: Lacey, WA
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 8:19 PM, October 9th (Thursday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

1F1B, my dear, dear friend, I'm working on a long response for you but dinner is ready, so I'll be back after I get the Monkey into bed.

Daisiemai

Treatment for SA is rarely covered by insurance. He will likely have to pay out of pocket. To find a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) he can go to:
http://www.iitap.com/find_csat.cfm

You might also want to start there to find a good therapist for yourself.

Here is the info I give to all partners who are newly facing this. R is possible if the SA faces his addiction and gets SERIOUS about getting sober. My advice is to never stay with a SA who is not sober and working a recovery program.

For information on sex addiction here are resources for you:

To get a good general overview of SA (Sex Addiction), check out the wiki entry on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_addiction
There is a lot of good information there.

Online resources:
http://www.sexhelp.com
This is Dr Patrick Carnes' website. He is the expert on SA.

http://www.sa.org
Sexaholics Anonymous
If your partner is a SA and he can face his addiction and seek treatment he'll most likely be directed to a 12-Step group. This is the one I recommend. If you look at their site you'll also find information for yourself that may be helpful. (I personally recommend SA not SAA because SAA is too lax in their definition of healthy sexual behavior. This is my opinion.)

To fully understand SA you both would need to do some reading.

First and foremost you need to read, "Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts" by Stefanie Carnes (This is the absolute best book I've ever read for spouses of SA. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I would have given anything for this book to have been available when I found out 3+ years ago, because at the time, there was nothing!)

"Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes (I recommend you read this after you've read "Mending a Shattered Heart")

and

"Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes
(This book can be overwhelming to spouses so I don't recommend you read it at first, but it would be an excellent read for your husband to start with, if he's willing to face his addiction and seek help, while you read "Mending a Shattered Heart")

If he has a porn habit, he should also read "Porn Nation" by Michael Leahy. Mr. Leahy is a recovering addict who had a serious porn addiction that cost him pretty much everything before he finally hit bottom. (I don't recommend that wives read this book at first. It's too triggery for "just found outs")

For my story and history read my profile.

PM me anytime,
7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
1Forward1Back
♀ Member
Member # 11057
Default  Posted: 6:09 AM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Has anyone else who considers leaving their partners an option if the SA partner acts out, thought about the current financial crisis? Yesterday as we watched the stock market take another dive, I just shook my head. I told my SAH that this situation is so ironic. We may be forced to stay together no matter what just to have a roof over our head. It's not fair, I tell ya'; not fair at all!!!


Me: 60 Yrs. (BS)
Him: 60 Yrs.(FWH- life long sex addict)
-2 ONSs followed by an A-2005/06
-cheated while we were engaged
-seems to stray every 30 years or so
D-Day-June 10, 2006
Working on own recovery. His is his!
Married: 37 yrs. Grown ch

Posts: 966 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Canada
pebbles
♀ Member
Member # 13870
Default  Posted: 8:22 AM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

1F1B

I could have wrote your post. That's been my life exactly. If I copied any of your posts to respond to everybody would end up reading just about your whole post.

I was told decades ago that I was just jealous and needed to get over it by a minister.

I thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn't accept the porn and SA behaviors. I see acceptance of porn and male behavior all over the place, even on this site.

I'm so confused about all of this because I don't even know what male behavior to accept. It's been 3 decades for me too.


me: BS
Dday 7/23/05
This former rock has been blasted into a mound of pebbles.

Posts: 1283 | Registered: Mar 2007
ScribblingMum
♀ Member
Member # 20097
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

7yrs...

I so agree with you & thanks for sharing your info./wisdom w/ these ladies!

*The thing to rememeebr also is this:

SA's act like assholes/angry/blaming WHEN they are in active-addiction mode (even whilest attend. some therapy meetings/fake recovery)
AND, they also act very similar & assholic when they are white-knuckling it & WANT to act out!
Cuz they are jonesing...

Meaning, they are insane/horrendous/delusion/LIARS UNTIL & IF/WHEN they ever get some TRUE SOBRIETY/Recovery.
Comprende?

You won't have to keep asking them IF/WHEN they've attended their Sa meetings,IF they have sobriety, etc.
They will finally be HAPPY to be able to tell you that they DO have sobriety...& then & ONLY THEN
will they be ABLE to make a change.
Until then, they aren't capable of honesty, sanity, right thinking, etc.

So, don't waste your time w/ nagging & trying to control their sobriety...er, lack of.

LET GO. They are either gonna get on the True Recovery Track...or NOT.

Hope this helps a bit...i KNOW it's tough...I'm living it. xoxoxoxox


~ScribblingMum~
D-D 1: 12/23/06 - Porn (dd bust him on-line)
D-D 2: 4-25-08 - Massage P.'s(new act. in pretend recov.)
D-D 3:9-9-08 Caught call m. girl
D-Day 4: 6/30/09 -: free MP g.f./prost.
D-Day 5: 1-10-10: new mp prost's.
~DONE!


Posts: 1529 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: S .CALIF.
ScribblingMum
♀ Member
Member # 20097
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Also, 1F:

YES, I hear ya! I'm in a terrible $$$$ situation. BUT, I have much more serenity that i kicked him out (he's at his mom's house). We are $$$ desperate ...w/ almost zero options...he has no contractor work coming in...

I'm trying to figure out what-the-hell-to-DO, also.

Maybe I'll start a thread like this in General about dealing w/ this subject...


~ScribblingMum~
D-D 1: 12/23/06 - Porn (dd bust him on-line)
D-D 2: 4-25-08 - Massage P.'s(new act. in pretend recov.)
D-D 3:9-9-08 Caught call m. girl
D-Day 4: 6/30/09 -: free MP g.f./prost.
D-Day 5: 1-10-10: new mp prost's.
~DONE!


Posts: 1529 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: S .CALIF.
1Forward1Back
♀ Member
Member # 11057
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hugs to you, pebbles. In some ways, we are in a very unique position. The porn is not a shock and in itself did not cause an acute crisis in our life. For me, it was the discovery of the affair that turned my life upside down.

I have to say that no one ever told me to accept H's use of porn and compulsive masturbation. I never told anyone. It was the one thing this 'big mouth' never revealed to a living soul. I have no idea why. Well, perhaps one reason is that H was considered a saint by those on the outside. Very few people felt I carried the biggest burden in this marriage; my sisters-in-law were some that did. But for the most part, I was considered the lucky one to have landed such a wonderful guy. How do you fight that? You don't. You just start proclaiming his wonderfulness to anyone who would listen I always knew it was wrong. I even told my H on many occasions that it was negatively affecting our sex life. As with other things, he gave me the standard, 'oh don't be so silly' response. He was so good at making me back off anything I wanted to discuss. Because he was so wonderful in so many other ways, I guess I just buried these things.


Me: 60 Yrs. (BS)
Him: 60 Yrs.(FWH- life long sex addict)
-2 ONSs followed by an A-2005/06
-cheated while we were engaged
-seems to stray every 30 years or so
D-Day-June 10, 2006
Working on own recovery. His is his!
Married: 37 yrs. Grown ch

Posts: 966 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Canada
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Content  Posted: 12:18 PM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

1F1B,
Got sidetracked last night but I'm back now.

But remember, I have allowed him to view porn and compulsively engage in self-pleasure for 3 decades and have not set any boundaries. I need to think this through carefully, and I need to work through so many years of accepting it, trying to understand how this intelligent woman who has very few FOO issues, allowed this to go on year after year, decade after decade. Whether allowing myself (and him, by extension) the time to work that through is the right thing to do or not, I cannot say for sure. I may be procrastinating out of fear and confusion. Again, I do not know. But I *do* know that I want to be on very solid ground before I go forward with setting strict boundaries etc. I'm not there yet.

I totally understand. One of the things that website I found says is: "You'll set boundaries when you are ready and not a minute sooner." No truer words have ever been spoken. It was true for me.

7 yrs. I know you were not preaching at me: you were simply stating what *you* would do. I'm just so fragile at times, with this new direction I'm finally taking, one that is *finally* realizing the reality of SA. I so need and want your and others' here approval which shouldn't be so, but there it is. I know you support, care and want the best for me. I adore you and am so thankful you are my friend and such a wonderful resource for all of us here. I have learned more from you, I think, than anything I have read.

I was just saying what *I* would have done and didn't mean it as a judgment on you or disapproval of your choice. Sweetie, I know you know in your heart that I wasn't preaching at you but it sounds like I still hurt you and for that I am genuinely sorry. I believe in apologizing for hurts, even unintentional ones.

I am very aware of my H's tendency to involve himself in activities as an avoidance measure. It's part and parcel of his attempt to manage his addiction rather than deal with it and get sober. This new passion for de-cluttering our physical environment could be just another attempt to do that. He threw himself into his hobby, taking on the top executive position which occupies a large part of his time. He avoided being alone at home by going to the hobby club almost every day. That has recently changed as he recognized what he was doing. He recently spent much less time there realizing it was not filling the emptiness. Whether he is sincere or not, I cannot tell. My trust level is so diminished. As an aside, I am working with H to clean up and organize the clutter. We went to the storage place together this afternoon after working together to choose what needed to go there first.

I'll say again that I do think his recent activities are POSITIVE. I was just trying to be a caring and supportive friend and give you gentle reminder about watching for long term change. But I know you know that.

I have learned that SAs have stashes all over. ... He still may have one. I really don't know. But I do not have the energy nor the inclination to go through every piece of clutter to look for it. That would take hours, even days, and I simply do not have the time nor do I believe it's worth all that energy.

Oh hon, I didn't mean that you should look for it, not at all. You're absolutely right that it's not healthy to search for it. I just meant that might be part of his current motivation and I didn't mean it was a bad thing for him either.

Was it you that posted here that partners know when their SA is using? It was the uneasiness I felt, the realization that I was falling into co-addict behaviour, not sleeping well, etc. that drove me to conduct a porn search that yielded the find of the two USB sticks. I am always amazed at that radar.

I think I posted that you'll know when your partner is sober. I can't recall. Either way it's kind of the same thing isn't it? I too am amazed at that radar that lead me to evidence and was never wrong. In that case, because your gut was telling you that he was using, I think you did the right thing in looking for the evidence. Even if just for your own piece of mind. I do wholeheartedly believe that there is a huge difference between listening to your gut and therefore keeping yourself SAFE and being codependent. Codependent behavior would be obsessively searching ALL THE TIME with no gut feelings, just an overwhelming need to try to control things. That's not healthy. But when your gut tells that something is wrong I think that you should always, always listen to your gut and do whatever you need to do to be safe. If my gut told me that something was off with my rSA, I'd be looking for evidence without an ounce of guilt or remorse. For me right now, I haven't had a gut check in a long time. In fact one of the biggest milestones for us recently was that I gave up my "safety net." I've had monitoring software installed on his computer for a couple of years. I lied outright when he had asked me if I had "messed with his computer." About a week ago, I made some big decisions. I left my wives of SA group because I've decided that in order to continue moving forward I needed to. The group was causing me to spend all my time looking back. I spent 3 years totally focused on his SA and it was just time to stop. That same night on the drive home from saying goodbye to the group I realized that I hadn't checked the software on his computer in months. Several months. So long in fact that I wasn't sure exactly how long it had been. I didn't need it anymore. I didn't WANT it anymore. I hadn't checked the email accounts either which I'd kept open and changed the passwords on thinking that someone would eventually try to contact him again. I realized that that was holding me back too. I first thought, "Ok, next time he has a meeting outside the home, I'll delete the software." but then I realized that wasn't right. I needed to tell him and surrender the consequences. I feared he would be very angry at me for lying to him. But you know what? That's HIS stuff. If he got mad, he got mad. Not my problem. I needed to do the right thing. So when I got home I sat down with him and said, "We've come a long, long way. I took a huge step tonight when I quit my group, but there is one more thing I need to do. I need to tell you something. I've had monitoring software installed on your computer for about 2 years. I outright lied when you asked me if I'd 'messed with' your computer. I'm telling you this because I want to uninstall it. I don't need it and I don't want it. I trust you and I trust your sobriety. I love you. That was a codependent crutch and I want it gone. I fear you being angry at me and I almost convinced myself to just remove it when you weren't here and never say anything but that is not the right thing to do and I'm not responsible for your feelings or anger." He didn't get angry. He said, "Ok. I understand why you did it and thank you for telling me. I'm proud of you and all the hard work you've done. I love you."

I'm sharing that with you so that you can see that it is possible and that if your SA gets sober, you WILL eventually feel safe and secure and you'll JUST KNOW. You'll know when you're safe. You will. Just like right now when you know you're NOT safe. It will come around if he gets sober and is truly working his recovery. There is hope. My hope for you is that his current decluttering is his first step down the right path. I'm here for you no matter what happens.

I am truly working on setting boundaries. I have bookmarked the web page you posted. I am determined to be faithful in my attendance at Al-Anon and my participation in the online COSA group, in addition to reading and posting here. At the same time, I recognize that these 'alanon' groups often have the goal of teaching you how to live with a an addict who continues to use. As a result, I determine to take out of these groups the things that are useful and disregard the rest. I do not want to live with an active addict and my activities in this journey concerning this issue are driven by this resolve.

I am so proud of you! You are starting your own journey on the right path. I agree that you will know when you don't need the groups anymore, just like I did. I agree with you 100% that no one should stay with an active addict if there is any other alternative. I'm happy to see you say it with such resolve. That is HEALTHY. That is good. I'm glad you bookmarked that site. I do think it'll be a good resource for you when you're ready.

I am also going back to IC, although I want my H to come with me for at least the first one or two sessions. There is something about having a neutral third person, a witness if you will, to our words. I think we need our MC to give us feedback on where we are right now. He's also excellent at being very blunt with my H concerning his SA. That's not so easy with my H. His manner is so gentle, so respectful and seemingly genuine that it is not easy to get down and dirty in terms of reality with him.

That's wonderful! Our ICs and our MC has been instrumental in our recovery. We did finally figure out that we needed to focus on the IC first before we focused on the MC. That was really hard for both of us to get our heads around. We kept thinking we needed to focus on the MC and it was backwards. We couldn't do the work in MC that we needed to do because we both had so much work to do in IC first. I think going to MC and setting some goals is a good idea and frankly, if your MC is good about being blunt with your SA that may be helpful. Then you both need to focus hard on IC and set up MC sessions a bit farther apart to do check ups. That's what we did and it worked really well. Now that we're in a much better place individually we are doing more MC to work on general issues unrelated to his SA and my codependent behaviors. We can look at things for what they are and not have it all colored by his SA. I can no longer cop out and blame everything on his SA which is what I did a great deal of the time when we initially went to MC. I'm just giving my perspective and sharing MY experience, I'm not assuming your situation is the same. Just sharing.

I see a big change in you. I really do, and I firmly believe you're heading the right way. YOU MATTER. YOU'RE IMPORTANT. Don't ever forget that.

Affirmations of Your Basic Rights

Nobody has the right to know my mind or my business or to tell me what to think, what to feel or what to do.

I have a right to my own thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs.

What I share with others about matters that concern me is determined by what feels right to me - not what they want.

If people are abusive or disrespectful to me, I have a right to tell them so, to ask them to stop and to avoid them.

I don't have to be nice to people who aren't nice to me.

I don't need abuse or to be disrespected.

I have a need and right to love myself, respect myself and to stand up for myself.

I have a right to be who I am and to harmlessly live my own life regardless of whether or not others like it.

I don't have to feel guilty for not behaving as others might want me to or for not giving other what they
expect of me.

I accept myself just as I am in the moment with whatever thoughts and feelings I have.

I accept my right to my imperfection and shortcomings and don't feel guilty for not being perfect.

I believe that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us - to be treated with love and
respect.

I believe that if I am true to myself and live by the highest truth I know, that things will turn out for the best in the long run.

(blatantly stolen from the boundaries site)

Take care of you, friend!
7

[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 12:35 PM, October 10th (Friday)]


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
birdwatch
♀ Member
Member # 19978
Default  Posted: 4:09 PM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Dear 7yrsbetrayed and others,

Just a short question that I asked a few days ago but do not believe have received any response...

What exactly do you talk about in IC? I know the purpose of IC and the general course of IC for a SA, but what is the purpose of it for me? I feel like I am paying $100 an hour every week to re-hash and re-live the whole ordeal, and I can do that with my best friend for free!

And I would really like to hear from everyone how long the IC continues before MC also comes into the picture?

And how frequent are your IC sessions(e.g. once a week? once a month?)

I am going out for dinner with a girlfriend and trusting WS is "really" going to be home and is "really" watching Doctor Who on TV tonight. I am trying to set boundaries, then let go!

It's thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so to all fellow Canadians, have a great long weekend!

birdwatch


* Known WS since 2001. Me: 37.
* D Day 1 - Mar 2008: Discovered cyber/phone sex, dating sites etc
* D Day 2 - May 2008: Discovered more "stuff". WS admitted to one A - my gut says > half a dozen.
* R'ing. IC & MC. WS is sex addict.

Posts: 377 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Toronto, Canada
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 4:51 PM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What exactly do you talk about in IC? I know the purpose of IC and the general course of IC for a SA, but what is the purpose of it for me? I feel like I am paying $100 an hour every week to re-hash and re-live the whole ordeal, and I can do that with my best friend for free!

In the early stages when I was still processing my hurt and anger I spent a great deal of time talking about what my SA had done (or was currently doing) to me. That is part of the process. Especially if you're in a situation where your SA is not able to hear you yet. That took a very long time for my rSA. If I needed to express my feelings he would often get defensive and I got a lot of "I told you I was sorry! Why do you keep bringing this up?!?" Also normal until the SA gets further into recovery. Now that my rSA is truly in recovery and not *just* sober (yes there is a difference between simple sobriety and real, genuine recovery) it has changed very dramatically. My rSA can HEAR me now. He listens. He does not get defensive and he knows that he needs to let me have my feelings. Once that happened I found that my triggers all but disappeared. I don't have triggers anymore. It's a huge burden lifted from me. Once my rSA could hear me and not get defensive I was able to relax and not hold onto old hurts.

So now in IC, we talk about ME. We talk about the hard work I've done to stop my codependent behaviors. We talk about things that are important to me now that I'm no longer completely intent on only focusing outward and blaming my rSA for every.single.thing that's ever gone wrong in my life.

We talk about my family of origin to get to the root of why I chose a sex addict. We talk about learning to set boundaries and consequences with my FOO which I've never been able to do, especially with my mother.

We talk about what I can do for ME. Setting boundaries and consequences. Learning new ways to express my feelings instead of thinking that anger is the only "safe" emotion.

We spend a lot of time on me learning to own my life. I am NOT perfect. SA partner or not I've made a lot of mistakes and I cannot blame him for everything. This is MY life and I have to live it.

I used to see my IC every other week (we had huge money constraints and still do) but now I'm going once every 3 or 4 weeks, but of course can call him anytime if I need to and he'll fit me in.

For MC we recently decided on going in every 6 weeks for a check up. We are to the place now that we are working on the things that would be there whether he was an SA or not. Normal, everyday stuff that was blown way out of proportion by his acting out and my reaction to it. We're working from the book "Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" and find it very helpful.

Bottom line...it all depends on where your SA is in his recovery and where you are in yours. Counseling is going to look very different for a wife whose husband is still acting out.

Hope that helps.
7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
onceinlove
♀ Member
Member # 19874
Default  Posted: 5:10 PM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Need an opinion from those of you farther down the road than I am.

My WH has been sober in SLAA for 115 days and is doing all the right things. We are both in IC and are making progress. I, of course, am on the wild roller coaster ride and my WH is accepting and encouraging and supportive and I swing from having some hope to feeling like I want out.

He's doing everything I ask him to. Which leads me to my question.

His most recent AP tried to contact him earlier this week. She sent a text message to his email account. WH changed his phone number shortly after D-Day and she hasn't been able to call him (yet).

In the interest of total disclosure and full transparency, he forwarded this email to me and told me what he intended to do (not respond) and asked me if I wanted him to handle it any differently. I told him that no response was the best response.

This was the first time in more than 100 days that the AP had tried to make any contact.

Though I was very glad that my WH told me, the whole thing triggered me badly. I couldn't help thinking "it's because of your shitty choices and your stupidity that we have to deal with these intrusions..." You know the drill.

So...he did the right thing by telling me but it was a serious downer and I felt terrible for several days. So I called an AA/GSA friend of mine who's also in SLAA recovery to get some support and she suggested something that I hadn't considered that seems to run contrary to much of what I hear on SI.

She suggested that when the AP attempts contact that it's a recovery issue that belongs to WH. It's something that he should be talking to his sponsor about, not to me.

What are your thoughts about this?

I think she may be right. All I know for sure is that seeing that email from her really brought all the pain, anger and grief right back in my face.

Thoughts?


Him: WH 48
Me:BS 48
M: 17 years
D-Day: June 17, 2008
WH confessed to 6 APs over 6 yrs, including 2 LTAs; now in SA recovery--approaching 2.5 years of sobriety
Status: R


Posts: 78 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Southeast US
Eternaloptimist
♀ Member
Member # 15029
Default  Posted: 6:27 PM, October 10th (Friday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

onceinlove,

I would want to hear it from my husband if someone tried to contact him. Doesn't mean he couldn't (and shouldn't) talk to his sponsor about it too. But if I ever found out about and he had NOT told me, I'd hit the roof. So, even if it triggered me, I'd want to hear it from my husband FIRST.

to birdwatch,
I see my IC weekly though I'm going to change that to bi-weekly as I don't need it weekly any more. Initially we talked about my anger, my hurt, his stupidity. I cried in a place where I felt safe to cry. I expressed my feelings in a place where it felt safe. She was my lifeline in those early days. She also convinced me to -- finally -- go on ADs. I resisted...but at the same time, spent much of my time wishing I could die. The fact that she recognized my depression when I was putting on my 'party face' for the world was really important. And for me, I didn't tell my friends so I had no support network at all.
Now, I find that talking with her helps me clarify my boundaries. I also find that, even as the words are coming out of my mouth, I can predict her response. So I'm internalizing much of of her healthy response to things, which means I'm needing her less and am able to rely on myself more.
I also find that I think nothing is bothering me and that I'm doing fine. Then I get to her office...and suddenly all this stuff that I've been bottling up comes out. So she also acts as a pressure valve for me.
And -- thanks to OHIP -- she's covered because she's a medical doctor who specializes in psychotherapy. I'm very careful that I don't abuse the privilege of "free" care, but it sure is nice to not have financial stress on top of it.


Me: BS
Him: WS, SA
Married: 12 years
Three kids: 9-year-old D, 7-year-old S, 5-year-old D
D-Day #1: December 11, 2006 (LTA)
D-Day #2: June 17, 2007 (found out about SA)

Posts: 656 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Toronto
cer
♀ Member
Member # 1255
Default  Posted: 10:09 AM, October 11th (Saturday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Has anybody ever done this? I am trying to decide if I am going to pursue divorce and split up my family or keep trying to reconcile. So to save money & have my own space, I moved into our extra bedroom.

Does anyone have any advice for this type of arrangement?


Divorced after 26 yrs of marriage and a decade of infidelity. Thank God it's finally over.

Posts: 94 | Registered: Mar 2003
ScribblingMum
♀ Member
Member # 20097
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, October 11th (Saturday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Cer,

But why did YOU have to be the one to move into the extra bedroom...unless you really preferred that???

And your choice might be a great option for you for now...
I needed my WS to move out to his mom's house...He STILL has the ability to destroy any serenity I have/get whenever we talk about snything but the kids/business stuff...
Mainly, it's cuz he isn't sober and therefore is completely delusional in his thinking & projects blame/anger...INASNITY.

I just have to keep disengaging when he does this & remind us both that until he has SOBRIETY, nothing can change...

Does it seem to be working for you w/ the arrangement you've described?


~ScribblingMum~
D-D 1: 12/23/06 - Porn (dd bust him on-line)
D-D 2: 4-25-08 - Massage P.'s(new act. in pretend recov.)
D-D 3:9-9-08 Caught call m. girl
D-Day 4: 6/30/09 -: free MP g.f./prost.
D-Day 5: 1-10-10: new mp prost's.
~DONE!


Posts: 1529 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: S .CALIF.
7yrsbetrayed
♀ Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 5:49 PM, October 11th (Saturday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

But why did YOU have to be the one to move into the extra bedroom

ScribblingMum,
Because she's setting a boundary but she's not ready for one of them to move out of the house. Her boundary is that they don't share a bedroom. She can ask him to move into the other room but if he says "no" then she's stuck with a boundary she can't enforce. She cannot physically pick him up and put him in the other room. By moving her things she's setting an enforceable boundary. She's in control. She's made the decision. He suffers the consequences. Make sense?
7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
cer
♀ Member
Member # 1255
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, October 12th (Sunday), 2008View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

S.M.,
I do prefer it this way because he probably wouldn't move from our bedroom in the first place. He also won't move out of the house because as an attorney he knows I'd have a very difficult time making that happen until we divorce.

The arrangement is tough though. I would love to not have to deal with his hatefulness and sarcasm that ensue when I dare to act like I am not happy living with a serial cheater. Amazingly enough, no words are ever spoken. He just punishes my lack of a positive attitude by being a jerk.

I'm working on determining my boundaries and the timing of moving forward with my life without him. But this time I want to mean it. No more empty threats.


Divorced after 26 yrs of marriage and a decade of infidelity. Thank God it's finally over.

Posts: 94 | Registered: Mar 2003
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