I haven't been following your story closely enough to know, but what kind of counselor have you gone to see? Have you seen one with experience in addiction especially SA? Are there any codependent support groups like COSA or CODA that you could join?
If you're not ready to set boundaries yet then your not, but know divorce doesn't have to be the threat if that is what you're not willing to do.
Try your best to detach and not to become too addicted to the monitoring. You already know she isn't in recovery, so that isn't going to help you.
I wish I could follow my own advice!
I think broken is right in that a group could really help you -- give you a place to share your experience and some sense of community. It must be really lonely for you, right now.
And, as we so often say, detach from her and take care of yourself. She needs to realize that her actions have consequences and one of those is losing you emotionally...if not physically at this point. Create a life apart from her so that if/when you divorce, you will have a positive life to move forward to. Join clubs or associations that you enjoy, meet friends...basically enjoy life without her. Not easy...but better than the alternative, which is letting her beat you down.
I think the only healthy way to deal with rage is to feel it. Most of we spouses of SA have become so good at swallowing our anger that we become afraid it will eat us whole if we let it out. It's just a feeling...and one that will dissipate if we give it expression. Beat a pillow, take up karate, rake your lawn, and vent -- either here or to sympathetic friends. Say it ALL -- don't censor yourself. I think you'll be surprised at how drained but peaceful you'll feel at the end.
You have every right to be angry. How DARE he pull the crap he's pulling right now. How DARE he lie to you. How DARE he behave as if YOU are the problem... It truly is outrageous and the sooner you acknowledge that, the sooner you can get clear about your own carved-in-stone boundaries.
Go ahead and rage -- just don't do anything illegal, immoral or dangerous.
What exactly are you guys recommend?
I can recommend the Partner's Workshop on Recovery Nation. It helped me immensely by helping me determine my values and boundaries. It's comprehensive, it's helpful and it's free.
I would recomment it to everyone.
We haven't talked about solutions yet. He's suppose to talk to his CSAT next week about it and see if he'll either lower his rates, or maybe we can go every other week or something.
Well, now he's researching other therapists. Over the years we've been to three different therapists and NONE of them have been helpful -- until we went to the CSATs. Even if H is not SA (they still aren't sure), he comes from a family of addiction and has addictive tendencies. I STRONGLY feel that this is the only place that can help us. We've made more progress in the past three months than we ever have.
If he can't get the CSAT to lower his cost, I know he's going to suggest a cheaper therapist (which is bullshit because we'd be talking $125/hr for the CSAT vs. $100/hr for a regular therapist that won't help).
Switching therapists is NOT an option. But what if he wants to switch? He has said he likes his CSAT, but what if he now says he doesn't like him and wants to go somewhere else? If he goes somewhere else, yes, he's still getting therapy, but I don't believe it will be nearly as beneficial as a CSAT. But on the other hand, is it totally irrational/unreasonable for me to say it's the CSAT or divorce????
I looked up on sexhelp.com and found the following:
If you still cannot find a therapist in your local area, another option is to look for someone who specializes in general addiction work. Other organizations that can help you are ASAM (American Society for Addiction Medicine (www.asam.org), American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders (www.americanacademy.org/resources), and NAADAC (National Association of Addiction and Drug Counselors (www.naadac.org). Pine Grove Recovery Center also has an extensive national network. You can reach them at 888-574-4673.
I hope this helps.
I have touted the use of Recovery Nation many times on this forum and will continue to do so. It is a health and value based program and it has been a great help to me and my husband. Free too!
BTW - my husband does not see a CSAT and is doing very well in recovery. I believe there are many paths to recovery and healing and what works for some may not work for others. Many have found recovery without a CSAT just as many have found recovery WITH a CSAT. This isn't a cookie-cutter disorder/addiction and I don't believe the treatment is cookie cutter either.
Good luck and remember - he has to want to recover - no matter what you "strongly feel". It's all up to him now.
[This message edited by 2br02b at 7:59 AM, June 11th (Thursday)]
Really, if your wife is SA, active in her addiction, denying she has a problem and refusing to even consider recovery, there is nothing you can do with regard to your M. It is impossible to have a healthy M under such circumstances. So the question becomes what can you do to heal yourself from the damage that has already been done, and prevent more of the same.
I think finding an S-Anon or COSA group for you is really good advice, as well as getting an IC who is CSAT, or an addiction specialist at a minimum. Just like our WS's, our IC's need to know what they are doing with this in order to not do more harm than good. I went to an IC who was covered by our insurance who was a freaking waste of time. If I had put any stock in her advice she could have been downright damaging. Get yourself good care from a QUALIFIED IC.
Secondly, you probably need to do some serious boundary work. If you aren't going to D, but coexist in the same home, what are you going to do to protect yourself from her continued acting out? There is no reason to believe she is going to stop under the current scenario. Do some reading and reflecting on boundaries. For me, boundaries were a much easier task once I detached from the illness of my WS. Once you can detach, I think determining and enforcing boundaries becomes so, so, so, so much easier.
You can't control her or her behavior. You can only control your behavior and do what you need to do to keep her from harming you more.
2b listed some good resources, It couldn't hurt to look into those. But I think you're right, there isn't a huge difference between 100 awek vs. 150 a week if you can't afford either. But a D isn't free, is that fact lost on your H? Really, for each party to only spend $7,500 on their respective D attornies alone is not unheard of. Throw in real estate commissions for selling the house, the cost of setting up a second household, blah, blah, blah. The CSAT is the cheaper alternative.
It seems his trouble really is that he is bargaining that he even has an addicition, and the IC he's doing is more to placate you than to seriously work on him. No one is going to get through to him if he doesn't own his illness, CSAT or not.
What is your boundary? That he be in IC or that he actually resolves his issues? If he isn't owning the problem, he won't be invested in the resolution of the problem.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
[This message edited by JustWow at 2:55 PM, June 11th (Thursday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
I was re-reading MASH lately, actually, it is homework. My H's CSAT asked both H and I to read it. Anyway, on p29., there is a list of stuff to do to prepare for the disclosure session, and number 3 on the list is "Write a letter of anger about what you do know. Identify all they ways the addict's behavior has had an impact on you".
I read that and said, AHAH! That's what her H's CSAT is doing. Just thought I'd pass it on.
Hope it has been so quiet here cuz everyone is holding their own.
[This message edited by JustWow at 9:02 AM, June 15th (Monday)]
The comfort of being amongst real people sharing the journey out of isolation at S-Anon makes the 2 1/2 hour round trip worthwhile. Nobody judges you, offers blatent advice as such. They only tell how they dealt with problems in their life and you take what you need from it and apply.
I too can't recommend Discovery Nation highly enough
It sounds like you are living in a war zone, exhausted and agitated (understably) with daily doubts and detective work. My heart goes out to you.
I wish to reiterate what everyone else has been saying: Your wife is not in recovery, and therefore, she will act out again. Until and unless she ackowledges she has a problem, and until and unless she is committed to recovery with professional help, it's not a matter of if, but when, she will act out again. It also appears that she is "white-knuckling" by "acting in" - whenever you confront her, she backs down and "wills" herself to stop; but because she is not in recovery, she inevitably relapses and acts out again (with lying, manipulation, secrecy and deception which inevitably come with acting out).
It is easier said than done, but you can only heal yourself. See an IC who has experience with addictions. Keep a journal. Take time out for yourself to think and feel, as well as to engage in other activities. Think NOT about what is the next piece of detective work you can do, but rahter about what you want in life. what you deserve and how you feel. Consider your options.
As to boundaries, while creativity does come into play, I wonder why it is necessary for you to invest so much time to devise "creative" boundaries. Are you being honest with yourself? Are you afraid to make boundaries? Why are "regular", "run of the mills" boundaries not serve your purpose? Please do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting one size fit all. You are obviously entitled to set boundaries that work for you. However, it may be worth it to explore with your IC why you believe you have to set "creative" boundaries.
You cannot control your wife's behaviour or thoughts. It is NOT your job to keep on running around like a headless chicken looking around daily in the hope of discovering some incriminating evidence and confronting her in the hopes that she will hit rock bottom. You have discovered and presented AMPLE evidence already. I am not suggesting you put your head in the sand. However, taking on detective work as a full time job will exhaust and deplete you both physically and mentally. You have to ask yourself, is it a life you wish - to continually live in fear, distrust and heightened alarm.
Please do not burden or torture yourself even more by being a detective all day. It's like you are re-victimizing yourself all over again. I suspect you feel extremely hurt, betrayed, humiliated and helpless, and you have not had enough time yet to process these emotions, but instead, re-directed them in activities that may not be in your best interest.
I am certainly not saying I am right. But we are all here trying to share our experiences and to let you know we care.
I agree with the observation by others that for your husband to decline a good therapist for $25 less per hour does not seem logical.
The cost of therapist is highway robbery. Do you and your husband belong to a group (which presumably is free or less expensive)? How about reducing the frequency of therapy session (which is far from ideal, but is better than not going at all)?
Facing financial constraints, many spouses of SA would give up his/her own therapy and invest every cent on the SA's therapy. I would strongly recommend against that. Your recovery is just as important as your husband's. You have been badly hurt and betrayed, and your life will likely never be the same (for better or for worse). While there may be an argument for allocating a larger portion of the funds to your husband's therapy than yours (and the exact split is not an exact science), please do not forgo all of your therapy and therefore your recovery.
You asked, what you should do your husband wants to switch therapist. I have these thoughts. First, it is a boundary issue - either see a CSAT specifically trained in sex addiction, or else XYZ (insert the consequence). Second, you can make suggestions and set boundaries/consequences, but you cannot control your husband or his recovery. My IC once said, "you cannot force someone to go to therapy by court order". Even if you can handcuff your husband and drag him to a therapist (and one of your choosing no less), if he is resistant and/or not committed, he will receive no benefit from the session. You'd mind as well flush the money down the toilet.
It is by no means easy, when financial concerns get in the way, and when your husband is not fully committing to recovery. You must be feeling frustrated, angry, fed up and helpless. I am very sorry. Try creative solutions to ease financial constraints, set boundaries/consequences regarding your husband seeing a CSAT, let go of controlling your husband's recovery, and re-focus on yourself.
I am thinking of you.
I am testing for a job that should pay enough for me to get my own place and move out of my alcoholic mother and brothers house.
I am not enjoying staying here. They are very messy people and don't like to do anything at all. Neither of them are working and often when I say something to my brother he only replies with I pay rent here you don't...
I just keep praying to God. I know in the end I will be a much stronger person having to go through all this with 2 young kids. And I am still quite young myself.
In alanon everyone tells me how far I have come in such a short time which really makes me feel good and gives me ore hope. It's not easy taking care of 2 young kids on my own, but i know I CAN DO IT on my OWN!
I think my WS expects me to come running back thinking I can't make it without him, well you know what??? He is wrong. Some way or another I will make it without him.
This site has helped me a lot in this process and all of you have as well with your feedback and sharing your stories.
Hope everyone is well!! Sorryu didn't have time to read the last 15 pages I missed.
Tomorrow SAH has his appointment with his CSAT and will talk to him about possibly lowering his rates or going every two weeks or some other solution. I'm truly nervous about this. He's been going for three months now and is STILL convinced he doesn't have one single issue to work on. He truly thinks we are in therapy FOR ME. Yes, I have issues (ummm...stemming from his infidelities!!!!), but he's just not seeing his issues. That worries me. Both my CSAT and his CSAT have told me sometimes it take a few months for the SA to "see the light", but right now mine is so convinced he's "normal" that he's starting to resent ME because of the cost of therapy. So we'll see what tomorrow brings....
I'm so sorry to hear that your husband just isn't getting it. How frustrating especially since it feels like he should since he is seeing a CSAT. This disease really is terrible.
I'm meeting with a lawyer this week or next to file. I've finally come to terms with the fact that I have totally lost my SAH to this. I hope that he will someday fight for himself, but he is now a total stranger to me. I don't recognize him at all.
I've tried to detach as much as I can, been seeing an IC, gone to COSA, but the healing is so slow with this. I still love him, but I don't know. All he does is lie and lie. I just want to cut all ties.
I cannot stress enough the freedom that comes from truly and honestly 'letting go' of the detective mode. I always gave lip service to doing this but I would still go in and check his email periodically and even ransacking his office. However, in the last 3 or so weeks, I have not checked ANYTHING! Not his email, not his phone records.....nothing! The liberation is unbelievable. I have decided that I will intuitively know if he is using. And I do.
My SAh is not seeking sobriety as he should. He is trying hard. He is absolutely wanting to beat this, but he is not doing what he has to do. I know that. I also know that I may have to leave him in the next few months as a result. But knowing that I am not checking up on him and not really concerned as to whether he uses or steps over to real life connections has changed him. In a way, I think it disturbs him deeply. Losing the whole secrecy issue because I really don't care has taken from him a major reason to use. After all, that is a huge turn-on for many SAs.
As I said above, I'm not saying it is healing this marriage. I am absolutely determined that I will not stay if he does not take steps to actively seek sobriety. I think he believes I'm not serious. But I also know he probably will not do what he has to until I leave, so I believe I will be leaving him in the very near future.
But whatever the case, I cannot stress to you enough the liberty that comes with finally 'letting go' of the detective obsession. I trust in my ability to know of his deception without it. But more than that, I have let go of the outcome. I urge you to do the same.
I need some advice, especially from the spouses who are in recovery with husbands who are also in recovery. My IC suggested that I come clean about the keylogger/spyware with my SASO. She said that because I want complete honesty from him I need to do the same. He has agreed to a polygraph when he can get the money together for it. He has agreed to a formal disclosure. The thing is whenever he tells me he has told me everything then there is always something more.
If I come clean I feel like he knows everything & I don't...like he has the upper hand...like he knows better how to deceive me.
We are both in recovery in 12 step programs & he has 30 days. I can't afford anymore therapy but it is a boundary of mine for him to get therapy. He came clean on a couple more things last night after agreeing to the polygraph.
If you still have so much distrust that you need him to take a polygraph, now is not the time to disclose your only means of verifying that he's not doing anything online. He just disclosed MORE last night! He's not done with disclosure and you don't have the full truth yet, hon. He only disclosed it because you got him to agree to a polygraph. That's not good. That's not recovery that's him trying to manage the situation. Plus, I'd bet anything that he really does not plan to take the polygraph, he's buying time.
There will be a time to tell him but it is NOT now.
I just recently told my rSA about mine. I had it for 3 years without his knowledge. I told him right before we renewed our vows last December. It was when *I* was ready and when he had been sober for well over TWO YEARS. I hadn't even checked it in over 6 months. When you get to a point where you are so confident in him and his sobriety and recovery that you actually forget to check the keylogger for several months... then it is the right time to tell him about it and that you're ready to remove it. That's what we did.
Your husband has 30 days of recovery. That is really not much. Don't get me wrong, it's great but let's face it, it's a drop in the bucket. He needs a minimum of 90 days of TOTAL sobriety (including no masturbation) before his brain even starts to get rewired.
DO NOT DISCLOSE YOUR SAFETY NET.
Should you be checking it compulsively every day? NO! That is not healthy for you. Would it be okay to check it every week for a while? Yes. Then maybe every month. And so on. Baby steps. He hasn't earned your full trust yet.
In my opinion, he's just not far enough along for you to give up your only hope of getting the truth when he's not firmly into recovery and his sobriety is so tenuous.
I only buy the "codependent" label to a certain extent. Yes checking on him is a "codependent behavior" and CAN be harmful if you're doing it to the point of being obsessive and it's harming you. But sometimes a little "codependent behavior" is your last line of defense against a disease that breeds deceit and betrayal.
Of course I am not a professional and this is just my opinion based on my experience.
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 3:46 PM, June 18th (Thursday)]
I get where my IC is coming from but it is the only way I know that he is covering his tracks in other ways which is what bothers me now. Now he is doing better in recovery he only seems to delete things that were innocent so I don't get mad thinking that it was more, but I need to know that he would even delete as it is a boundary of mine for him not to do that because I want him to become rigorously honest. That is where the IC thinks then I should be too.
She is the one who suggested periodic polygraphs so I don't have to police him but he would forget the little things & therefore not show on polygraph. I know I shouldn't care about little things but I want to know he is honest whether he is acting out or not.
[This message edited by Iwillrecover at 4:01 PM, June 18th (Thursday)]