whatwasthepoint - why do you think he's SA? What are his other "symptoms"?
For both of you: FWH (possible SA, not yet officially diagnosed) and I just started seeing a CSAT. He told us to go to www.sexhelp.com and both take the SAST test (I take it for how I would assume he would answer) and see what it says. When FWH took it he got a 2 (meaning he's not SA), but when I took it he got an 8 (definitely into the SA catagory). I had reasons why I answered yes to certain questions (such as computer evidence of him hiding things, etc), so he probably is but is trying to fool himself. Not there yet,but the CSAT said if that test showed the possibility of SA,for us to pay $30 and take the SARA test (also on that site),which is more comprehensive. I didn't move forward with that since he was not honest with the first test. But maybe those tests can help you guys.
Hang in there. It is a scary, scary thing. I am also terrified that there is "more" and that maybe he has actually been sexual with someone (in which case I will NOT stay, disease or not). But I am willing to stay FOR MYSELF to see if there is a way to heal this (or unless he confesses to something I just can't handle). Stay or go, do it for yourself. Not him. Not the marriage. Not for your kids. Heal YOURSELF and then make decisions about the marriage.
I'm just getting frustrated because I don't know what to do about things. I know that he is not sexually sober (porn and masturbation at work). I know that he's not having an EA or any ONS or anything like that.
I just don't know what I want sometimes so I guess I just stay the course and work on me. One moment I don't even want to be near him and other times I do know that I love him.
On one hand, I know that it's a disease so I have the empathy but on the other, I don't know if this is really something that I want to be dealing with for the rest of our lives. I'm only 33 (will be 34 on Thurs) and I can find someone that is not SA or any other addiction. So for now I just pray and work on me. I know that I'm not ready to make a lifelong decision.
I'm sorry for all the newcomers being here.
I think I'm going to have to find another IC since mine moved, he has not emailed me back. I just don't even know where to go to get someone. He was totally blessing me and giving me therapy for free! So I can't afford to see anyone that costs much and I really think my SAH needs it more. But he hasn't even made a call and I'm getting frustrated that he's not taking this serious enough.
Anyway, I gotta get dinner going so I'll talk to you all later!
But I am wondering if he is a sex addict. Is there a website I can look at with a list? I have googled it before but still not sure..
I'm horribly bogged down IRL and haven't been able to get online much at all.
First OB appt tomorrow. Hoping for an ultrasound to see a heartbeat. I'm a basket case!
When things settle down, I will be back.Until then, I do check in whenever I can to see if I have PMs.
A couple good websites to learn a little about sex addiction, and take a quiz or two to find out if that may be what you are dealing with, is:
sex addicts anonymous: http://www.sexaa.org/
psychcentral has some good info: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/what-is-sexual-addiction/
sexhelp has a test also
Just some basic info there, and I strongly suggest you take the test as well as your partner, because it seems that most addicts minimize their behavior and don't answer truthfully. For example, one test I took (I have done quite a few) asked if you had ever contacted an escort agency. My H put no, but I put yes, because he made six phone calls to different agencies, and sent one email. So, the answer would be YES!
Only a CSAT can make an official diagnosis, but you can get a pretty good idea by doing just a little research, and taking a few quizzes. (I also suggest taking several, and reading several different websites, because you will get different info from each one, and when you put it all together, you will have a more accurate view).
7yrs betrayed had a ton of great resources for learning about sex addiction, she posted them in the Spouses of Sex Addicts -Thread 2, but I am not sure where in that thread they are, so you may want to take the time to browse thru it and try to find it--she also has some great books listed.
Also, a few of the more experienced members here can give references on good books.
Anyone who may be with a SA, should get STD testing.
For those who want/need counseling and are having monetary problems; can you look into a clinic with a sliding fee scale? I am getting IC from a clinic that does that, so I can afford it. I found them thru my hospital. Counseling is very important for this, and it was one of my dealbreakers, that my H won't do.
Also, there are support groups, both for you and your H's, 12 step programs are usually very helpful for him (I think they recommend sexaholics anonymous over the other, because of the masturbation issues and all--again, someone else can help with that, my H never expressed the slightest interest in this so I didn't look into it any further). I went to COSA for a while, which helps you to detach, so you are not so devestated by your H's actions.
A lot of people speak highly of recoverynation, on the internet. I looked into it, and it seemed like it would be helpful. Again, not something my H would do, though.
Good luck, and keep posting, there will be others coming along with more info for you!
Going to group for me has been the quickest route for me to see things in reality, as well as have hope.
Its different than COSA as they are facilitated by a C. (or should be) We talk more and give advice if asked.
There is something very heartening to hear a woman talk who's SAH has been in recovery for a while. Sometimes I wish I could go to group more than twice a month!
In my case, if I had to cut down for $$ reasons, I would do IC once a month, but not cut out group.
With him, I'm dealing with hours and hours spent daily on porn, a couple "secret" email addresses and alternate online identities, emails to craigslist "services", webcam, chat and phonesex activities, several episodes of extreme voyeurism, and flirtatious emails to friends/coworkers that never went anywhere mostly because the OW weren't interested. He did have one callgirl ONS a couple years ago.
He has never denied anything I've confronted him with, but could that still mean that this is just the tip of the iceberg??
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7yrs, good luck with your first appointment!
~sending sticky glue~
You've provided a really good list for the newcomers on the list. Thanks!
Just to clarify, I don't think anyone is suggesting you stay with your SO in order to heal. Rather, we didn't want you or anyone to think that by simply leaving a relationship with an SA, you're leaving the SA behavior behind. It's important for you to take a good look at why you may have been attracted to an SA and vice versa. However, it is often suggested that no-one make any kneejerk decisions re. staying or going, but rather take time to get clear on your feelings and your SO's recovery. Just don't want you to feel you need to stay in order to get healthy yourself!
I did want to point out, too that I felt just like you when I found out about the SA. Relief -- finally, I wasn't the crazy one. You spend so much time feeling like you're seeing things that you're told aren't there. It was like the puzzle pieces were finally in place. An odd feeling, perhaps, but better him the crazy one than me! Ha ha!
My husband hasn't. Though there's a high risk of relapse in any addiction, SAs who get the help they need and have the support there for those times when they feel tempted are far less likely to slip. If they're white-knuckling it, or stop going to group counselling or simply think it's behind them, often that's when they'll slip. It's an addiction that they'll have for their entire lives. You don't get over diabetes -- you need to treat it for a lifetime. Similarly, with SA, it's a disease that requires treatment. I know it's a scary prospect -- but the one thing I've learned through all this is that there are no guarantees in life. All I can do is make the best decision I can based on the best available info. I think once you feel stronger yourself and have clearer boundaries, you'll feel more sure that -- no matter the behavior of anyone around you -- you'll be fine and able to take care of yourself.
Spring: SAs come in all shapes and sizes...it might be the tip of the iceberg or it might be that his addiction hadn't progressed as far. Whatever form his addiction took, it was creating problems and causing pain. It can be scary to constantly think there's more... Once your husband is in recovery, if he chooses to go that route, you'll likely get "full disclosure" which means he'll own up to all the behavior. It's bizarrely liberating to be able to stop obsessing over what you might not know. You could ask him for that now...but you might still get dribs and drabs. Sorry if you've already posted this, but is he seeking treatment? Are you?
Yeah, my IC/CSAT explained how the group therapy works and how it is so successful for people like me that a lot of them drop IC and just continue group. She did say that she didn't think I should go to COSA because it is quite intense, full of drama, and would probably scare the crap out of me. From what we KNOW, FWH's sexual behaviors have been mild, so at this point COSA's not needed.
I can't wait to join the women's group and meet others with similar issues. It's so difficult IRL when none of your friends have problems like these!
Welcome to all newbies (and sorry you are here). This is a great group, very sweet, and helpful.
Update: We are doing 'okay'- under the circumstances. So far WH has been doing what he's supposed to (my boundaries and some of his own). Communication is better. We can talk about the A without letting it get over-emotional now. It still hurts but it's better. He's opening up about things. He still worries that he'll trigger me by saying the one thing to make me go for the Divorce. NC, no porn, no phone calls, no chatting/messenger, no looking up anything online. He says his way (white-knuckling) is working for him. He said at first he felt relieved to not be doing anything, then he felt urges (to find 'something' online)-porn (I'm assuming), then he said he knows how hyped up and irritable he would get (when he was online daily with it) and he said he doesn't like feeling like that and doesn't want to feel that away again. I guess it's like withdrawal-for an alcoholic?
He has never been diagnosed SA, so we're just going on his results from Dr. Carnes' tests which he scored pretty dang high on! So out of character for him and some weird circumstances that contributed to his A-scared the both of us into looking deep inside the A and how things led up to it. Enough to recognize there's "something" wrong. Working on how to get control and not let the addiction control.
When his job here in Europe is over and we head back to the US he's agreed to go to MC with me. We both feel it would help especially in the communication areas. So in a sense we're both white-knuckling it. Although to tell you the truth I've gotten more help here on SI for free and most of it makes damn-good sense!
7: been meaning to PM you. Hope things are going well? Hope everything works out this time! Keeping you in my prayers (positive energy if you prefer)-you and lots of folks on my list from SI!
Anyone needs me: I'm always here for PMs/support that is when I'm not coughing up a lung! (Got a bad cold/infection/whatever the hell it is right now. Everyone in France seems to have it!)
Status: Struggling Everday to
what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another-Anatole France
His symptoms are:
*excessive masturbation, has calmed down some over the years but in the beginning of our marriage, 6 years ago, 1-2 times a day.
*Porn addiction, behind my back, I was unaware until recently.
*Fetish to dominatrix, pvc, bondage stuff. That is what his porn was about, he objectified me in the beginning of the marriage. Would dress up and tie himself up on his own when masturbating.
*Had 1 A, but now with the SA thing i wonder if there were ever others, he swears not. His A, was not overly sexual, but it did involve his fetish.
Since the A came out, and immediately following by a few weeks, with a keylogger, I discovered his porn problem, which he confessed has been there our entire marriage, he has stopped looking at porn completely. Says he is not struggling with this, has been about 6 months since he has looked at porn.
His fetish stuff has stopped completely for about 3 months and the masturbation has stopped for about 2 months. He claims to be doing fine with it all, having no struggles. Of course he has moments where he wants to masturbate but does not.
He has only been to one IC session but she thinks, preliminarily, that he may be a SA. So I don't know.
In his life he has never paid for sex, had a ONS, been to a strip club minus his bachelor party, never been to a dominatrix. Pretty much stuck to magazines, internet porn and masturbation. He says that much of our sex is meaningful and he is very connected to it. He also, hasn't actually had that many sex partner in his life.
The A, he says, arouse out of a period of time in our marriage where I was constantly telling him I was leaving that he wasn't good enough, that he was a loser, and pathetic. We weren't really in a marriage during this time, I was never home as I was in school full time and working full time and when I was home I was so stressed out that I was a complete B*TCH! He says the A wasn't about sex at all but was about feeling better about himself as he had never felt so low in his life. The A went somewhat sexual and his need for the fetish began to act out in the A. Not so much in a direct intercourse way. Since the A, he now claims to be completely disgusted by his fetish as he sees the destruction is has caused and how disturbing it actually is. I don't know if this is true but I hope so.
So there it is, the story about his possible SA.
[This message edited by whatwasthepoint at 11:46 AM, April 22nd (Wednesday)]
I hope you can find comfort and advice in this Forum. You are going through a terrible time. Everyone here are embarking on the same journey as well.
Most of you seem to have discovered repeated infidelities, but are not yet sure if your spouses are SAs. I have a number of responses to that:
* At this stage, it is almost irrelevant whether or not your spouses are SAs. The fact that your spouses have been unfaithful is sufficient for him to admit to having a serious problem and to seek help.
* Only a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) can make an official diagnosis. There are on-line questionnaires which will give you an idea, but they are not a resplacement for seeing a CSAT or at least a therapist with experience in addiction. Relying on on-line questionnaires can be dangerous - it's like you feel physically ill and decide to play doctor and diagnose yourself by searching on-line.
Dealing with SA is a totally different ball game. You and your spouse need a lot more support, education and therapy than "just" infidelities.
There really are two different discovery dates: one is D Day for infidelities, and one is D Day for SA. The SA him/herself has to recognize and admit to both infidelities, and then SA.
1. Look after yourself first
Any consideration of rebuilding the marriage or your spouse'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 (and to the financially strapped, these are quite affordable). 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. Out of the Shadow by Dr. Cairnes is intended for the SA. I recommend strongly AGAINST you, as a spouse, to read it at this stage.
3. Your spouse and your marriage
While you are not in a state to help your spouse's recovery or to rebuild the marriage, you should set boundaries with consequences. In addition, you must recognize you cannot control your spouse or his/her recovery. Others here, like 7yearsbetrayed, can give you better advice on that.
Your spouse must have no contact with OWs.
You spouse must see a therapist who is trained in SA, or preferrably a CSAT. As mentioned earlierly, only a CSAT can make a proper diagnosis of SA, though there are websites that have on-line questionnaires to give some indication.
Your spouse may join a 12-step group.
Marriage counselling comes much later when both of you and your spouse have been sufficiently healed individually.
I wish to emphasize that too often, we focus on our spouse'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 spouse 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. This time is needed for your own healing (which in itself is a painful process, that may uncover baggages from your own past that need to be addressed). The objective is for you to regain emotionally stability to make informed decisions, to weigh all options, and to make the necessary financial, emotional and practical preparations should you decide to leave.
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'm wondering because we have just recently told my MIL that our marriage is not a good place, but haven't told her anything past that. She is pestering me especially for more information and I just keep replying that "it's complicated". I find it very stressful, because she seems to be blaming me. Why am I doing this - isn't he a good provider? He doesn't hit me right? Why could I possibly consider leaving such a wonderful life? etc. etc.
I'm not quite sure how to handle that....
My parents knew about my husband's affair -- I called my mother as soon as I found out and she was my rock. Both my parents talked to my husband, who was so full of shame and told him they were disappointed in what he did, but he was still their son-in-law and they cared about him. He couldn't believe that they didn't scream and yell and call him names.
His mother doesn't know because she would scream and yell and call him disgusting names -- or never speak to him again. Or blame me. Or do something equally unhealthy because she's very unhealthy. So I don't blame my husband for not telling her.
But I sympathize with your situation. You could either lob the ball into your husband's court -- along the lines of "perhaps you should talk to your son about it." Or you can continue to evade but with a bit stronger language: "As I'm sure you can imagine, a marriage is challenging and both partners have to assume some responsibility for the breakdown of it. That's all we want to say about it. I hope you can respect our privacy." Lather. Rinse. Repeat. As often as necessary.
They won't come right out and tell me there is no baby. They also refuse to check my hormone levels (checking to see if hCG doubles is a good indicator of a viable pregnancy) and insist instead that I come back next week for another ultrasound. hCG test is too expensive and the crappy coverage I have will not pay for it.
From past experience, I suspect there is no baby and my body just can't figure it out. But since they refuse to give me the blood tests I don't know for certain.
That pisses me off.
So I wait and see if I start miscarrying or if by some miracle we see something in the sac next week.
I'm so tired of this SA crap. I'm tired of my SAH. He won't tell me things. I'm tired of the secrecy, the lack of real intimacy (unless I initiate it), the omissions, the lies. I'm just tired of it.
He didn't tell me that his sponsor can't sponsor him any longer because he is struggling again with his sobriety. He didn't tell me because he knows that I struggle with the whole relapse thing like I said in the last post.
So now, what is he doing about getting himself help? Nothing. He's going to meetings on Fri night. He never found another IC, calls his acctblty partners, or anything. So basically he has no support system and I know that he has not had sobriety.
I think I'm getting done. Not to the point that I know for sure, but I don't want to live with someone who can't help themselves. He won't even try to save his own life! I don't even care about the marriage anymore. If he would just get help for himself, for him and for the girls, that would be ok with me.
I can find someone else if I should so choose who will love me.
Right now I am not healthy enough to leave and I'm not in a good place financially or anything so I'm staying put for awhile. I've just lost more hope that things will be ok with us ever again.
I'm sorry to vent here but I just feel like I have to let it out somewhere.
I'm really going to have to find an IC again. I really need some help!