He has a couple of hundred bucks, no job, didn't even shower before going. Called me from the car, sobbing like a baby.
So, I don't have to break promise to son, but I am feeling the loss as a huge one. I ended up really feeling a lot more than I expected.
Last night he went to the SA meeting, so that he could stay here another night, and he was angry when he came back, but he had bought a book, and got three numbers, and did say that he heard himself in the readings and sharing, and he shared, too.
But then he thought that meant he could move into another bedroom and stay while he looks for work. A month or whatever.
I didn't know the right thing to do, but I did what I felt I wanted - told him the way to stay was if he felt interested in doing a meeting a day. I question my need to control him. Is it that or was it me setting a limit? It's still trying to fix him but maybe it's ok, because it's about healthy steps? I can see it both ways if I squint.
Anyway, he said no. And I said OK, and he was supposed to pack up fast and go. I went and hung out with my roommate (who is also an ex-boyfriend, and I have to start looking at my own sex/love addictions if I am going to get healthy). After a while I went to check on XBF and he was making me a picture as a present, not packing.
And so the night went, dragged out, and lots of attempts - let's do some music and write one more song together, let's go get a little tipsy, let's finish the kitchen... but in the end we sat around and sniffled a lot and tried not to get into emotional stuff too deeply. No sex, which made me feel rejected but which was right. A little fighting, but just from pain. A lot of confusion and switching roles - one not wanting to end things, the other being strong and then vice versa.
This morning I was very angry. Angry at the mess he leaves me with, angry that he can shut his feelings off, angry that he won't take the steps to get healthy. Angry that I love him so much and feel like being apart is fine but not the right answer, in the end. Angry that I showed him my pain.
I don't feel desperate as I have at other endings with him or in other relationships - I feel strongly that we can't be together and as soon as he left I no longer felt the terror of being alone. I feel calm and stronger. Last night, whenever I left the bedroom I felt lighter and awake, and when I went back in with him there I felt heavy and drowsy.
I guess we have been asleep for a long time, both of us. And this transition is what is needed. But I also feel that if we both got healthy, it would be worth trying again with a new beginning. I see that this may never happen, but I see that it might.
Anyway, it's cool how strong I feel now that he's gone. That's a surprise, I tell you.
That last sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. That's it! That's it exactly. You have to surrender the outcome. You set your boundaries and your consequences and the outcome will be whatever it will be. I knew this on some level but I never was able to express it when trying to explain boundaries to others. It's so simple really.
Makes me feel better about asking him to go to meetings if he wanted place to stay. Although I still question myself since it seems so controlling.
Oh, and I forgot to say that my son is out of town with my mom, so he had no idea XBF was back in house this week. So, while I TECHNICALLY broke the promise, son doesn't have to ever know. Sneaky justification...
Masturbation, lust, and sex with me, on the other hand, are the things he is craving and getting frustrated about. He sleeps longer than he ever has, and I think it's probably depression or withdrawal from the neurochemistry that he's been hooked on for years. He has good days (especially right after meetings - he always comes home so positive that this is the right thing for him and filled with gratitude that I am willing to R - so many of his SA friends tell him that he is very fortunate to have a person like me in his life) but then he has bad days where he is tense, frustrated, and snappy. RCA has been a blessing for us, because all of the couples in the program have BTDT so they can support us and offer advice for getting through it.
I do have my moments - my libido has been increasing in the past two years (pretty normal for a 38 year old woman) so I have times when I just wish we could have sex. It's weird, but for the most part I've found it strangely calming. There is no tension about sex right now, so I know when he touches me it is simply for the sake of showing his love for me, not to get anything out of it. Throughout our 13 year marriage, we have not gone for more than 5 days without sexual contact (even through illness, surgeries, and pregnancies) and we frequently had sex when I wasn't really wanting it but was pressured (never forcefully - very passive aggressive) because he had always been so intensely sexual and I was a co-addict and didn't know it and always gave in to his desires out of a sense of obligation.
Being close to 30 days right now is very strange and surreal. I know that it is the right thing to do. We have intimate moments now only when we are both wanting to that have nothing to do with sex and it's very stimulating. Strange, but definitely beautiful.
So my fears right now come from the fact that my school year begins this Tuesday (I teach 4th/5th grade). We have made excellent progress while we have both been home full time. H is employed only part time in the mornings, so he drops the kids off to school and works for 3 hours a day. After that, he has always just had free time - he does some of the home tasks like laundry but this was the time of day when he would contact/hook up with OW last year. His sponsor/SA friends have suggested attending meetings two days a week at noon, and he has a Thursday evening meeting and a Saturday meeting specifically for survivors of sexual abuse. It was also recommended that he enroll in a pottery class because he's an artist and works with clay, so he has filled most of his free time productively. My issue is that I still don't trust him (of course) so I worry that he will be tempted to act out - we're still so early in his sobriety that I am concerned. I guess I just have to have faith that he will remain committed to his recovery.
I guess that's enough for now...again, thanks for being here to listen to me!
"To love is not just to look at each other but to look together in the same direction." ~ Antoine de St. Exupery
EternalOptimist - Thanks again! I think the decision did feel right to me.
imtrying - I am glad you are feeling so strong! =)
OneTooMany- I hope your progress continues. I can't imagine the 90 day abstinence contract. In the past, it wouldn't have been a problem for me, but that has really changed lately.
11/08 - Found out he is still talking to the previous OW as well as at least three others.
Onetoo - I found this post really interesting and even moving. I admit that I had not understood the 90 days thing and it sounded impossible to me, but now I think it sounds really healing and lovely.
I'm doing OK. I have seen XBF far too much, I'm sure. I feel very isolated in life these days - not many friends left, used to just being a hermit. Out of work for so long that it feels hopeless.
So, it does get is hard when he's gone, sometimes. It also feels much better, sometimes.
I know that I do not want this relationship, though.
It feels really good and different to not be fighting for it this time - not trying to convince him, not trying to teach him, etc.
The feeling of loss is really different. I don't feel the desperate need to hold on - to talk to him or hear from him or see him. That is the codependency or love addiction or whatever. Trying to break that pattern and I find the loss is now just an emptiness that is sometimes vast and teriffying but, ultimately, not about him.
He came over last night to pack more stuff, and I ended up asking him to stay, because we talked some about Truth and Lying, and because he is so secretive about his new life (and has hardly any phone numbers on his new phone - but two of the ten are the prostitute he has been hanging out with (just friends, he says, and she has a boyfriend, now why should that seem odd or have helped me decide to leave?) and the extremely messed up woman I used to be friends with who he had the sex conversation with on text a few weeks back, another factor in me throwing in the towel. He had a lame excuse for having her number, too.
I felt very triggered and anxious last night. Felt a panic attack coming on. He was not much help. I saw the numbers on his phone because I had an urge to look at it (he kept getting calls and holding it so I couldn't see it to send texts back), and then I gave up and gave him the phone back because he was looking for it, and then he said, "If you want to, go ahead and look." I shouldn't have. I want to let go of getting anymore truth from him. CErtainly about now, but mainly about before we broke up.
I thought of pretending that the guy who did those things - has those secrets, is dead. I'd have to accept the truth.
He was telling me last night that the stress of my life right now is making me paranoid. I countered that with info on PTSD and betrayal/infidelity/lying. Says the effects are similar to those felt by combat vets. That shut him up...
But really it was useful for me to read. I've been feeling so crazy about the secrets...
Sigh. He's here snoring. I'm anxios for him to go/afraid for him to go.
I need a vacation.
Part of the challenge is not trying to "medicate" those feelings of emptiness/loss/grief by luring him back. Just feel the feelings -- it might be terrifying, but you will survive them. You'll realize that they're just feelings and that you're strong enough to cope. You'll also discover, as I did, that once you free up the energy you spent on XBF you'll have lots of energy to pursue healthy things -- like interests in which you'll make new friends, job seeking, etc. Being around a sick person is exhausting.
You'll also eventually gain clarity -- you'll be able to look back and see a really sick person and how unhealthy the relationship was. I know I always had the fear that I didn't stick it out a bit longer, then my boyfriend would get "better" and I'd miss out on the new, improved him. The only thing I was missing out on was the rest of my life without all the drama, craziness and pain.
You'll get there. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
It is so hard I think because even though I see it now, and know I want to detach, my life is so very isolated, and when I peel back the relationship, I find there is a lot of anxiety and depression lurking below. I haven't had the money for appointments or medicine for over a year (I was on Cymbalta, btw. I don't know if it can totally permanently cure an obsession, but it is supposed to help people kick compulsive behaviors and then they can develop better behaviors etc. But I believe they have to work on the underlying issues at the same time). And I'm seeing how when he's not here I'm having some anxiety about leaving the house, etc.
I'm trying, I'm trying. Tomorrow - no contact for a day?
My husband is actively doing the Partner's Recovery on Recovery Nation and he is working very hard on it. I am proud of him for that and have told him repeatedly. He's made great changes.
However, a couple weeks ago I was trying to help the husband set up his Palm Tréo. I was trying to sync it up with his email and therefore had to open it. I saw he had an email from former female coworker who I suspected he was having an EA. He denies any attachment but in MC when her emails were discussed it was determined that he would tell me - regardless of my response. Well, seeing her email I thought "oh, now he'll be able to put the skills he's learned to use and tell me about it". I didn't mention it to him or read it. I just finished with his setup and closed out.
For the past 2 weeks he has not checked his email. He finally did on Sunday. Nothing is said. I figure it was because the daughter was here. We go to bed. Nothing is said. Wake up the next day and nothing is said. Finally, I bring it up. First I get the "what email?" then "I forgot about it" then "I didn't want to bring it up in from of daughter" then "I didn't think it was important" to finally him breaking down in tears, crying and printing out his Values List from RN. He then said that I had tested him and he had failed. I informed him that I was NOT intentionally testing him but I just wanted him to be able to put to use what was agreed upon in counseling and to give him the opportunity to do the right thing on his own.
He then said "you just wanted to feel proud of me and I screwed that all up!".
On his Values List - right there, Item 1 - is being honest to me and don't lie even by omission. I quote "Tell H when ex-boss or excoworker email or call. " He was pissed at himself and showed me how that was his #1 Value and he stated that he "screwed up" and was very sorryand angry at himself.
Last night as we discussed it he then talked me through what they do in the Recovery Workshop. He was trying to figure out his emotional attachment to keeping secrets from me. Breaking down the action. He couldn't figure it out then but told me he's going to carry his values list with him all the time now. He realizes how easily it was for him to NOT follow those.
He then started on his RN Lesson and the opening paragraph was about how the addiction can make you chose the wrong thing even when you know it's wrong. We were both floored how it seemed to fit with what we'd gone through. He did the lesson anxiously.
I was able to reflect on how far we've come. He is talking about his RN work more, tells me some of the things he can about SAA meetings and how he's feeling. He's recovering nicely and it makes me very happy. He was able to admit his mistake, make ammends, give a heartfelt apology then continue to work on himself.
I am very proud of him and very encouraged by his progress.
[This message edited by 2br02b at 8:31 AM, August 4th (Tuesday)]
Your name says it all. You are trying...and your tries will get better with time and energy. Give yourself huge credit for how far you've already come. Your idea to have no contact for a day is good. If you make it through that, go for two days, etc. etc. If you slip, then simply go back to your resolve and try again.
I would recommend a 12-step group for co-dependents. It would help with your isolation and, perhaps, your anxiety. You seem so wise -- I suspect you're right that this relationship has allowed you to overlook your anxiety/depression in much the same way sex allows SAs to distract themselves from their pain.
It's amazing the strength you'll gain, though, from going through the feelings rather than avoiding them. It hurts, it's scary...but if you have a support system (us, a group...) you'll get through it. You have a lot to offer the world...and yourself.
I'm happy to see the way you handled the email. do you know why she emailed in the first place? Is there a NC agreement?
They say "Love conquers all" Well, I am afraid they are WRONG!
The context of the email was to look for a job. Benign enough and it was a mass mailing.
As far as I'm concerned, we are still married until the divorce is final, and I will respect that.
He obviously has a different idea of what respect means.
I'm feel your pain. The disrespect is painful.
Last DDay: 7/15/09
Dday again: 3/10/2011
All Done: Better late then never.
-When your WH was in active sex addiction did he take several showers a day?...like 3 & 4...always an excuse...got sweaty moving the car, etc. AND, my WH ALWAYS ran the sink water whenever in the bathroom...for a long-long time...so fecking weird!
-Lock himself in the bathroom a lot (espec. when mad)...only place he could lock a door for privacy.
Also, my WH never will wear underwear (easier access I'm thinking, as he has admitted to M. a lot in his truck)...acting like he just never has liked them much..it's normal...but he didn't ALWAYS do this...
Anyone else w/ similar experiences? thanks!
He was not officially diagnosed (yet), but reading here and elsewhere made me realize that his behavior was not normal.
His primary form of acting out is porn. I have found him using porn and masturbating during the times that he was supposed to be with our daughter while I worked. He has admitted to masturbating several times while he was away a few weekends ago (this was his attempt to make me feel guilty for not doing my "wifely duties" as he calls it.) He also came back from a trip this past weekend and was back at the computer masturbating within an hour of his return.
I took a look at some of the SA questionnaires and he definitely qualifies.
My STBXH does the running water thing and locks the door when he uses the bathroom as well.
could be he was missing you since you were gone and so he lashed out, but then reeled in his feelings and realized he better act nicely.
i have come to suspect any kind of crying in my SA-X. I used to think it showed his sincerity. I have a message from the other day, that he left as he moved out for good - just sobbing, incomprehensible. but he can do that and be lying about everything. i've come to see it as the guilt overwhelming him, and that it means he has a secret. but that's MY PARANOIA. so, i don't mean to suggest that.
are you being more distant from him on this trip? not checking in? could he be scared that you are withdrawing your love?