I find it so disorienting. He is convincing but I'm pretty sure it's not normal to be planning the rest of your life with EVERY person you date.
I just feel sick most of the time. He follows all the usual patterns. I have some of the literature on love addiction, and i read it over and over to remind myself that no matter what he says, he has always said the same thing. With each new person he takes on their identity, their likes and dislikes, and is totally (I mean TOTALLY) immersed in it. He professes the deepest, undying love. Declares it is fate, that they were meant for each other.
Worst of all, he uses the words I used to try to get him to understand what a relationship is supposed to be like to charm them into believing that he is this sensitive soul. Meanwhile, he fights the guilt and lashes out at me and tells me my own words to convince me that this one is different.
I don't know any more. It just hurts a lot and some of the things he says about our relationship are true. But in his words, they are evidence that we shouldn't have been together - his behaviour, according to him, was all about trying to get away from me.
Shite. It just hurts. Should be pleased to be away from this torture for good.
Anyway, I'm so sorry to know that there are so many people in my situation. It's so wrong. It's not a disease, it's a strategy to avoid doing the real work of growing up.
Like my age, it's time to stop counting.
I know my moods will swing and I will have low moments to counterbalance this extreme confidence and energy... but ultimately? I'm healing.
Yes! I have discovered that as a codependent, I can be addicted to the victim status. I still have times where I fantasize about finding out about his A in a different scenario. In that scenario, I find out first, keep it a secret from him, work on my confidence and let him continue the A as if I didn't know. I reveal it to him at the perfect moment. That is my fantasy.
It's as if these fantasies comfort me and it's hard to let go at times. I know them for what they are, but I still fight them from time to time.
I think the book Don't Call It Love by Patrick Carnes may be a good start for you.
He's given me no reason to think that he's acting out right now. But I just don't
trust him. I hate this.
I hate this too. When you know he is not healed or working on it, the trust is actually
mrsmooch, if you go back a couple pages, 7yrs has a bunch of info on things to read to
help you understand these addictions. It would help you to read the SA as well as the
LA, because most of the time they are enmeshed together. Realize your WS is running from
himself, not you. And he is in a very painful life, endlessly creating chaos and
problems, and what he really wants is some inner peace, but the way he is going about it
is the exact opposite to getting what he really wants and needs. There is some bad stuff
going on inside of him, and until he bucks up and gets the strength to face it, his life
will always be chaos and running. The "newest next best thing" is always great until the
fantasy part wears off. Then he is stuck dealing with real life again, which is what he
is running from. Make sense?
That is what my WS has done his whole life. Run, Run, Run. Really weird thing he told
me when we were first dating--I didn't think too much about it at the time, but now it
has become burned in my brain....he said "I am going to stick with this one no matter
what, and make it work". Now I can see it was because every time things got too hard in
the past--he took off! When he is in pain and unhappy, he threatens to leave a lot. At
first it crushed me, now I realize it is his habit to try to escape the pain. And
sometimes when he is forced to face the addiction in some way, when I bring it up (it is
incredibly painful for him, he has soooo much shame and guilt, and he is in pain he will
say "Why don't you just let me go", and I tell him "no, I am working on my end of this
marriage, you make your own choice". I will NOT make it easier for him, and I know deep
down that is not what he truly wants, sometimes I do feel bad for him because he is in
such pain. But I also feel like hitting him on the head with a frying pan, because for
crying out loud, do the hard work to recover and it will ease the pain! Dummy!
When he is being emotionally locked up and wanting to run, he will say things
like---well, this has worked for me in the past. And I tell him, "No, it doesn't--you are
unhappy, and alone--you have no close support--you can't keep running". Apparently this
gets thru to him on some level.
Does anyone else feel that their SA WS is emotionally stuck in
adolescence? Because that is how he first reacts, until he calms down and thinks things
over better. But unfortunately, sexually, he is pretty much always stuck in adolescence.
Another question.....no matter how much support and love I have given him, he is like a
sieve and it is never enough, does anyone else's SO have a problem really hearing and
believing that you are there for him and actually love him?
mrsmooch, I echo what Naive says. He's running from his own pain -- this has nothing to do with you. You became "real", which all partners will eventually. And he can't handle "real" because real life is messy.
OurLifeBack -- good letter. I remember realizing that I got better (this was hindsight -- didn't get it at the time) when I got so tired of my own pain. I was just exhausted, done, spent...and it was at that point that I started climbing back out for ME.
1Forward -- you sound like you're feeling really strong and clear about your boundaries. I'm happy for you.
YES, YES! My husband is a 17-year-old trapped in a man's body. To be honest, it has always been part of his charm for me -- he's energetic, fun, spontaneous...BUT he also forgets to deposit cheques, pick up children when asked, etc. etc. And sexually, yes, that too. I often feel like I have four kids...not just three.
And he is a bottomless pit, though I never realized it. He can't believe that anyone could love him, especially after all this. But he is -- in spite of everything -- quite lovable. Exhausting as hell...but lovable.
There's so much on this site that we can all learn from. Collectively, we're a wise, incredibly strong bunch.
On the Adolescent thing: Holding my hand up real high! My FWH is the most fun, spontaneous person in the world -- energy like crazy, very charming and great to be around. Hates responsibility! Good news is that he finally knows it.
Again - thanks to all of you for the support. Things last night did not go exactly as planned, but turned out okay.
I had left the letter and thought he would get home before I did -- I even stopped at Starbucks to linger. He was interviewing a potential assistant and decided I had to meet her. So, he brought her to Starbucks! The good was him including me in the process, the bad was, we both got home at the same time. (I think part of the reason he wanted me to meet this candidate is that she is really nice, fun and a lesbian. )
Anyway, he read the letter and then asked if we could talk about it. I said sure - it's up to you.
The long and short of it is that yes, he is struggling -- the night before deleting the message from V., he had been on porn sights (I didn't know this, but when he told me he didn't sleep well and had been up, I said "I hope you were doing something healthy." He said it was quite a stinger. I have no idea where these things that come out of my mouth come from!)
So - we move forward.
One of the things that came up gets back at the adolescent thing -- no matter how much I praise him, he needs more. I asked a therapist one time and was told that there should approximately 5 praises to 1 criticism. I have tried to do this. It is just not enough.
One of the things suggested in the "Mending a Shattered Heart" book is to tell each other once a week 1 thing you did to hurt the coupleship and 1 thing your partner did to help your coupleship that week.
Part of my daily journaling is to write down 5 things I am thankful for (today SI made the list!) - So I think I will also try to write - and then tell - my FWH a good thing he did that day for us.
I think part of the reason these people get into this SA in the first place is looking to feel good - because somewhere in their past, they were made to feel worthless...
So, I will focus on me, my needs and my boundaries, but I can do this one thing for him until he does the work to figure out just how great he is!
Question on Recovery Nation -- I know it is not faith based - has anyone who is Christian done this?
From the start, my priority was getting H to tell the truth.But, in hindsight, what I was pressing for was really details. Some of the details were important. For example, for my own health concerns I needed to know if H had unprotected sex. But, as the truth unfolded it never lessened my pain it only added to it. The pain itself
became rather seductive and in a bizarre,convoluted way I became hooked on it. The more he disclosed, the less I trusted, and ultimatley it only hightened my state of despair and depression.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's important to know exactly what you are dealing with if you plan to move forward with your marriage,but knowing the details of the encounters really serves no healthy purpose and infact, probably hinders your ability to heal.
What is important is making the decision to stay or get out. And, as far as that goes, I would caution anyone not to make any life changing decisions when they are in a state of emotional crisis. It's not fair to you or your family because healthy decisions cannot be made when your mind is clouded with doubt, confusion, resentment
My H is a man that led a double life. I didn't really know the sexual addict side of him because this was a side that he didn't expose at home with me or our family. There were parts of him that didn't make sense and there were countless doubts on my part over the course of our nearly 20 years together, but for my part, I found a way to dismiss or ignore what should have been big red flags. I think there was a part of me that just didn't want to know.
His psychological issues of abandonment, idealization, love, anxiety,sex
childhood trauma, ego enhancement,low self esteem were so powerful his method of escape from the emotional angst of it all became his sex and love addiction.
OurLifeBack, I was wondering about Recovery Nation because I'm a Christian. But the first lesson was really good. I just can't post anything on their yet because they haven't sent me an email to say that I can login yet. I'm going to Celebrate Recovery WASA but I think I need more than just a share type meeting. I need something to work on me.
And there was some other things in your post that I'm going to go back and read...about the 5 things.
I'm glad that you got to talk to him about the letter and he was responsive.
I'm so exhausted about this all, too. Yesterday I just really wanted to quit. But I know that I will give it some time to just see what happens and how I really feel when I'm not in this crisis mode.
And yeah, I think that is my SA, too about the running. I don't think he knows how to fight for something and that scares me.
He's being sweet to me at least. That's something.
May be to help the newer members here, from what I have seen on this Thread, some commmon "explanations" of SA include:
* SA's inability to deal with stress in daily life; using porn, cybersex, phone sex, etc. to escape from the stress; escalating to dating and sex; and "needing" to act out to deal with stress.
* SA was abused or otherwise had some traumatic experiences earlier in life. He needs love and validation to deal with the underlying self-esteem and abandonment issues.
* SA used porn/cybersex/phone sex for a variety of reasons; convinced himself the activity was harmless by compartmentalization; become addicted to the thrill (and the lies); then the old ways of acting out failed to generate the same thrill, thus activites were escalated in the hope of acheiving the same thrill.
* SA one way or another became addicated to sex (either porn, full blown sex, etc.), like an alcoholic becoming addicted to booze; felt ashamed, self-loathing, guilty; the only time they got "temporary relief" from those feelings was when they acted out; so they acted out, which made them feel bad, which then made them act out, hence the cycle continued.
The above explanations are not exhaustive, nor are they mutually exclusive.
Having listed them, I wish to switch the focus altogether. I have read books, searched websites and spoke with my counsellor about SA to try to understand SA. I am glad I did that. HOWEVER, like many of you, I got myself to an absolute and utter exhaustive state. there was a point in time when I decided that I need to take care of ME. I need to listen to MYSELF. I need to learn about MYSELF. I need to focus on ME and MY healing. It is as important for us to understand SA, as for us to understand our feelings and healing as a result of the SA. Please do not forget that; because you are worth it.
Take care of yourself, and each other.
[This message edited by birdwatch at 4:47 PM, December 4th (Thursday)]
An update about checking up on Mr. Birdwatch...I saw my IC yesterday. I am having a one-week experiment. I will not check up on Mr. B for one week. I will write down how I feel everday - both emotionally (e.g. I feel anxious) and physicaly (e.g. I cannot sleep). I will then report to my IC next week.
Next week, IC and I are also going to discuss my checking up on him in the context of our conflicting interets/needs:
(a) my legitimate need to know if Mr. B cheats again, and consequently my legitimate right to end the relationship;
(b) Mr. B's interest in not telling me if he cheats again, knowing that the consequence of telling me would be the termination of the marriage. (not that it will make him right, but that's the reality of things.)
I wonder if any of you who are struggling with checking up or not may speak with IC and do the same experiment I am doing....
[This message edited by birdwatch at 4:49 PM, December 4th (Thursday)]
The mind really is a strange thing in all this--I was reading your post 1f1b about the fantasizing about finding out about the A in different scenarios, and I do that a lot. I fantasize about finding more evidence and what I will say and how I will react and they are in a strange way kind of addicting and somewhat comforting, because I fantasize I will find out something else really really bad that is a total dealbreaker for me,
Yup. For me, one of my co-addictions was an active fantasy life which helped ease the loneliness that was there due to the lack of intimacy. I didn't know the reason I did this. I tended to blame it on lessons learned from my mother. I had no idea my H had issues with intimacy. All I knew I was not happy.
My fantasies were my comfort. I could hardly wait until I had down time, or it was bed time, so I could fantasize. It comforted me like a warm blanket.
To try and break that now is so difficult.
The fantasies about the A stuff was also about feeling the fool. I felt powerless in all of it; still do at times. So fantasizing about having the control in his A compensates for that.
It's hard to let go of that as well. But it is what it is, or rather, it was what it was. I need to rest in that.
Bird -- I love the idea of trying not to check for one week! I have almost made it through day one!!! I came real close just a moment ago to signing on to his gmail -- I didn't!
I think the important thing is that checking makes ME feel bad -- I need to take this control back.
Yesterday someone said the they were trying find security by checking - but we aren't due to the SA. We all must let go and let them fight their battle while we fight ours.
I got in the mail: Sexual Anorexia, Out of the Shadows and a Guild to the 12 steps -- will report how all are.
I highly recomment again Mending a Shattered Heart -- the chapter on Couples is fabulous...
So COSA will be a start for me, I don't think they have meetings too close, but I think they have online support.
although I did not try their support group at all.
A few weeks back, i also saw another site as I was exploring the internet for help and it was very good, but I can't seem to find it again, If I come across it I will let you know.
that website has links to a lot of different christian help websites. May be worth checking out if you have the time.
I'm sorry that you were triggering all over the place.
I'm having a hard time with that right now, too. Normally I go to a mommy message board to escape and yesterday a lady was talking about her BIL having an A with a MW. I feel so bad for that woman's husband.
Last night we did talk some and he told me that in the past, he had only been trying to get help to save our marriage. And we can see how well that went. But now he wants to do it for him and for us. I don't know that I believe him but I hope that he does really want the help this time and makes it work.
I just hate this rollercoaster ride.
Oh, and he did something that he's never did before...he apologized. I have mixed feelings about that. I know that he's still so compartmentalized that he's not in real touch with his feelings but I'm glad that he was being sensitive enough to know that I'm hurting.