Step one - have your W evaluated by a CSAT - certified sex addicition therapist. There are many IC's who claim to be experienced "treating" SA, in my experience - they are largely useless. If you cannot find a CSAT near you, your next best choice is an addictions counselor.
2. Get yourself a good IC (CSATs often treat spouses as well, it gets pricey for both of you, but its cheaper than a D attorney )
3. See if you can find a local chapter of s-anon for you, take good care of yourself - too much attention can get focused on the addict to your detriment. You need some positive self-care now, and its your primary job.
4. On the first page of this thread, there is a great beginner's list of resources - get going boy - you've got homework!
5. Welcome to our little corner of SI, it is a lovely supportive group.
- oh yeah - here's a link to locate CSAT's by zip code:
[This message edited by JustWow at 9:24 AM, January 25th (Monday)]
edited for typos (I always have to!)
[This message edited by debbied at 4:43 AM, January 25th (Monday)]
the rest of the acting out was another EA and strippers and porn. How likely is that?
Don't know. But how are strippers not contact with someone outside the M? Or is he going on the strict intercourse definition?
My H had 1 PA with a diseased slut. The rest of his activities included m-bating, voyeurism, and scanning. He never really was into porn, except for live-webcams, regular porn was too fake for him to find appealing. He began his addicition around age 11-13, and I never knew a thing about it until he was 43.
So yes, it is possible he's telling the truth. It is also possible he's minimizing and lying, and won't be able to even reveal the truth fully to himself until he gets into treatment and gets sober, and does some real work with his CSAT. The lying to themselves and the distorted thinking can be huge with SA's.
So while it is possible he's telling the truth, I'm not sure I'd put a lot of faith in it until he's been through some of his 12 steps and been working with his CSAT earnestly, for a while.
"And the stars that we could reach were just starfish on the beach"-French folksong
I'm just so confused whether my WH has a SA or is it just near the top of "normal" male behavior.
We're going through so much right now. He's going through so much right now and he's an emotional wreck. I feel like if I even bring up the possibility that he might be a sex addict, he'll lose it - and accuse me of always "finding fault" with him.
But it did hit me the other night when I found out that he was searching porn sites (and I would say again probably - though I just left him alone in the past - because it was one less fight/conflict - and just let him be (he's a conflict avoider for sure).
He's always been into porno magazines and masturbation and he said it's very hormal. And I believe it to a certain degree (I have 4 brothers and work with men at work - so I get the physical pleasures men get at naked women). But I always felt he was a little bit over the top. Early in our marriage - I caught him calling the sex numbers - and he stopped and I don't think he did it again. I also caught him masturbating within an hour after we had made love - in the early years of our marriage. We talked about it a lot - and I again just let him be. When our kids got older and I would find his porno magazines in our drawer by the bed or in the bathroom - and also video tapes - I asked him to please do hot have these hanging around where the kids could find them or stumble across them. He would hide them away for awhile but they would show up again. I used to get really angry but I stopped.
I also caught him several times setting up a video tape of us making love - or taking pictures of me while I was asleep. I said I hated it more that he was sneaky about it -then him wanting to see me.
He swore he has never had a desire to go to a hooker - that disgusts him - and even after these couple of affairs, I do believe that.
But I started thinking and even mentioned it to him - it seemed like his sexual desires and pursuits progressed from.... those early years of masturbation and porno, sneaking movies and looks of me in the shower... and borrowing my underwear without me knowing - to crossing the line with the first A - which he said didn't mean anything. It was with another married coworker who was flirtatious too and they would sneak away and she would give BJs and then started having sex. But she also became his "counselor" as he was spilling his guts out on how "awful our marriage was" that I didn't love him anymore ... that I didn't like sex and didn't want it anymore... This went on for 2 years until he found the most recent OW. She was a woman going through her 3rd divorce and was very aggressive with my WH. It turned into a full EA/PA - to where he thought he was going to be truly happy with her and he had already given me the best years of his life. She cleared her closet and drawers and begged him to move in worth her. He told me he told her "all about us" and I'm sure how our M was boring and that I didn't love him anymore and I could care less about sex.
I told him a million times that I cared a lot about sex but I wanted to feel emotionally connected to my H and not feel like another porno pinup girl or DVD porn star. He just didn't want to believe that.
So... when I told him that I thought maybe he had a sex addiction and it prgressed from porno magazines to live human beings in emotional affairs - he said that's an interesting way of looking at it.
It's only been 3 months since DDay. We are working on our M and are in MC and he in IC.
He's a wreck - he feels horrible that he hurt me and the OW#2. He can't believe he fell that hard... and that he truly believed that she was "the one" and he was moving on to his new life. He says he sees that more and more - but he still has strong feelings for her - and that it's really hard to get beyond that.
So, he is dealing with all kinds of issues:
- getting over the EA/PA
- feeling horrible that he's hurt so many people.
- battling with an already low self esteem
- trying to see me in a more positive manner since he had convinced himself for over 3 years that I didn't love him and that our M was over.
- figuring out what 'love' is since he thought he was with her.
- not believing that anyone can be with the same person for their whole life.
- he's afraid he's going to do it again (maybe not in the next few months but in a year or two. He's lost his confidence in himself.
He's been working hard at all of the above for 3 months - though he's been slipping lately in his sustainability and doesn't want to "talk about it".
He wants no conflict and gets very upset at even the smallest conflict issue.
So... now how do I even begin to bring up that he should really see if he is a SA too. I don't know if he's strong enough for that right now. He's not the strongest individual.. obviously.
I'm going to carefully bring it up at the MC session. I've been trying to get him to bring it up to his IC -but he says it hasn't come up (its only been 2 sessions since I first brought up my observation).
But now that I found out that he was looking at porn on-line - I'm concerned.
He says he's an emotional wreck. He's messed up in his head.. and he's a broken man. I'm trying to be loving and supportive - but he's got to really want to change. I hope he does.
So... has anyone dealt with this before???
It's only been 2 women in the past 3 years - but I'm afraid now that the flood gate is open and he's taste the "forbidden fruit" - it will be easier next time - or maybe it will be the ONS next.
What a mess.
Behind Porn Addiction are 2 very obvious characteristics. Number one, he/she will downplay the porn and not acknowledge they have a problem. The person will say things like,"every guy does it" and will not acknowledge their own obsession with it and the dire consequences it is having upon their marriage/relationship. Secondly, people heavily invovled with porn and SA become detatched from sex or lovemaking. They come to not consider the fact that image there is a person.They come to see sex as a means of their own personal satisfaction. The don't take into account what sex is really all about, intimacy shared with a human being with thoughts and feelings very different from their own.My husband told himself his AP was into it for the same things as him, sex and sex alone, when in reality she grew to have a emotional attachment to him. He never knew or even cared. When she expressed herself he threw her under the bus so to speak. He got in over his head. Now, he is ashamed, embarassed, repentant of his thinking back then. That is for us the one thing that charactered my husband's thinking back then, he was very messed up in his selfish thinking. He learned a lot from the experience. He's quite ashamed. Often SA does not play out like it has for us. Thank goodness has straightened himself out and has come back to me.
I just want to sahre 2 things with you. If you partner was/is heavily into porn I would be very suspect of any photos or videos he took of you. There are porn sites where people share secretly acquired videos with out the permission of the party photographed. Secondly, SA is a battle that oftentimes the person cannot control.So, if he does have a SA there are not quick fixes. He can't just turn it off easily. It will take ether a major epiphany moment on his part or an active program to help him change.Good luck to you. All my opinions.
I was struck by the description of your WH in your post and how much it resembled my WH during his very long and intense period of 'fog,' and before he realized he had a sex/love addiction. The part about not being with the same person for a lifetime - that was my WH's code for I'm not sure about us. Him being a conflict avoider and battling a low self esteem meant that he wasn't emotionally available for heart to heart conversations. He would sit and listen to me and make attempts to comfort me as if he cared, as if he was really listening to me. Instead he was just waiting for me to be done so he could polietly get back to his lies and addiction. His assessment that he thought our marriage was over was simply him re-writing our marital history. It was a handy excuse for his inexcusable behavior. He repeated claimed how badly he felt about hurting so many people. Yet, not bad enough, it turns out, to stop acting inappropriately and again hurting all those same people and a few more.
Looking back the only way I was able to get my WH to snap out of the fog (it took 6 weeks for him to 'snap') was to begin serious talk and action around divorce.
In response to my ultimatum he started treatment for his addiction. But now I have mixed feelings about being around him and part of me just wants us to be over and done with. He has so many, many issues (he suffered serious child abuse). Our relationship has become a black hole sucking up time, money and emotional energy, with no guarentee that tomorrow we won't find ourselves back at square one.
Sorry to be so frank about what a tough rode we here travel. I have two words of advice: self care.
We are traumatized each time we are confronted by the evidence of our partners betrayals, so we don't look for it, deny it when we see it, believe the fairy tales that they concoct to explain the behavior, missed appointments, missing money, ED, blah, blah, blah. And we are controlled by their rage, or their gaslighting, or their denial, or excuses or gifts or their "woe is me" attitudes or whatever it is they use to deflect the attention away from the addiction. Until we face it and decide that we AREN'T GOING TO LIVE WITH AN ADDICT, it will continue.
I haven't been to SI for awhile, and was just trying to catch up when I saw the above quote from scaredyKat. It is so true I wanted to repeat it.
My SA ex is gone from my life, finally, with as painful an exit as he could muster up. He truly hurt me as deeply as I can imagine right up to the very end.
I am glad he is gone. i am glad that I finally had the clarity to make him go, and after that to finally realize I can have no contact with him whatsoever.
I wish I could go back in time and change the day I met him. I am so deeply traumatized by all that he has done- all the women (and men!), all the porn, all the comments and actions he had to do to tear me down so he wouldn't feel guilty. Strippers, hookers, stripper bars. Friends, coworkers, even relatives.
All over town are reminders of the things that happened in the last 3 years. I can't believe it was only three years. And I can't believed I stayed with him that long, at the same time.
There are layers and layers of feelings and memories that are being shed, and with each new layer I have to learn again to breathe out the fear and pain, let if go. Live here right now in this moment.
I have figured out some things, some on my own and some with help from friends. There are incidents that stuck in my head that I know can make sense of. Some of the things I've figured out are truly horrific - some involving ways he tricked me and exploited me for monetary gain.
I dont even know what kind of therapist to seek out to deal with the aftermath. I want to move on. Very much. Does anyone have any idea about what sort of therapist to look for? My city has a wide variety.
Good luck to everyone. Make sure, please, that your partner is truly doing the work. There should be no anger at your questions, no deflection, no hesitation... etc..
I could have written your post. My ex did many of the same things yours did, and even molested the daughters of our friends (for which he served time, thankfully). I went to therapy for quite a while--I just happened to pick a therapist who had worked for the police dept for years working with the victims of molestation and their families.
While the therapy was very helpful, I ended up feeling that I was only dealing with the immediate trauma of what horrible thing I had discovered that week, or re-hashing my trauma from what he'd done. I too, was so traumatized by what had happened to our family, that I wasn't making any forward motion.
I remember feeling that I wanted to get rid of everything in my house. I wanted to get rid of 25yrs of pictures. I could barely stand to drive anywhere in town b/c it was all a bitter reminder that the life I thought I was living was a lie.
Today, I am truly grateful for my ex's addiction (not the others he harmed), but the fact that it woke me up out of my denial, and my thinking that his distance,his verbal abuse, his ED were all my fault somehow. His SA got me to walk thru the doors of an SAnon mtg a year after we separated, and that action has saved my life and sanity.
Today I KNOW that I didn't cause his addiction, I couldn't control it, and I sure as hell couldn't cure it. It had NOTHING to do with me--I was just collateral damage. I have accepted that I can't change the past--I just have to work thru the issues caused by it.
I have so much more awareness now about my own life, and why I do the things I do. I am finding my true, authentic self once again, and it is truly a gift of working the SAnon program. Addiction is a disease of secrecy, and living with an addict becomes an exercise in denial and secrecy--even when you don't know what's going on consciously. Recovery is shedding the secrets and living in your own truth. A truly amazing way to live life, and I am grateful every day for the therapist who told me to get my butt to a mtg (or I would be destined to choose the same addiction with a different face).
Therapy is great, and I highly recommend it, but for me it's been working the 12 steps and focusing on ME.
11/08 - Found out he is still talking to the previous OW as well as at least three others.
I haven't been on this site in ages. However, I came across this great paper by Patrick Carnes on The Making of a Sex Addict that puts a lot of it in a nutshell: http://www.sexhelpworkshops.com/Documents/ARTICLE_The%20Making%20of%20a%20Sex%20Addict_PCarnes.pdf
I have been thinking about somthing and I thought I would ask you guys about it. I recently discovered that WH has been siphoning money from his unemployment card and his student loan card. (more by accident...I really didnt want anymore trickles until full disclosure with out CSAT). But it has occured to me recently that I really no longer know (if i ever really knew) WH. He is like a stranger to me. and I finally am figuring out what everyone means when they say I have to heal myself...and if WH heals himself is his business and his concern.
So I am wondering...is it possible to heal one's self and still stay in a marriage frame of mind. Like in 2 years from now, if WH has really made some progress...how do you get over all the hurt he caused you while still keeping him in a good place in your heart. I am so angry at him and I have lost almost all respect for him. I have zero desire for him right now. I do plan to give him the chance to heal and get in to recovery, though I admit it is partly b/c I am having a baby in May, and quitting your job while you are pregnant and losing your insurance...isnt the best idea. I would have to move closer to family and that would mean quitting and paying my employer $5000 for leaving before Decemeber. I work 12 hour over nights.
Is it possible to heal yourself and let him work on himself...sort of seperately and then if you both heal...do you find a way back to each other...or is it really just too late. how do you know when its too late? Right now...I cant trust a word he says, and any time I have any inkling that somthing is afoot...I just believe that somthing is...b/c more than likely it always has been.
I dont know if any of this has made sense...but if it did...thanks in advance.
I have just been really sad lately...I keep wondering how did I end up here.
ETA: I mean...it seems like I have to feel a bit indiffernt or cold to his own pain. I am not blind to his pain. But I feel like I cant let his pain affect my decisions or my healing. I have to stop making him feel better...stop comforting him...b/c really I dont feel that nice towards him right now...Im really kind of pissed off at him.
[This message edited by PixieDust at 6:24 AM, February 3rd (Wednesday)]
I think what you seem to be wrestling with is something I struggled with as well. Can you really detach till the 2 people involved are healthy enough to try to form a healthy relationship, or does doing so just start the process of the end. And trying to make those decisions while pregnant, so vulnerable, yikes! I had to do that, too. It is very difficult.
Somethings that helped me - the lovely mantra from 7yrsbetrayed - You can't make a healthy M without 2 healthy people. That's just a fact. And until he gets completely sober AND has some serious progress in his recovery under his belt - he just plain isn't capable. Its also very likely that you have some significant healing from the trauma you've endured before you're ready, too. And its just plain not fair that all those other folks who want to R have their WS helping them heal and just because of this stupid addiction you cannot get that same help from your H NOW when you need it, but odds are that he just isn't capable right now.
So what do you do? Detaching can be looked at in a positive sense, rather than a terrifying one. The more you're able to detach from him right now, the less you are going to allow him to hurt you, the fewer hurts you are going to have to repair in order to R. The "house" already has severe storm damage, if you continue to live in it - that could create flooding in the basement or an electrical fire that burns the whole thing down. Its better to move out until the necessary repairs are made so that is safely habitatible before trying to move back in.
How do you detach and still hope? It is such a circular problem, but truly, the answer is in boundary seting - AND LETTING GO OF THE OUTCOME. Re-read this link, or read it for the first time if you haven't already, spend some time there looking at the linked pages:
Please don't think I'm ignoring the fact that you're expecting. Like I said, I've BTDT with H. Consider what you need to keep yours and the baby's physical and mental health as a priority, and follow that path. It might mean staying under the same roof with H but in separate rooms. Maybe even the same room, but celibate (I say this because STD's aren't just humiliating, many of them are life threatening to the baby - BTDT with this crap too, and I WASN'T so "wise" back then). You don't even need to tell H what you decide - just figure out what is best on all fronts for you and stick to it. Think about if you have any family you can count on for help, think about how long it would take H to get you off of his insurance if you separtated (it doesn't happen instantly, you'd likely have a bit of time on this one), really think things through realistically and make a plan for you that includes being ready for both the best and worst outcomes - for me that helps me let go of the outcome. When I know that I can handle any outcome - the worst ones seem less scary and my boundaries "magically" become firmer.
We are still trying to R. H is still seeing his CSAT, and we're starting a couples class with his CSAT in a few weeks. I have hope for R, but I have no wish to be "R'd" with an addict who isn't firmly and religiously committed to recovery from his addiction. If I were a beeting person, I'd say our chance of pulling off a healthy R are a weak 50/50.
*****oops hit send on accident!!
Give yourself some time to look at your boundaries, your wants, your reality and determine what is best for you. Know that every day you have the option of leaving, and even D doesn't necessarily mean the final end of your relationship with your H. What is your job everyday is taking the best possible care of yourself (and your baby), and that means physically and emotionally.
Take care of you hun, I do know your struggle, I'm sory you have to deal with it, but no one but you can be trusted to take proper care of you right now, so you need to make sure that you do it.
[This message edited by JustWow at 7:23 AM, February 3rd (Wednesday)]
And the other thing to consider is that some people can continue to live with the WS and manage to not get too stressed out about it. For me, it was so stressful that I lost control of the rest of my life. I found out this fall that I had an undiagnosed medical condition that made it harder for me, but even so, it was crazy-making.
Staying centered on your and the baby sounds really smart. To have to also be trying to make sure a WS was keeping to his word, and doing the work to heal.. well that could be pretty distracting.
And if you are feeling strong enough to separate yourself from him, I would think that this is a good time to do so, whether it's physically separate or emotionally. I never felt ready to do that, but my X refused to stop lying about women, and it was too stressful. I told him he had to go several times, but I always let him come back until 3 months ago. This time he didn't come back because now he is living with one of the OW from before our failed R. And I find I can't get myself to feel ok about it being over.
I had surgery in January to correct my medical condition and I am thinking more clearly, less emotional in general, and my energy is coming back after years of constant exhaustion (I thought I was just lazy! So did X! He thought I was lazy and crazy, actually). I thought that now that I feel so much better, I'd be ok about all of it, but suddenly I miss him even more and it all seems so tragic.
I can't believe he couldn't work on himself and try. But he couldn't and wouldn't. I am so mad at myself to be still having feelings and every day I struggle not to contact him. How much more humiliation do I need? Even if he came back, would I want to live in that state of fear again? Watching his every move, knowing when something is wrong but having to struggle or spy to find out what... etc.
I think of times when I felt stronger and wanted to keep him away, but gave in and let him come back. Each time he managed to do more damage to my psyche, although I thought I was strong and could handle his presence. And it must be making it harder for me to know he's with that OW. If I had kept him away one of those times when he didn't have someone lined up - would I have felt less rejected?
I guess I'm just saying that if you can take a step away to do your own healing, by all means do so.
And Just wow..that was exactly what I was trying to say.
Actually WH and I spend little time in the same bed since I work over nights and sleep during the day. And I have made it clear to him that there will be no physical intimacy until he is well into recovery b/c I wont risk my health/life nor little baby's health/life on the poor bet of him being faithful. (I think Im good b/c they did a complete STD/HIV screen as part of my prenatal visit in Oct.)
Baby and I are doing really well, actually. This has to be the easiest of my 3 pregnancies.
I'll just have to keep winging it, seeing our CSAT and start going to COSA meetings next week. Find a way to detach in a kind way. If that makes sense.
I am actually spending little energy on making sure WH keeps his word...b/c he is a pathological lier. I have just given up. He is a true addict and he is just not able to stop it. I hope with therapy and an SA group he can find a way to sobriety...
I was doing pretty well letting him own his issues while I own my issues. and not trying to manage his recovery...But finding out he was siphoning his unemployment and student loan money all last year while I was working myself sick...and he was blowing it on Magic cards and who knows what else..just really offended me on a personal level and has had me riled up the last few days.
Thanks for the hugs.
Cant Wait Till May...Hoping DS has a lot of hair, like his big sister.
I just found out this week my BF is a Sex Addict!
With the help of a friend on here (picsinmyhead) I found out that my SO has a secret life. I found 5 email addresses that he has. I called him immediately and asked him for the passwords. He gave them to me and inside I found hundreds of contacts he'd been chatting with. He admitted to me that he met with 4 different women since we'd been together, all for oral sex only or hand jobs. I found out he was constantly trying to chat with these women on a daily basis. I found out he joined a swingers sex site "Swinglifestyle.com", I found out he met with 2 couples and 1 man (without his wife) within the last 2 weeks, though he said it was only for a drink. I found out my world this last year with him was a lie, basically.
So what did I do with this information? I sat with him, we talked for hours, held each other all night, we did this for 3 days. He told me all about his dark past and how he is now admitting to me, and to himself, that he's a sex addict. He begged me not to give up on him, he told me he loved me so much and that I am perfect and amazing and strong and beautiful and how much he wants to be with me. I went with him to see his therapist, he told him he's a liar(in a polite way) and that when he tells me he promises he won't do it again that it's a lie. He told him that he can promise not to do it only one day at a time, and that he can only promise me he'll try not to do it again and that he'll get help.
He has been looking at this site and posted his story in the Wayward Side forum, he has bought books his therapist recommended, we are looking into going to a sex addict meeting, and he's given me complete access to his whole life (his cell phone - he even changed his phone # so no one who has it from this can ever contact him, his emails, his facebook, etc, everything). I even added my email address into his email accounts so I can get all of his emails, too, so he can't erase any of them, and I did this with his blessing. I think he really wants to change now and have a real, true, happy life with me. He says he wants us to be a family, I believe that. He said he wants to be with me forever, I believe that, too, and I want that also. I love him more than I can express!
I know it's going to be a long, hard, scary ,rollercoaster of a journey. I know it would be much easier for me to just walk away, find someone knew, but I love him so much, I have seen what kind of a man he is without this, and I want that man in my life forever.
I do have one question though for my fellow BS's, I have access to his 5 email accounts he used for his addiction, I changed the passwords, I made the primary email address my email, so he can't try to reset the passwords without me getting the email, how do I abandon these email addresses without deleting them? We were thinking we might change the passwords, he'd enter 4 characters, give me the computer and then I'd enter 4 and with that the passwords would be changed, but we'd both not be able to get in again. This way, he can't try to reinstate his accounts. Do you think this would work?
Sorry so long!
*updated because I think my friend who helped me deserves recognition!