I first found out about about one of SAH's Affairs summer of 2007. That one was from summer 2003 to summer 2005. I also found out at that time (from my friend, one of the OW) about a brief period of time prior to that that he had oral sex with a previous client. Then in December he came clean (on his own, I did not suspect) about one that occurred through work from Oct 2006 to April 2007.
As you all know, it was a horribly painful experience.
In Winter 2008, very slowly and painfully he began to share his webcam activities and the SA possibility. I still felt he was too private about his time at work. SAH would share some of his day but I still had a feeling, that it wasn't everything. I felt I had all the big details of As, but I did not feel a part of his regular everyday life. He stalled on making any kind of appt with a CSAT.
By the end of summer 2008 I was really beginning to detach from him as I had too many struggles with the continuing feeling of him shutting me out, although he assured me my feelings were justified due to the past, blah blah blah. SAH finally had an appt with CSAT and was definitely SA, in Aug.
He began SAA in Sept, Group therapy mid-September, and has missed only one meeting out of 3 times a week since then. He has a good sponsor and did his First Step a week and half ago.
In November after about 45 days of abstinence, he relapsed. He lied about it, his behavior changed, then admitted with my asking.
Began 90 again Jan 1, Did First step at SAA, then the Wednesday after the Friday that he did his First Step, he acted out. I came home and he told me within about 10 minutes, talked with sponsor etc. I saw that as a positive.
Yesterday he had his IC and then group therapy. In IC he admitted to a lie he had not admitted to anyone previously.
Sometime last year, between March and beginning of Aug, he "acted out" with a female coworker in parking lot at work, after many inappropriate conversations.
I know this was a lot of background and maybe not necessary, but the amount of time dealing with this is half my issue.
I get that this is an addiction. I have waited for 6 months of his starting recovery to begin to feel that he is open and honest. I get little tidbits of it, just enough to think it is going to continue.
It kills me that he could have done that AFTER seeing my agonizing pain repeatedly for more than a year.
He claims he wasn't looking at porn or acting out otherwise. So he didn't even escalate just went right to a person for his fix?
I am so intensely angry that he claims to not even know WHEN?
I am struggling to get to that point of what do I need to do for me?
I know this is progress for his recovery, he wants to be done with the lies.
I think that his "I don't remember" is part of his dishonesty.
Today, I want to be done with him.
I know that might change tomorrow, but I do not want keep letting the little things go, because he is "trying."
Any help on directing my thoughts into a healthy direction today?
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 2:37 PM, February 17th (Tuesday)]
I just can't seem to get back to the calmer state I was in. The anger with the lies over the past year, is overwhelming me. I can't concentrate, have an intense headache from trying not to cry.
Why can't I get that "focus on yourself" back today?
I know I can't control his choices. I know it was last year, but 6 months of "recovery" had me hopeful.
Do I just look at the positive here?
Am I trying to control something and just don't realize it, by wanting to know when/how?
I also think you need to let yourself cry. It is very healing and important. I hate to cry, but I am letting myself do it more and more, and I find it washes an awful lot of toxins out of me. Poisonous thoughts and feelings, along with physical symptoms, all come out with the crying. I feel drained afterwards, but usually strangely peaceful.
It sounds like he is trying and I know relapses are not unusual. He probably needs the encouragement for the progress he has made, but you certainly need an outlet for your anger, because you are entitled to it.
I have vented here in the general forum, turned on loud music in my car and screamed along, complained on the phone to my sister and mom, and walked around the house muttering under my breath calling him names. All of that helped me release the anger that I feel, in mostly non-harmful ways.
Once or twice, he did get to actually hear my anger, and I am not sorry about those, because I do feel he has to know this has affected me negatively also, but I try not to overwhelm him when I am going thru a particularly angry phase.
Just my feelings and opinions, I don't know if they are very helpful or not, but it seems to be working for me.
A turn in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.
I think NaiveAgain is right in that you can't expect a straight trajectory toward success in terms of your own healing. You're going to have good days and bad days. This has been an incredibly traumatic experience and just because you backslide a bit (have days where you just need to cry, pull the covers over your head or whatever) doesn't negate the progress you've made. It just means that some emotion needs to be acknowledged in order to move past it.
I think it's very hard to diagnose anyone without knowing their whole story. Would he even consider doing one of the online surveys of sex addiction? The bottom line is that if he won't admit to either addiction, all the marriage counselling in the world won't help. As long as he's an addict -- to alcohol, sex, whatever -- he's incapable of having a healthy marriage with you. Sorry but that's the hard truth.
Today I am still very angry.
I am feeling so defeated that he could have done that last year while he heard me emotionally bleeding daily about the previous As I had learned about. It was still new.
That hurts. What is really so very painful is that he doesn't remember? He doesn't remember when it happened, what month!
Ok so I could buy that story if he had been sneaking looking at porn and acting out. SAH says he wasn't. Is any of this even believable? Why would he come out with this admission but not all clean?
Is it to relieve himself of the big burden off his chest, but not all of it? Just enough to feel better?
I looked at emails yesterday, one of which, last year, was in regards to this person. Very transparent forwarding me email she sent asking if she could ride with him across town for a meeting. He was already there, so he couldn't.
Those are the sort of things that help build trust, and now it is only part of the big lie of our life.
How can I ever trust him?
How can I believe someone with this ability to cover his ass doesn't remember???
AND I was sensitive, hurt, asking about his day and the people in it, and I never thought something like that had happened. He was too remorseful.
Am I being unreasonable to think that he is not being honest with me (or himself) that he has no clue about when/how it happened?
I guess I am scared here, because I know I have to take care of me, and I know if he doesn't tell me more without this ignorant crap, I have to let this marriage go. I can't control whether he does it.
He is trying to convince me: "searching emails to find a time frame."
Sorry I feel like I am babbling here, but it helps to put it into words. Half the time I find my answer as I reread my question. The other half I feel blind and lost.
I did want to say, though, that posting your thoughts does help a lot, even when you don't get many answers, because it does help us sort our thoughts out some, which I have found is absolutely crucial when going thru this type of stuff.
Half the time I find my answer as I reread my question. The other half I feel blind and lost.
I think I want to know if I am being too harsh, maybe I should accept that he admitted it, and leave it at that. It is progress for him.
I worry about my tendencies to try to help, being in the way of my seeing this for what it is.
More lies, and still rationalizing and not taking ownership of what he did.
I am probably avoiding that answer myself.
When I do, I need to do something about it to protect myself.
I am sorry you have found yourself amidst infidelities and possible SA.
Please be assured you are listened to and can find support here. Every single one of us has gone through, or are going through, the same journey on which you are embarking.
I am repeating the comments I sent to another member of this Thread earlier this month:
1. Look after yourself first
Any consideration of rebuilding the marriage or husband's healing would be futile at this stage because you are simply not in the physical and emotional space to do so.
Visit a doctor to do a FULL set of STD tests. Also seek advice for possible medicine for insominia, panic attacks and/or depression.
Visit a counsellor for yourself.
If you are working, ask for a one or two weeks' vacation time.
Remember to eat and drink water/juice. I was so distraught in the beginning that I threw up all solid food. So I bought a pack of protein shake, and at 9 am, 1 pm and 7 pm every day, I forced myself to have a shake, a glass of water and one fruit.
Find support through a trusted friend, join a therapy group for spouses of SAs, and/or post here.
2. Get educated
There are many books and websites with credible information. Dr. Patrick Carnes has a number of books. Mending a Shattered Heart is recommended for spouses of SAs. Before that though, I recommend the book After the Affairs (sorry, I don't remember the author's name but sure you can google it). This book deals with affairs in general(not specific to SA). I find the book highly relevant, yet less emotionally charged than the books that are specific to SA.
3. Your husband and your marriage
While you are not in a state to help your husband's recovery or to rebuild the marriage, you should set boundaries with consequences. Others here, like 7yearsbetrayed, can give you better advice on that.
Your husband should have no contact with OWs.
You husband should see a therapist who is trained in SA, or preferrably a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. Only a CSAT can make a proper diagnosis of SA, though there are websites that have on-line questionnaires to give some indication.
Your husband may join a 12-step group.
Marriage counselling comes much later when both of you and your husband have been sufficiently healed individually.
I wish to emphasize that too often, we focus on our husband's recovery and neglect our own. In the beginning, your mental health is shattered. You must focus on you and look after yourself. Only after you regain some level of emotional stability and wellness can you support your husband and rebuild the marriage (if that's what you want).
Finally, it is normally recommended that no major decision be made in the first year following discovery. You have to heal (which in itself is a painful process, that may uncover baggages from your own past that need to be addressed). You need to be emotionally well enough to make informed decisions.
It is not your fault. Something terrible has happened to you. You have been betrayed by someone who had broken a vow. When someone sets out to lie and deceive, and when you keep to your own vow of trust and monogamy, it's not your fault to not have discovered earlier.
You will survive. You are being thought of by everyone here. We are all cheering you on. Don't give up. Take care of yourself. Post as often as you want and PM any of us if you wish.
I feel terribly sorry for your pain. Your suffering is palpable. Just know that you are not alone, you are heard, and we understand.
Eternaloptismist is right. Your healing is a journey. There will be good days and bad days. Through this process, you will get to know yourself better.
You have passed the initial stage of utter shock. The hysterical crying and acute anxiety attacks have passed. Now, you are entering the stage of having to confront what had happened and your own feelings.
What helped me immensely was to make a list of all my emotions. It took me a week, and the list filled a page. That was the first time I became honest with myself and got in touch with all my feelings. I was stunned to recognize the wide range of emotions, sometimes contradictory.
I had circulated my list previously. If you wish a copy, I will re-post it again. Let me know.
Allow yourself to feel all the emotions. Do not censor them. Emotions do not go away just because you ignore them.
Yesterday, I told my counsellor most movies have plots about affairs, which are now serious triggers for me. I asked her if I should make a conscious effort to stop myself from feeling angry/sad/etc. when watching such scenes, and adopt coping strategies like, I don't know, walking away or play a Sudoko.
Her response surprised me. She said, "You can avoid the feelings, and that's one solution. But I want better things for you. I want you to heal, not to avoid the feelings and merely survive." A light bulb moment occured. I should experience all my emotions, however nasty and messy, because I DESERVE to feel them, because I AM WORTH IT. Experiencing the emotions is not a negative thing - it is rather an affirmation of my value as a human being, a way of me giving myself permission to be human, to be myself.
Don't be afraid. Please seek professional help. It is less scary to share your feelings in a safe setting with a professional where you feel supported and secured.
Please keep us posted on your progress. You are a very strong woman and you will get through this. I know you will.
I can beat your chocolate cake - I am having a Big Mac and chocolate fudge sundae as we speak!
Just got back from an appt. with MC -- our first. He seems great. Very focussed on what we want from counselling and how we're going to achieve what we want. I like feeling like we have a "plan".
My husband, on the other hand, is a weenie. He deflects any of his own responsibility for being where we are (!!!) by bringing up ridiculous things I've said or done in the past that have no bearing on today but manage to get us off-topic.
Drives me crazy. But this seems to be able to steer him back onto the path, so that's good.
My SAH said he thought he might be SA a year ago,after my learning of 3 As, but of course, did nothing about it, except act out some more.
That is my anger, and I accept it.
Second part of it being the idea that he has been in SAA and Group therapy and recently more frequent IC for 6 months. It's hard to see even more time passed without the healing I wish we had.
I have gone to COSA when I can and have attended a Spousal Support Group twice a month since September, too. Sanity-saving.
I think I wanted someone to tell me "yes, it is different this time, because he...."
Wouldn't it be so much easier if someone else could just give me the answer?
I have such a hard time remembering that this intelligent man (so intelligent he has covered his tracks completely!) can do things that just defy logic.
The lightbulb for me last night was when he was finaly talking about this incident last year. I asked if there was any mention of him being married.
Apparently she asked if he had ever had an affair before. This is before the act.
His response was "yes, multiple. That is why I am in counseling."
Then without pause proceeded to continue with what they intended in the parking lot at work.
I just cannot wrap my mind around it. BUT I do not have an addicted mind. Hard thing to remember, that he doesn't think the same way, especially in that state.
Eternal, your question about BJs in the parking lot was ON the spot with his situation. Made me laugh to remember that others deal with this bizarre behavior too.
SAH must be improving a little. He did tell the IC when he confessed to her, that it was not the act that would devastate me, but the lies that have continued. A clue, he has one!
End result for me after three days of another disclosure is that I will continue to take care of me. Trust my instincts, and keep trying to live healthy. I am still sad, but that is good. It is a situation I should be sad about.
I am thankful to have this place to talk, even if it seems I am unaware what question I am even asking.
Side note: Must take a special kind of sad woman who talks to a man at work for a week, and goes off to the parking lot to watch him with nothing in return!? I don't get it. That is a probably agood thing.
[This message edited by too trusting BW at 2:20 PM, February 19th (Thursday)]
I think so much of what trips us up is that we expect our addicts to think and behave like "normal" people.
This is so much where my problems lie.
I have, for so long, thought and believed the SD was a "normal" person. Unfortunately, he is not.
We are now D, so I really need to just focus on myself and my kids and remove myself from wondering whether he is truly NPD, a sociopath, an SA or all of the above. Those are his issues now...and my children's, if they have to deal with him. I just have to pick up any pieces if he decides to hurt them, too...which I already know because of my step-D that he will hurt them.
I will have to read up more on this thread...get to know all of you and your stories. Are many of you D or are you trying to R?
(((((HUGS TO US ALL)))))
I just wanted to say I'm GLAD YOU ARE ALL HERE--in THIS thread. I really DO feel WE (partners of sex addicts)are in a special category.
I read the Investigative Tips thread...and although I think it could be really helpful for some things...I get conflicted cuz I'm in S-Anon/Husband in SA 12 Step...and I know it's best to learn NOT to snoop/investigate, etc. That it will drive you crazy-mad & waste precious time & energy...
~HOW DO YOU ALL FEEL about this? Do you check into stuff if you get a gut feeling...what?
**Sometimes, I think even our seemingly "gut feelings" are just paranoia from all of the trauma we've been put through...so we are suspicious even when things are fine & our H's are doing well in Recovery...
Sigh...just wanted to check-in sort of...
My experience has been that God will show me what I need to know...
I'm just sortat in a daze right now. I can't remember anything at all.
I don't know who asked and I have a bad headache and just don't want to read too much, but yes, my SAH feels very bad and guilty when he acts out, just like a regular addict. He had started to totally be numb by his 3rd and 4th ONS however.
badlyhurting, we are trying to R. It's very hard for me right now, though. I just feel like I'm not going to be able to get over this. I just don't know. It's hard to say from day to day.
Anyway, like I mentioned before, my head is hurting so I need to go.
I've been walking around braindead all week, don't know what I want to do, keep getting conflicting messages, can't work on the house, can't seem to move forward, just dazed and confused!
I'm sorry to hear so many of you are also having bad weeks--hope4tomorrow--I know how you feel, my H lives out of state, so I never really know what he is doing. I trusted him when he first left for his job, but no longer. I outright told him tonight that I only trust some of what he tells me, but if he goes 100% into recovery, that will change. He is just half-assing it right now (trying to do it on his own, he is making some progress, but not where he needs to be going, and I need to detach again, which is harder when they start trying to work with you).
ScribblingMum, I used to check up like crazy, then realized it was only driving me crazy, and I missed what he was doing anyway, for the longest time. So now, I mostly try to let it go, right now I have an uneasy feeling about his new phone, but if something starts hitting me hard in the gut or stares me in the face, I will check it out. Especially since he says he is working on it, and trying to do better. (We'll see)
He also told me again that he wants to look at condos on the beach (used to be my dream), but I told him the 100% truth tonight, that it makes me uneasy, with so much access to women without much in the way of clothes, and some sunbathe topless out there on that stretch. He doesn't like having his living choices confined so much, but, I can't help it, those are my feelings, and we'll see what he does with them.
We went for months not hardly ever bringing the subject up, because of his anger problems. I worked quietly on detaching and figured I would need to move on. But then, he calls for an anullment, cries that he doesn't want to lose me, says he has a problem and is working on it (no counseling, though), and now, since he doesn't threaten to leave me anymore, and he will tolerate a few questions, I have been talking about this stuff a lot!
I have so many questions I want answered, why did he feel it was okay to lie, why did he get so mad when I asked him if he was acting out (when he was and lying about it), why does he feel this need, etc....
He has explained a lot of it to me, how he grew up with this stuff, and it wasn't a big deal in his home. And tonight, I asked him why he would get so angry, was it to basically shut me up so I wouldn't ask any questions, and he admitted yes, he was embarassed and he didn't like getting caught. So he seems to be getting more honest with me, seems to be looking at his problems, and I am so happy to finally be getting some truthful information for a change, but he still got angry tonight and said I need to leave it alone for a while, I am pushing too much.
He brought the subject up, with a question for me about something, and I kind of ran with it. It is so important to me to understand this, and the only way I know he is thinking about this and working on it is if he tells me what he has figured out, what do I need to be doing here, and do I need to back off, I know this is new for him and he is working on it. But he keeps talking about me moving down with him, and I have to tell him I can't until he gets help. And that starts the whole subject going again, and he gets frustrated. I am trying to be 100% honest with him, and also transparent as well, to let him know what my thoughts are (because I have been very good at covering my negative thoughts so he wouldn't feel so uncomfortable), but we had such a superficial relationship. Now it is more intimate, but there is so much more fighting.
says he has a problem and is working on it (no counseling, though)
If and until he sees a CSAT and gets sober you are banging your head on a brick wall. NOTHING will change.
He's playing you. He's trying to manage and enjoy his addiction.
That's the cold hard truth NA.