I'll address this in MC.
I would expect to see some progress after 4 months. How long has he been living at his parents' house?
Most SAs are SAs because of FOO issues. Most commonly being too enmeshed with mother and having a distant father. But it can be a lot of things.
I'm going to totally speculate here...
Your SA is living with is parents. What are the odds that that is why he is not making progress? He's immersed himself in the very environment that created him. I don't think my rSA could have worked his recovery and gotten sober had he been living with his parents.
I hope things are going as gently as possible for you all. I have a question about lying.
This is my situation - currently we are both in IC, looking to start MC when we're ready. My WH hasn't yet attended specialist counselling for SAs - he is undiagnosed but we both agree that he shares behaviors with SA. Specialist counselling will be a condition of reconciliation for me at some point. At the moment he's been in IC for about three months and is only beginning to look at himself and his behaviours.
He doesn't do intimacy with anyone (in real life) and tells me things on a need to know basis. My question is - is lying an SA characteristic? My WH lies about small stuff all the time, sometimes it's directly lying to my face, other times it's avoiding telling me things.
We had an example of this last week where he hadn't told me he had tickets to a match and wanted to take his son. He'd had them for months but didn't tell me. He managed to tell his ex-wife that week as he needed to arrange an earlier pick-up, and so then had to tell me as his son would have let it slip. He told me that he'd only got the tickets that week and when I asked how, he said a friend had phoned him asking if he wanted to buy his spare tickets. I asked him when this had happened, he said Monday afternoon, after which he arranged pick-up. I sat him down and said that I didn't believe he had just acquired tickets as there was usually a process of allocating them etc, and then he admitted he'd had them for months.
There are many things here that upset me - not telling me in the first place and then demonstrating that without batting an eyelid he can lie to my face a number of times. I don't understand the avoidance in the first place as it is neither here nor there with me him going to a match (I'm not a sports fan) and it would take an active effort for me not to mention something equivalent in conversation to him - and we'd been chatting about what we might do with our weekend a few days before. The bigger issue though is the ability to lie. How can I possibly begin to trust again when even the small stuff is not true / misrepresented / not mentioned..?
Does anyone have experience with this?
Reply to Aisling-
I believe lying is second nature to all addicts because that's how they protect their addiction. I've been told that SAs who are sober and are fully vested in their recovery can learn to tell the truth all the time. There is a female SA (maybe Misses Jai?) in the Wayward Forum who talks about having to learn what telling the truth is.
I hope my SA can learn this essential necessity for a productive life. I hope your SA is fully committed to his therapy and recovery.
Hugs & Best wishes~ Sabina
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
My question is - is lying an SA characteristic?
Why would someone who says they love you...blah, blah, blah. etc...do that. Is this a game to him? Why is he acting this way?
Oh and him living with his parents... he's not going to hit rock bottom. :(
[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 1:21 AM, December 4th (Saturday)]
My question is - is lying an SA characteristic?
My WH has mastered the ability to look me dead in the eye and lie and I couldn't tell the difference. Sometimes I still have a hard time knowing if I'm being lied to or not.
Ignorance was bliss but it wasn't the reality of my marriage...
I don't think he's hit rock bottom yet though. I have the feeling that he recognizes the problem but that he doesn't recognize how serious it is. But, yesterday was good for me too. I was so upset that he looked at the porn until I realized, I wasn't the one with the problem, he is. He's the one that needs to fix it and I needed to follow the advice I'd been given on here and read in MASH - I need to take care of me. And, that means not falling into the co-addict role again.
I told him I'd walk by his side as long as he sought help but if it was just words, I'd have to leave the M. For me.
I'm not entirely convinced that he is going to seek help or if he's going to white knuckle it again.
He went to church this morning and that's something he's never done before. He told me that he needed to find faith in God and in himself.
I don't know if I should ask him about pursuing help or if I should leave him on his own to follow up on it. Any ideas?
Now I have it.
FmrLier, I think I am hearing my therapist tell me I shouldn't ask my WS to pursue treatment. I am trying as hard as I can to work on me. I can't fix him and I can't make him get treatment. WS will go to see the MC this week. We'll see what happens I guess.
I have no good advice; I'm way too new at this. Just try to focus on yourself.
*anger at the changes in our M and friendship, boundaries, basically all changes
*admitting that he is sick (March 2010)
*has been in MC/IC with a trained SA specialist (not called CSAT though?) from day one and is very faithful with his appt.
*very reluctant to talk about the A's
*hiding more details but will give a timeline after vacation
*suspicious stuff happens when we get back in town and I ask him to leave
*further denies being SA and lots of anger (just to me not to our MC/IC)
*takes a turn in recovery for the better, I'm finally starting to is some healthy signs in his behavior
*takes a poly and passes the most important question about how many partners but fails ones about current inappropriate acting out
*seems to be moving along well in recovery so he moves back in
*comes to me several times and just starts talking about how he feels (HUGE!)
*we're working on building emotional intimacy
*leaves out his notebook for Facing the Shadows for five days and starts acting strange and acts out in a very bad way
*I break down and read the notes and discover the basics of the rest of his lies. He comes home and confesses most stuff but I can tell that little details, he is still afraid to own up to. We head to emergency session and I'm not behaving well but he starts protecting and defending his newest LTA
*I flip out and kick him out and refuses to talk to him all weeklong
*he finally tells his parents about what he has done and about being SA
*we are now back to being separated, not talking about us but getting along and being a family for the kids. He is just planning on coming home when he is off his two jobs but sleeping somewhere else just like the last time we were separated.
Wh has had multiple A's throughout his whole adult life and our 17 year M. He has been into porn and some cybersex but those aren't all that appealing to him. He loves the risk, pursuit, and secret life and the sex is just an added bonus.
So now what should I expect?
I've been told that he seems to have left the notebook out on purpose because he was too ashame to tell me himself about what he considers the most shameful parts of his behavior and that telling his parents is a huge step in recovery.
I've read all the books and I'm a member at recoverynation and working my way through the partners healing workshop so I some idea of what I should look for this next year. But I would really love to hear for those of you who have been there and done that.
At this point, I don't trust anything coming out of his mouth. He has been lying to me for the whole year and especially during the last two months when I thought he was moving forward.
He's angry at me because he feels like I will never stop punishing him for the past but I've tried to be very clear that I'm not surprised by the new details, most I had figured he was lying about anyway, but it's the lying especially in the last two months when I had finally taken that step towards trusting him and commiting to recovery with him that I can't forgive at this time and he has destroyed everything that we had worked so hard to rebuild. I just can't hope anymore about us and our M.
But I commited myself to him and his recovery and whether or not our M survives, we will always share four kids so I don't want to walk away from him if he's serious about recovery.
I've been run over by another semi and I'm so disoriented that I'm having a hard time figuring out what is a healthy step or a lie, or what.
Thanks for sticking with this VERY long post of my rambling confusion.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!
starts acting strange and acts out in a very bad way
Godsgirl, are you referencing the incident where he masturbated in the bathroom with your 3 year old daughter present?
I know that this is going to come across as a HUGE 2x4, but DO NOT LET THIS MAN BACK IN YOUR HOUSE! I don't give a flip about the fact that you are all able to act as a family. You could LOSE custody of your children to the state if CPS were involved. I am trying to scare you! And his behavior WAS sexually abusive towards her, even if she didn't understand what was going on.
He's angry at me because he feels like I will never stop punishing him for the past
If he really is serious about recovery, he needs to find a place of his own and work on this. He needs to own his recovery, if that is what he really wants. He needs to see a CSAT, work a 12 step program, and do the hard work. But he needs to do it on his own. You can't be his support person or reason for change. If he is not serious about recovery, you need to take ALL possible steps to remove him from your children's lives as well. I know that sounds harsh, but he IS a danger to your children in his current acting out. My H was sexually abused by his father, and I feel very strongly about this.
I don't know if I should ask him about pursuing help or if I should leave him on his own to follow up on it. Any ideas?
WH is not in the house and I have no plans to change that. His time with the kids is in family settings with me or other adults around. I really do take the masterbating very serious and am doing all that I can to protect my kids. I'm still in shock over just how sick he is and how well he has managed to cover it all up even this last year.
And for the safety of my kids, how do I know if he is heading towards recovery or getting worse? Because I don't trust him in anyway not even positive actions.
One IRL person that I trust to give me plenty of 2x4's, thinks that the masterbating (which is VERY out of character for Wh) was his way of showing me how sick and evil he is (those are his words describing himself to me and MC/IC) and to force me to read the notebook. Up to that point, I was trying to give him privacy with that part of his recovery.
Because of WH's work schedules and school, ect., he is rarely alone with the kids since we had our first ten years ago. I'm now trying to rack my brain for any signs of sexual abuse in the past with my kids.
I don't think I coming across as I want to. I can see where it appears that I'm not taking the masterbating serious but I am. I just have all of these new thoughts and feelings swirling around in my mind. I can't sleep because I'm constantly thinking and going over the past.
I will reiterate that masturbating in the same room as your three year old daughter while she was naked in the bathtub is sexual abuse. Even though he did not lay a hand on her, it is abusive, and it is a step in that direction. He did not do it as a cry for help or to force you to read the notebook. He did it because he is an addict out of control who is escalating his behaviors. He is like an alcoholic who is driving his children around so blitzed that he gets into a car accident with them and kills one of them. HE IS THAT DANGEROUS right now! I agree that he is sick and evil. My H was sick and evil too when he was at the height of his acting out.
I guess if it was me in this situation, I would put some really hard boundaries in place for the safety of my children. I would say that unless you are working with a CSAT, attending a 12 step group, and working on recovery you CANNOT see the kids. Hit him where it hurts if you want him to get to rock bottom. I am not saying this to manage his recovery, but to provide SAFETY to your children. He needs to understand that he is a threat. If he cannot understand your reasoning behind these boundaries or respect them, then he is not going to enter recovery. The 1st step of the 12 is admitting that our lives had become unmanageable. If he cannot admit that he is out of control and harming his own children, then there is no hope of recovery.
I know that this sounds harsh and that it will hurt your children, but guess what; they are already damaged by having a father who is a SA and growing up in a house that has addiction present. I made the mistake of staying for the kids, and thinking that he was such a good dad. In the end, when my kids found out some of the things that their father had done, they felt so betrayed and that their whole lives had been a lie. Kids who grow up in a house with addiction are damaged. And he is NOT a good dad at this point anyhow.
You really need to keep him apart from the kids. It will be hard at first, but it just isn't safe. I don't know how many times I can say that.
Sorry that you're going thru this. Sadly, I've been there. My ex is a pedophile who molested our oldest DD and the DDs of 3 of our close friends. I tell you this because I didn't have a clue. SAs (along with all addicts) are pros at lying. If their lips are moving, they're lying (until they get into serious recovery).
What your husband did by masturbating in front of your child is sexual abuse. Period. My ex molested girls right in public with crowds of people around him. He molested girls in our neighborhood pool with hundreds of people around. It doesn't require luring the child off so they can be alone--it can happen in one second--and a child's life is changed forever.
I have a DD who is 17. She is not allowed (by me) to be anywhere her father is without myself of one of her adult siblings present in the room AT ALL TIMES. Even after 9mos in rehab and 9 mos in prison, my ex still hasn't hit bottom and gotten serious about recovery. Until that happens, he is not safe for any child to be around. No ifs, ands or buts. You can't trust him to be around your children with someone other than you unless the other person knows exactly what he has done.
I don't know the age of your children, but I can tell you that you need to talk to them to find out if he has done anything to them. If your children are young you can talk about "good touch"/"bad touch" and tell them that if ANYONE does anything to make them feel uncomfortable, they can come and tell you.
You now KNOW that your husband is sick. I know it's scary emotionally and financially, but you have to protect your children. If he had the flu you wouldn't let your kids be around him because they would end up sick. Addiction is just as harmful and insidious. This disease kills those who have and the family of those who have it. Get into therapy. Get into a 12 step recovery for yourself. Do whatever it takes to keep your children safe.
This situation is not something anyone ever imagines they're going to have to deal with. I know the pain of feeling guilty that I chose this person to father my children, and that for 25 years I was fooled by his lies and the mask he wore. But his disease wasn't caused by anything I did or didn't do. My denial of odd things that cropped up over the years was my part in this disease. After therapy and 5 years in S-Anon I can say that I am grateful for how my life has turned out. The pain of this disease was devastating, but I have come thru the pain, and my life (and the lives of my chldren) is serene and filled with joy. I'm not a victim of this disease or anything else any more. I am a survivor--and you can be too.
While I agree that what Godsgirl's husband did was NOT OK and COMPLETELY WRONG, I have to caution that it does not automatically mean he's a pedophile or that he has or would molest his children. I know some of you feel strongly that this is sexual abuse but I think it's a bit of a gray area. None of us was there, we didn't see it, we don't know what exactly happened. I know you're all going to freak out on me and that's ok. And again, I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm saying it's not a FOREGONE CONCLUSION. My rSA and I talked about this a lot and it is very possible that her husband is simply WAY out of control of his SA. So far out of control that he couldn't see the problem as long as his back was to her. We, of course, all know it was NOT fine. I'm not excusing his behavior. I'm not saying it's ok. I'm simply saying that while Godsgirl needs to proceed with EXTREME caution and I agree that he should not be alone with her kids until he's been evaluated by professionals, she also can't assume he's molesting their kids.
This situation calls for professional intervention. Period. Godsgirl, you have got to take the reins here and set the boundary with your husband. He sees a CSAT (with you the first session so that YOU can make the CSAT aware of all you know INCLUDING the masturbation in the same room as your daughter) AND he continues WEEKLY with the CSAT and goes to SA meetings or you will report him to the police and make sure he cannot see the children.
If he refuses, you have your answer and you go to the police.
No matter what you do, you need the professional advice of a CSAT or the police. You've got to choose one to start. I'd start with CSAT but the police is a viable option if you're willing to accept that once you ring that bell, you can't unring it.
Keep yourself and your kids safe.
I do not believe that this is a gray area, though. Not all sexual abuse involves touching. Whether Godsgirl's WH meant to expose their daughter to a sexualized situation or not, he did. You are right that he could not have even given a thought to her being in the room, but that just proves the fact that he is dangerous to the children, and that his addiction is advanced to the point that he is not even a "functional addict". Most addicts (be it alcohol, drugs, or sex) love their children. But love isn't enough to keep them safe or make the right choices. Any addict can get to the point where they are abusing others because their addiction takes first place in their lives.
I also agree with treading carefully. Once the police and CPS are involved, there is no going back. Even counselors are mandated reporters and have to tell CPS. Boundaries are just so important at this time. Protecting our children is the priority.