I am sorry you are struggling.
I am not certain how far along your husband is in his recovery if at all. Recovery from SA is complicated by two factors: (a) there is/are usually childhood or other traumatic event(s) involved, and the SA has to explore and resolve these past events; (b) the SA uses acting out as a way to deal with stresses and other negative emotions; and thus, recovery requires giving SA new tools to deal with the unavoidable stresses in life.
It sounds like your husband lacks the tools to deal with the responsibilities and stresses that come with life. Hence, his avoidance and procrastination in completing chores or dealing with finances. Also, it sounds like your husband is struggling with dealing with negative emotions. To avoid stresses and unpleasantness, he is desperately trying to create an artifical fantasy world where everyone is happy. Also, when you are unhappy, it triggers his self-blame and guilt (i.e. he knows he is the one who caused your anguish and unhappiness) and naturally, he doesn't want to experience those feelings.
Whether your husband is acting out or not, I think he is struggling with the more fundamental issues of how to deal with negative emotions and stresses. May be he has never known how to do that. It would be beneficial for him to talk candidly with his IC.
I am not sure if this helps, but at least this offers another hypothesis to your situation.
I am so happy for you that your husband has taken the first step in recovery, which is often the most scary step. Now that he has support, the secret is out, and he has the resources to help him, his recovery is promising indeed.
I know it will be difficult at times, but do let him know how proud you are of him, and that you will support him. Your husband needs encouragement and compassion more than ever.
Finally, and may be this is the most important point, you should re-focus on yourself. Now that your husband has support, how about you? Are you speaking with an IC yourself to resolve your feelings emotions and to explore other areas of your life? Are you joining a support group for yourself, if possible? Are you taking care of yourself and seeking some joy, e.g. having a girls' night out, joining a book club, signing up for a cooking class, joining a gym, or having a massage?
The SA does not only affect your husband, and recovery does not only involve him. You were affected gravely and your recovery is just as critical and necessary.
Again, I am smiling for I am happy for you.
I haven't been following your story in this thread but I read your profile.
Anyway...just wanted to say that (with my limited knowledge) your latest post sounds good. Sounds like your H is doing the right thing & without you having to tell him to do it.
I'm happy for you.
I over the last few days am getting trickle truth disclosure but with many lies & denials thrown in there. He keeps saying that's it, that's all. He is the worst/best liar I have ever met. Must be the best because I am not easily fooled by liars. This will make it terribly hard if not impossible for me to R even if he gets recovery.
I got off track. The question is...I told him at beginning of relationship any cheating & it is over. I took him vowing that there would be no more chances...no wonder he keeps lying. These last few days I've found out there are many incidents before Dday #1 & since Dday #1. If I R with him now it shows that my boundaries aren't boundaries at all. The thing is I didn't know he was a SA. I don't know if I should give him another chance if he gets recovery or if that will just tell him he can do whatever he likes & I will stay.
I was in a false R with a SA who can't seem to stop lying.
Other stuff, oh yes, I take very good care of myself - do volunteer work, spending time doing things I enjoy, exercise, etc.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
I'm not sure what to say -- it's a tough situation. I, too, always said that cheating was a dealbreaker (can't imagine any of us saying, "hey, if you cheat, that's okay...we'll work it out. ).
I was so confident of my husband's fidelity -- never dreamed he'd cheat on me at ALL let alone a zillion times. And after DDay#1, I kept asking, "Is this it? I'm not going to find out anything more?" He assured me that was all there was to know.
Fast forward to DDay #2 and there was a WHOLE lot more to know. However, at that point, I insisted that either he tell me everything and give me the chance to digest it or I was going to walk out right then. You know how they sometimes give people with firearms the chance to bring them into the police station - no questions asked. A chance to unburden themselves without risk of prosecution? That's basically what I gave my husband. In my case, it worked, in the sense that he gave me all the details I wanted (at one point, I said "enough. No more...") and we could move forward with total honesty. The difference was that my husband had already been in recovery for four months at that point (unbeknownst to me) so he had some info from his IC about the importance of honesty and full disclosure. Your husband is still operating from the "if she really knew me, she could't love me" state of mind.
Not sure if I've clarified anything. Just sharing my own experience.
In my case I had more than one Dday- After the first (before we were married) I told him that if it happened again, I was gone. The only reason I stayed (after the 2nd- we were married by then) was because we found out about SA and he got in to treatment. We hadn't had any counselling before, and I had no idea about the extent of the problem. I told him that the only way I would even THINK about staying was that he had to agree to my boundaries- If he was not in recovery, I was gone. That was what I needed to feel safe enough to stay. I have lots of other ones since then, and he knows what they are. My boundaries are for me, and I will enforce them if I have to. They are not any attempt to control his behavior- Just what will happen for me if he decides that he will ignore my needs for safety and well being.
I made sure he knew that I wasn't giving him a free pass to put me through all of this at a later date... and to have me still stick around. I felt like without a previous knowledge of SA, I couldn't make a full, informed decision without seeing how I would feel about him being in recovery, and if I would even want to...
I gave myself time to make that decision. And I told my H that I hadn't decided what I was going to do. He could decide what his path would be, and I still might end up leaving. But as of yet- a year later- I'm still here and I don't regret my decision.
Hope you find your way through this mental maze of craziness! It can be really tough, but if you can try to take some steps back to try to figure out what you need, and what you want... and try to make those decisions from that viewpoint. Obviously, none of us WANT to be in this situation, but what I mean is, if he decides to commit to recovery, do you still want to be with him? If not, get out. If so, you can give yourself some time to decide if he is serious and is willing to get help- The choice is yours and you have all the power to make those decisions. Good luck!
Still pregnant and hoping for the best.
I will be back when I can. I do check every day to see if I have PMs so if anyone needs anything please do PM me and I will answer.
Love you all!
birdwatch - we are not in reconciliation at all anymore--I have been working on detaching and moving on, as he is not in recovery--still just lying to himself and me. We have agreed that we are basically separated. I have no interest anymore in r, I am just sick to death of the person he is and I don't really know if I have the patience anymore even if he does go into recovery, to wait until he starts figuring things out. I was so in love with this guy, and tried for over 7 months to get him to even admit a problem, and all I got was blameshifting and denial and big huge lies. He has been quite abusive towards me with his addiction, and I just can't see myself at this point even ever liking him again, after some of the things he has said & done to me.
He has not seeked anullment yet, and we are talking to each other most days, but there is nothing there between us anymore. I may go down to see his new condo that he just got, but I won't be staying. But the things I was posting about were some of the things I had to deal with, and he still tells me he is not dealing with his problems (he doesn't offer--I just ask him, hey, have you called the IRS yet? --It is not stupid little stuff he is hiding from!)
His whole life is chaos and mess, and I don't want to have to be his mother anymore, so I am letting him fester in his own chaos, and not bailing him out anymore, and just pretty much staying out of his life, and we just basically talk about the weather.
My dd 10 yrs still loves him and wants to live with him, and I am trying to slowly prepare her for the fact we won't be moving, it is sad.
ETA: Oh, sorry, I forgot to add all your insights are completely dead on, and I do believe that is why he doesn't address his issues. And, he does not have an IC, as he is not going to tell any stranger his "private" stuff. Although, he will show any stranger his private parts, if they ask.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 6:54 AM, April 15th (Wednesday)]
I am terribly sorry you have come to the stage where R is impossible. However, it appears to me that you have made that decision after careful consideration, especially in view that your husband is still in denial, let alone seeking help.
You are a "veteran" member of this Thread yourself, so anything I might say might seem trite.
Even though you have decided not to R, that does not mean you have fully healed from the experience. You would need to regain your sense of self and to explore your own past in order to create a new life for yourself. It will truly be tragic if you let feelings or issues unresolved, then engage in another addictive/abusive relationship in the future. What I am trying to say, in not a very eloquent way, is that your decision not to R should not signal the end of your own efforts to heal and recover. If anything, your decision has freed up precious time, energy and money previously invested in your husband, and allowed you to channel these resources on yourself and your daughter.
Mending a Shattered Heart has an entire chapter on what and how to tell your children. That, in conjunction with advice from a professional, may help you and your daughter.
Keep strong. You are doing the right things. Take care of yourself and love yourself, because all of us love you.
I am in IC (have been since even before d-day), and this was the exact issue we discussed this week! I told her I wanted to figure out why I am drawn to emotionally distant types of guys, and how can I fix this. I don't want another relationship with a guy that is not "there" for me. I am enrolled in college for the fall, and taken many steps to move on and detach, but you are right, there are still some core emotional things in there that I probably have not accessed yet, and that is what we are trying to explore in counseling.
Thanks again, I love all you guys too, and I hope things are going better for you right now!
I may be blacking out a bunch of stuff from my 'family-of-origin' and childhood experiences, and may just have taken minor things and been an over-reactor...
I don't recall being abused, physically or mentally, or any specific child-hood trauma...my dad is an adult child of an alcoholic, and is a workaholic -- my mom is now an alcoholic, but I don't recall her drinking when I was growing up...
Does it just take time and therapy to figure this all out? Am I in denial?
Again, he did this all his own, found the time in the middle of the day, no reminders or prods from me at all. Gooo Jekyll!
He's going to another meeting tonight (he couldn't go last night b/c of a work function). He told me he's considering doing two meetings, but not just if he's emotionally up for that yet.
Given your parents' addictions, I suspect there has likely always been an unhealthy approach to feelings and family dynamics. That said, however, I think co-dependency is often described as "normal" reactions to an "abnormal" situation. In other words, when you're faced with living with an addict, many codependent behaviors stem from simply having to get through the day.
Another caveat, however...I suspect that people with really clear, healthy boundaries would recognize addictive behavior as unhealthy long before those of us who grew up in unhealthy homes would. Behavior that would "tip" someone else off as just weird or wrong, we're able to write off as "stress" or that we're not doing something right.
Not sure if I'm making it clear or if I'm confusing you further.
I think the key is to recognize the co-dependent behaviors you engage in now and work on replacing them with healthy behaviors. For me, I've always covered for my husband -- trying to protect him from the consequences of his actions, such as forgetting occasions, missing appts., etc. Now, I let him deal with it himself. Seems little but for me, it's a big change.
that sounds great!
EO - thank you. I have copied your words to save (this thread moves so fast these days it is hard to locate reference to re-read!) to read again. It does make sense. I think I was looking for dramatic stuff - like raging alcoholics, child abuse and such. And of course, here in the good ole US of A, we consider workaholism a virtue!
The biggest co-dependent behavior I have uncovered (so far) is bailing everyone out...they get into some kind of a mess and I go in with all guns blasting to fix it. It sure is hard not to do that! It is hard to not tell them what to do - when I KNOW what they should do! (If I only were better at knowing what I should do )
Do have a funny to share along these lines. One of rSH's other addictions is food - which at this point is not acknowledged by him. In trying to not tell him what to do, I have not pointed this out.
He told me the other night he wanted my opinion on something. After he got past some of this initial work on his SA, he would like to go to one of those fat camp places for a week to get his body cleansed out and learn how to eat and exercise properly.
I simply told him I would rather not tell him what I thought. This was not a good time ....
Oh my gosh! I wanted to just lash out and say, "You have got to be kidding? You are a smart man - you know that eating five bowls of cereal at midnight is not the right thing to do. Why do we need to pay someone thousands of dollars to tell you that? You know you need to exercise more - geez - we belong to a gym and have a personal trainer that you have not met with in eight weeks!" Ahhhhhhh!!!
Like you, I'm the rescuer. I hate people feeling lousy so always swoop in to save them from themselves. Have learned that I'm not doing them or myself any favors. Even with my kids. I've learned that if they forget their mittens, to let them have cold hands. A lot less likely to forget them next time than having me race home to get them their mittens.
Love your story re. the fat camp. I think, by paying someone to tell them what to do, they can evade some of the responsibility for their behavior. I know my husband is a great one for hiring a trainer (then not going ), hiring a physio (then not doing the exercises), getting massages (then not following up with core strengthening exercises), buying power tools (but not using them for any of the projects he plans). They love the IDEA of being better than they are...it's the practice that trips them up. And I'm sure that voice in their hears that tells them they'll screw up anyway, that they can't do it, they're losers, etc. etc. My husband is so terrified of making a mistake that getting him to start anything is nearly impossible.
Sorry, that was a bit of a rant. It's so frustrating for someone like me...who just dives in and gets the job done. Although my lack of "perfection" drives my husband nuts. We're quite a pair!
OurLifeBack, you have raised a question about co-dependency, and a few weeks ago ethelred had expressed misgivings about being called codependent, so I thought I would give my 2 cents' worth here.
The caveat is, I am not a CSAT. I am only sharing my experience.
I also have an issue being labelled a co-dependent if the label implies that I am responsible for my husband's wrongdoings, or it was wrong for me to have trusted and relied on my husband. As human beings, we form relationships with others, and we are all inter-related and inter-dependent. In fact, in my view, in a healthy marriage, a couple should be able to depend on each other. It is what a marriage is all about, isn't it?
What I have come to learn is that co-dependence in the context of addiction is a specific term used by professionals, which is only an abbreviation for a host of unhealthy behaviours. These behaviours include, but are not limited to, covering up for your spouse's wrongdoing, ignoring your own well-being to please your spouse, ignoring obvious signs of wrongdoing by your spouse, trying to control your spouse's behaviour, and blaming yourself for your spouse's wrongdoing. If calling me a co-dependent is only a short form of saying I exhibit some or many of these behaviours, then I have no issue with that.
If you agree, etheral, then I hope you understand if in the future one of us refers to co-dependency or co-dependent behaviours. It is only a short form referring to the host of specific behaviours. We are simply lazy and don't want to type up the whole list every time.
In terms of OurLifeBack's question, instead of focusing on the term codependent and search in your past as to what might have contributed to your codependency, it may help if you rephrase the question to "what happened in my past that XXX" and insert the specific codependent behaviour for XXX. For example, "what happened in my past that made me ignore my own well-being to please another?" or "what happened in my past that made me blame myself for another's wrongdoing?". More specific questions may trigger your memory.
I am not sure if this helps or not. Either way, I am thinking of both of you.
We moved a bench and weight set with us to Chicago - it is still in the basement in the boxes!
He bought a guitar - and has it here with him. I found the place for lessons. He hasn't gone.
He spent HOURS looking for an online type of Spanish lesson thing to learn Spanish. I bought him TWO. He hasn't even loaded them.
We have a library of self help type of books UNOPENED.
They love the IDEA of being better than they are...it's the practice that trips them up. And I'm sure that voice in their hearts that tells them they'll screw up anyway, that they can't do it, they're losers, etc. etc.
Thank you for saying this - it is so much kinder than what I typically think!
Thank you! I have copied your response as well. The fill-in-the-blank sentences are especially helpful.
I plan to print this out, along with EO's response, and review prior to working my step-one stuff tomorrow.