This place is very active these days and that is such a great thing. Everyone is being so supportive of each other, and it is soooo wonderful to see the wisdom, compassion and uplifting that goes on here.
Its funny, with the sheer volume, I just don't have time to respond to everyone, and something in my caretaker psyche thinks I SHOULD. I guess I just wanted to say, if I don't respond, it is because I either have no intelligent insight or experience with what is being posted about, or some one else has answered the issue beautifully and I have nothing of substance to add to what has been said.
I read everyone's posts and empathize, and try to keep everyones' stories as straight as my PTSD brain will allow.
Maybe this is indicative of something that is wrong with ME, but I feel like I should apologize when I don't respond to each of you. Know that I do in my heart, but a lot of times I've got nothing to add to what some wise soul here may have already responded to you.
[This message edited by JustWow at 7:43 AM, May 28th (Thursday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
I need to figure out a way to detach from this situation a bit and see where things fall.
WH had his second appointment with the CSAT last night and they didn't get anywhere. He spent 45 minutes talking about billing . Meanwhile I spoke to the CSAT on the phone yesterday about billing so I'm not sure why they went over that again. WH basically told him to talk to me about billing since I'm the expert in health insurance and do our finances.
Approximately how many sessions will it take for WH to be diagnosed? I guess I could ask the CSAT that but I am curious from all your experience how long it took.
WH said he is not going to do any research on SA and he said the CSAT agreed with this. He will continue to go to the appointments, will read "Out of the Shadows" and will do the work the CSAT gives him but he will not do any independent research. I was pissed about that but I am letting it go now.
I remember reading that an over-achieving spouse paves the way for infidelity/sex addiction because it allows the addict to disconnect from the family without any negative consequences. Everything still runs smoothly because the over-achieving spouse is taking care of it. Not a justification or blame, but an explanation. That was certainly the case in my situation. The less we all demanded of my husband, the less he contributed...and the less he felt "needed", the more he felt sorry for himself and unappreciated, etc. etc. Vicious circle.
YES, YES, YES. This is us. Thank you Eternaloptimist!
Katty - I believe my WH picked me too due to being a high achiever and high income earner. When I look back it makes so much more sense to me now. It makes me so very sad.
I am convinced that my SAh has decided that if he had to give up all the lies and falsehoods he has based his entire existence on, there would be no him left. He doesn't really know who he is, and what is inside. He is afraid to find out.
NaiveAgain - This is my WH to a T. I've felt this way about him for a long time now. And I always thought if I loved him enough I could fix him. My feeling that way just goes to show how broken I am. Why would I want to FIX anyone?
This is a struggle. It really is.
The high achiever selection of a mate seems to have a dual purpose, I think. On the one hand, it gives the SA more room to be irresponsible, it requires them to display less self control, gives them more freedom to act out.
Then they can also use it as a "why", a justification for distancing themselves from us. She's controlling. She expects to much. She makes me feel like less of a man. She wants to be my mother, not my lover.
Pretty handy, huh?
I don't know how long it takes for a "diagnosis". When I finally got my butt around to researching SA I just knew it. I shared what I learned that day with my H, and he said "Holy shit, that's me". So he approached first his crappy former IC, then his CSAT later, knowing he already was SA and not fighting the diagnosis. Now, he did bargain with "how bad of a case" he really was, and bargained with the idea that he really needed an SA group, and that part of his ritual behaviors weren't really acting out. But he never tried to not own that he was an SA.
I was in such a state at the time it tok me a lot to realise this was not a good place to be. Eventually my H said 'not sure she is for us'. I really did feel he was getting away with everything and it damaged us even more. From being on here I know realise how important it is to get the right person to talk to and we have unfortunately been unable to find anyone at all in this area since we moved here.
My H's adopted mother died when he was a child - a form of child abuse that was through no parents fault. It has left him with an odd view of family and a belief that no woman can be trusted. (Given away as a baby by one abandoned by the second???) Sometimes he will admit to this and others he backs away.
[This message edited by Katty at 8:16 AM, May 28th (Thursday)]
Add my voice to the resounding chorus of -- "YOU ARE SOOOOO WORTH IT!!" As many pointed out, these addicts live with an absolute conviction that they are inherently unworthy and it's only a matter of time before others figure that out. They believe this to their very core. And, of course, their behavior simply confirms this for them. They see abundant evidence that they're not good people and it feeds their conviction that they're unworthy, unlovable, etc. The urge to flee from facing that truth (because they've often masked that fear with false bravado or what they think is sexual liberation or prowess) is extremely powerful. It's so hard to understand but this really has NOTHING to do with you. He was broken when you met him and your love can't fix him...he can only fix himself.
I also highly doubt his "happy childhood". I spent the first 12 year of our relationship feeling something was off about my husband's family but being told (repeatedly and none-too-empathetically) that I was one with the problems and that they were just wonderful (albeit emotionally distant) people. And I bought it. I had grown up in an alcoholic home and was entirely accustomed to believing that anything wrong was clearly my fault. It was only as I got healthier that I stopped tolerating his family's abuse. And it was only when my husband FINALLY acknowledged how extreme his acting out had become that the whole story came out. His father, a judge, was abusive and controlling and his mother had the emotional capacity of a goldfish.
So beware. I suspect there's a lot more to your husband's story than you know. No-one gets this broken on their own...
Your quote -- while "colorful" -- nonetheless sums it up quite effectively. Thanks for that! I really do wish you peace. You deserve it!
Indeed, we all do...
You are all so smart .
I hope to be able to contribute like you all do at some point.
Thank you JW and Katty for your personal experiences on the diagnosis stage.
Katty - we too have had a few cuckoo MC's. And my WH has been going to IC for 1.5 years and this never came up.
Quick background (I already don't believe this will be quick, btw), I have no profile info bcause we have a stalker OW. H had A for a year in 06-07. Dday 1 said it was a ONS w/co-worker OMW. DDay 2 a year later when her BH called me to let me know it was still going on.
Much dead-end work on our own ensued, until we hit on the SA diagnosis in May 08. Yikes - IC here we come, we knew we couldn't handle SA w/out professional help.
H gets into treatment, slowly, half-heartedly, basically keeping the seat warm with a crappy, unqualified IC until Jan 09. Also going to Celebrate Recovery during this time, but H believes it is useless for SA. He decides to take his recovery more seriously and starts with an SA group in Feb. Then he lines up a CSAT and finally gets into see the guy in March 09. Treatment is FINALLY going great.
So today, he really is owning his recovery, invested in it, sober, working his 12 steps, calling his sponsor. Life of a true recovering SA.
So what's the problem? Well, I have always said his A does not fit his SA behavior AT ALL. H's acting out is risky m-bating stuff ( with the potential of being caught - exhibitionnism and voyeurism), the "inadvertant brushing against people stuff. Basically, the ind of acting out that wouldn't dare involve another person. Further, he was honest and open and vulnerable and invested emotionally in his A. Very uncharacteristic SA as well. So I have always felt we were recoverying from SA, and a separate A that is just like a non-SA affair.
His CSAT agrees with me.
So....For H to own his recovery and me to stay out of it, I have to not blink when he goes for a walk with his cell to talk to his sponsor (we have teenagers and a loud 18 month old, so I see why he needs to get some quiet). But this is triggery business in terms of the A crap. Go for a walk and call OW - see what I mean?
Phone calls taken in private. Doing work that I need to but out of, but he could be doing anything, work or not.
Do I believe he is NC w/OW? Yes. 99.995%. It kinda would make that plice report he filed a felony, KWIM?
But, some of the good work he is doing in recovery requires me, as a good little, non-codependant wifey to give him the space to do. Give him the opportunity to own and work his recovery. The psycho, PTSD BW kinda cringes sometimes when I do this.
How do I put away the BW triggers when the H is working his SA recovery and NOT be interfering w/his recovery in the process?
Not too smart...but here's my two cents:
I don't think you can put away the triggery responses, but you can acknowledge them. Would it help if your husband went to another room in the house rather than a walk (knowing you could walk in at any moment)? Would it help if you could see a phone log?
Would it help if your husband looked you straight in the eye and assured you (I'm even giggling at that...my husband did that more than a few times and was totally lying....). Perhaps figure out if there's anything that can reassure you in the short-term while the long-term PTSD stuff becomes less powerful.
I still have triggers but am getting better at seeing them as based 99% on memory of events past and 1% based on the current reality. But when my gut gets that knot...all reason goes out the window.
Be gentle with yourself and see if you can come up with a plan that offers you reassurance that the calls are legit.
My question is if H has one particular sponser wouldn't he call that sponser or the sponser call him from possibly only a set number of phone numbers (lets say cell, home, work). If thats the case you should still be able to look at a phone log to ensure there are no other calls that shouldn't be there.
This may be too simplistic of an answer but I wanted to at least address the one thing that stuck out at me.
Thanks for the input. I know I can check the phone log. And H only uses the cell for sponsor calls, and its easy enough to see after the fact. Also, we have a pretty modest sized house, 2 teenagers who know nothing about the SA at this point (though they do know about the A). And our baby has a great ability to repeat just about anything we say!. So I understand and respect his wanting to talk privately. And on one hand am both cognitively and emotionally happy w/how well H is immersing himself in recovery. But part of me, that PTSD BW part, still feels uneasy at times.
I guess I have to wait till he has the coping skills developed through his SA work to address some of the A trigger crap. He understands how I feel. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like getting him some progress is probably the most important step, if we are triaging the problems, the SA is the life threatening one, then the A. But he won't necessarily have the skills to address the A stuff till he gets some healthier coping skills to work with.
Its confusing. It feels like codependant behavior if I subordinate my needs to his right now, and it feels codependant micro-managing his movement while he trying to work his program. I'm having a hard time finding a healthy approach FOR ME, while we wait for him to improve.
Okay, I'm going to go color my gray hairs while the baby is sleeping. I will NOT have people asking if I'm her grandma!!!
JustWow, you definitely do a fabulous job trying to post to everyone but you do not have to feel guilty if you cannot.
I'm not in a place right now to offer advice or much else to anyone. But I read and empathize with everyone as well.
As far as your triggery BW stuff, I feel the same exact way when my H would talk to his support people. I would always wonder if he really was talking to them, what they were saying, if it was helping, etc.
You are so right about the SA stuff being life-threatening and the A stuff has to come later with healthy coping skills.
I'm worried about my H because he doesn't want to go to counseling. He thinks that he can get healthy coping skills and stuff just by working with a new sponsor that he doesn't have yet. (We were gone for awhile on vacation so it's not total procrastination). He just really does not want to go to a brand new counselor and start over. I get that, I feel the same way, which is why I haven't even researched them for myself.
I just don't know if I feel too optimistic about his recovery without some serious help.
Anyway, I need to rescue my baby from my 4 yo.
My SAH & I have both been seeing CSATs separately for two months now and I'm still not sure he's officially been diagnosed as SA, but I'M sure he is and I'm pretty sure the CSAT does as well. I was the one who made us appointments with CSATs. Any outsider looking at our situation would question whether or not H is a SA. (As far as I know), he only looks at porn once every 4-5 days and only for less than 10 minutes. Two years ago he ended up joining six married dating websites (admitted the normal porn wasn't cutting it anymore). So of course HE doesn't think he has a problem. But I've seen the truth. He knows I was/am ready to leave the M, which is why he agreed to see the CSAT if he looked at porn again. He told me and the CSAT that he doesn't have a problem, blah, blah, blah and has flat out said he is not "using". Well, my keylogger tells a different story. I don't believe he wants out of our M or to leave our kids. I'm confident he loves us more than anything. So the fact that he is STILL looking at porn and STILL lying and saying he's not obviously leads me to the conclusion that he has an addiction that he cannot stop.
I do not know what he talks about with his CSAT. I do not know if he HAS been told he's a SA or if the CSAT has recommended he join a group. That is HIS problem to own. I see my own CSAT to work on myself, but she has also asked to keep her informed on H so that she can tell his CSAT what's really up. So here's H thinking he's SERIOUS about working on things, yet there are four of us that KNOW he is not there (yet).
Anyways, my point is it doesn't matter whether or not he's been "officially" diagnosed. YOU need to work on YOU. Which means if YOU think he's SA and that's not ok with you, then either you go down that road or you leave. I have been told by many people (including our two CSATs) that many, many times the SAH/W will not be able to admit to it until they are in SA therapy for several months.
Fake it til you make it. If he's willing, treat as if he IS a SA. If he's truly not, there's no harm done. If he IS, then he's getting help and hopefully sooner or later it will hit home for him.
I agree I need to work on me. That is abundantly clear to me. Logically I know I can't control what he is doing or how he is going about getting diagnosed/recovery but I can control what I do. That may or may not have an impact on him.
The CSAT said he has a recommendation of an IC for me so I'm sure it is someone versed in SA and co-dependancy.
I am going to work on ME.
[This message edited by KGT_123 at 3:01 PM, May 28th (Thursday)]
I tell myself that I should post responses more, I owe it to those that have helped me. (JustWow's post really struck me)
I hesitate to post until I can be articulate and really "help."
I am certainly not articulate when I need help!
I didn't post a lot in the beginning because I felt too inexperienced.
On the other hand, posters new and confused like me, were so comforting! To know that someone else was as lost. Such a relief, I am not crazy or weak.
I don't think anyone on any leg of this journey should discount their worth on this board or any other support.
We need you as much as you need us.
"Fake it 'til you make it," means repeating the same phrase "take care of yourself" to others until you realize you are saying it to yourself in times of need.
Seeing each other's struggles means seeing our own without our emotions hazing it up. How many times have I seen with clarity how a situation for someone else should be faced, and realized it was MY situation, too!
A big heartfelt thank you to everyone here, whether the wise old-timers, those divorcing, those early on and confused, and those like me, just starting to see the light.
I'm just checking in & saying hi. I'm so overwhelmed with everything right now I can't keep up with this thread but like JustWow mentioned earlier I feel like I should. Not because I think you all need me as there are many wise people already posting on here...but because you have all helped me so much that I think I should be giving back more.
Anyway I am thinking about you & know that you are in good hands with the people on here already posting.
I am still with my SA & still working on myself as best I can.
I've watched with great interest the debate raging over Elizabeth Edwards' book tour and candor over her husband's affair. She's been criticized for being so open about it (most notably by Maureen Dowd); yet I have such admiration and gratitude to her for talking openly about something that is so shame-filled. Why should she be quiet about this any more than she should be quiet about her cancer? Or her son's death? That's the beauty of this site and books and so on...they make us feel less alone and remind us that by discussing our pain, we gain power over it. It won't crush us.
There have been so many times that I've been bolstered by the support of people on this thread -- knowing you're total strangers, but that you actually care what's happening in my life and support me in my failings and celebrate my successes. I'm convinced the face of humanity is evident when we're holding each other up.
I just want to say I would be so lost without this thread. Thank you all so much.
Justwow I'm so sorry to hear about your triggers witht the A. You are such a strong person. I think the balance between giving your husband room to to heal and your need for transparency would be a constant mental battle.
My interview went ok except for turning down a street the wrong way right in front of a cop 15 minutes before my interview! Damn GPS-it told me to. He pulled me over, but didn't give me a ticket. Great way to start. It's not a dream job, but it's a job! I have an interview next week for a job I think I'd really like.
I did come back (my interview was about 2hrs away from my parents house where I'm staying) to frantic emails from my husband about our bank account. I feel the love. Oh well, at least I know he is still alive.