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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts 5
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Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, January 8th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Dazd,

they are not counselors and not meant to replace counselors but instead are coaches. Do you know if it is the same on Candeo? And can a partner participate in the program if their spouse does not or is not following the program?

They say the same thing over at Candeo - they are coaches, not counselors. However, the creator of the program is a therapist, in Georgia I think...

I don't know if they will allow the support person to participate unless they have a student enrolled to support. With his paid membership, I was allowed access to the student training and then had to send them an email explaining why I wanted access into the student training too. I received permission the following day.

Yesterday he showed me something in the program. He was so excited to have learned about it - it had to do with healthy relationships and how to build them and how they are formed - he feels like he's starting to understand the "why" of it.

Me (BS)
Him (fSAH)

Ignorance was bliss but it wasn't the reality of my marriage...

Posts: 427 | Registered: Oct 2010
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Cool  Posted: 11:15 PM, January 8th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A Christian article on SA:

The Effects of Lust by Mike Genung

Our culture says that pornography, promiscuity & adultery are harmless fun.
Some psychologists say lust is healthy.

Many use pornography thinking they're not hurting anyone because "it's just me & pictures."

Husbands & fathers think they're not corrupting their wives & children because "the wife & kids don't see what I'm doing".

Singles think they're not hurting anyone "because they're not married".

But sex addiction has devastating effects on the struggler with lust & those around him. What the sex addict can't see is that:

Lust is his master.

The Christian sex addict calls Jesus 'Lord' with his mouth, but then like Peter denies Him & turns to the goddess of lust. Sin takes a strong foothold in his heart as he lives trying to have both God's love & lust's "comfort". But, "God is not mocked" & "by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved."

Like a crack addict, the sex 'user' is ruled by his compulsions to act out even though he hates what he's doing.

He's isolated & empty.

The shame from his sexual acts & the fear of being exposed & rejected are powerful motivators that keep the sex addict trapped in isolation. He closes himself off, not realizing he's creating a "vacuum of emptiness" inside.

This "vacuum of emptiness" is unbearable & so he "fixes it" by acting out sexually. But his acting out only produces more shame & emptiness, & a vicious cycle sets in.

To try to run from the mess he is on the inside, he fakes it on the outside. Some throw themselves into their career, mistakenly thinking the temporary successes of their job can fill their deep hunger for love.

Others try to use ministry. They put on their Sunday Happy Face & get "busy for God" making all the right noises to impress others with how good a Christian they are. But helping others can't soothe their lonely & aching heart, & so the addict soon becomes a Pharisee.

Some try to fill their growing emptiness with food, drugs, alcohol, people (relationships) & of course more sexual acting out. But nothing satisfies & the addict's emptiness only intensifies, keeping him trapped in the cycle of misery.

He becomes increasingly self-centered.

In his isolated state the sex addict becomes the center of his world. He obsesses about acting out, (or not acting out), his wants, his problems, how he is feeling at the moment, looking successful & what others think about him.

All of this self-obsession causes ego buildup – & a critical judging heart.

He's blind to the needs of others, especially those of his wife & children.

His wife is neglected & ignored & he makes little effort to do the things she likes. His kids, who need their Dad's love, strength & affection are treated as little more than noisy distractions. He's harsh & critical to his family, & little things set him off easily.

Although he doesn't know it, the stench of his self-obsession is painfully evident to the ones he loves.

His prayer & devotional times become short, infrequent, shallow & about him. "Lord forgive me, help me, give me, me me…". Intercession is an afterthought & praise is a duty.

He stops enjoying God & forgets how to listen & be still.

His character rots.

Webster calls the heart "the vital center & source of one's being, emotions, & sensibilities". This sensitive place deep in the man's soul, where his strength & character are forged, is corrupted, distorted & hardened by the shame, selfishness & isolation of lust.

Instead of being the man of courage & integrity God has made & called him to be, he becomes "Weakheart", a "man without a chest." He loses his moral authority & the courage to do what's right. Instead of being a fighter he becomes a passive weakling who hides from the challenges of life.

He makes compromises he would never have dreamed of taking before in financial & other areas.

His work ethic suffers, & he doesn't give his employer his best effort. He steals by using company time for acting out or other personal activities.

His perceptions, values & decision making processes are distorted.

Although the Christian sex addict says that "God, family & others" are his priorities, the actions of his life say "himself, acting out, & trying to feel good" are his primary values. God & others fit in when it's convenient or of necessity.

He doesn't see how his decisions affect himself & others & he can't see the devastating long term consequences of his choices. His distorted ambitions & his insecure & narrow perspective leave him prone to making big mistakes when crucial decisions need to be made both in his personal & professional life.

He's blind to the fact that the course he's on is destructive to himself, his family, his employer & the church. He wastes the gift of his short life & the chance to impact others in a positive way.

He engages in riskier sexual behavior, willing to throw everything away for something that will never satisfy, not realizing that "sin makes you stupid…"

If he's single, he corrupts his future marriage. Single men buy into the delusion that once they can have "moral sex" their problems with sex addiction will stop.

What they don't understand is their empty heart can't be filled or healed by another broken person & getting married is not the answer to their problem. He doesn't realize that what he does now will destroy his marriage later…

He gets physically sick more often.

The stress sex addiction puts on his immune system drags it down. Sex addicts get more colds & other respiratory infections, with longer recovery times.

He becomes a mess chemically.

Sexual addiction alters the shape of the brain & drains natural serotonin levels. The nervous system gets messed up. Deep sleep through the night is elusive & he often feels run down. Clinical depression, anxiety attacks & blood pressure problems start to creep in. Many sex addicts wind up on antidepressants or other medication to cope. Sadly, because they "feel a little better" on the medication they are deluded into thinking they're not as bad off as they really are, & the journey of insanity continues until…

All joy in life is gone.

Because his "happiness" in life is based on fantasy, his hobbies & other interests cease to offer any enjoyment. Personal or corporate worship times, normally a source of joy, only intensify his feelings of shame. He forgets how to relax & just have fun & he won't slow down because it forces him to face what he is inside.

Life becomes drudgery. His answer? More acting out to fill the Big Hole.

He deeply hurts his wife & children.

Because his wife isn't the always-there-for-him centerfold of his delusions he rejects her. His wife is repeatedly fed the message that "she's not good enough", & he prefers pictures of other women to her. She dies inside as the man she committed her life to coldly rejects her.

Dad's self-centered emotional abandonment tells his kids that he doesn't value them. As a result an open wound of rejection by the most important man in their life takes root. Because Dad is Weakheart his kids don't get the discipline they need to shape & build strong character. Soon his kids learn that they need to "make it on their own without Dad". Unwittingly, the sex addict has now set his own children up for the very sin that has kept him captive.

Ministry opportunities are lost. All of God's unique spiritual gifts & abilities are buried in the garbage can of his lust. He is blind to others close to him that may be in need or even ripe for the gospel.

Then there are ruptured families, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, money problems, STD's, the financing of the porn industries, the corruption of the church & the moral disintegration of our nation.

He rejects the Lord

Jesus, the One Who loves the sex addict, died for him, & is waiting to help him is grieved as the addict says that "I want porn instead of You God."

Most men don't take sex addiction seriously because they don't see how deeply they're hurting themselves & others & that they're wasting the precious gift of their life.

If you're struggling with sex addiction my prayer is that you take it seriously & do whatever it takes – now - to run from lust with everything you've got.


11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
Member # 11692
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am totally having a "holy sh*t" moment ladies. I was googling something yesterday and came across this:

A complete physical examination by a
physician familiar with problematic sexual behavior should be conducted. Sexual
behavior problems are not always the primary issue, but rather may be
symptomatic of other underlying physiological diseases, such as dementia, brain
damage, Tourette's syndrome, and others.

Further searches found this:

The researchers involved argue that the results of this study suggest that depression and conditions such as Tourette’s syndrome might be affect by sex chromosome. This study also examines the habitual or compulsive behavior that plays into addiction.


Recent findings raise the possibility that sex hormones may mediate the abnormal development of specific brain regions, particularly the basal ganglia and limbic system, resulting in TS. Questions remain regarding how best to classify Tourette syndrome, and how closely Tourette's is related to other movement disorders or psychiatric disorders.

I'm not sure what this means yet - but my H does have Tourette's syndrome.

Me - BW
Him - WH

Posts: 6618 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: Massachusetts
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Cool  Posted: 9:00 AM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


That is a very interesting finding. It's amazing the research that's been done.

With my WS, it wasn't until we were able to see a therapist that could accurately assess not just our situation, but diagnose us that we were finally able to make any substantial progress. And part of that was because once I understood what conditions he was battling with no help whatsoever, coupled with the decades of abuse he'd suffered prior to me, I could see where it all was just a perfect storm for the betrayals to take place.

Not that excused what he did or negate any of the horrific effects at all. But it did help me not take it as personally as I had been & to see the situation with a bit more compassion & empathy for him. Surprisingly enough, it also worked the same way for him, he was able to work on those vulnerabilities plus get proper meds but it also made him significantly more compassionate & empathetic for what he'd put me thru instead of the typical WS defensiveness that drove me up the wall. And he never used any of that as a pass, he still is appalled by what he did back then.

I hope that if any of what you found applies to your H that you guys will also be able to find someone that knows how to deal with that factor & that knowledge will be able to be used to make things a lot better for both of you...

11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
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Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Excellent article, unicornsearcher. Thanks for posting it. I'm saving it.

Me: 60 Yrs. (BS)
Him: 60 Yrs.(FWH- life long sex addict)
-2 ONSs followed by an A-2005/06
-cheated while we were engaged
-seems to stray every 30 years or so
D-Day-June 10, 2006
Working on own recovery. His is his!
Married: 37 yrs. Grown ch

Posts: 966 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Canada
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Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

dazd, thanks for posting that. My SAWH also has mild Tourettes. I had read about that research before but had forgotten. Someday we may have a better understanding of the intricacies of the human brain. in the meantime, I will keep trusting my care and those I love to a Higher Power.

Posts: 125 | Registered: Oct 2010
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Cool  Posted: 2:52 PM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I forgot to mention that Dr. Caroline Leaf has got some extremely interesting info on biochemistry & how the brain works. Besides her book "Who Switched Off My Brain?", you can google her to find videos of her which shows her charts, etc.

I posted this in another thread & thought I would place it here as well, since it is essentially the approach that worked for us:


A married couple came in to see me for the first time: mid-thirties, two kids, Christians, church members. I'll call them Bob & Susie. Susie, in tears, told me Bob had had an affair. It lasted 3 months, & she had just found out about it one month ago.

In that one month, they had sought advice from their pastor, a Christian therapist, several best-selling Christian books, & some close friends. They got the same 4 pieces of advice from every one of these Christian sources, & all the advice was directed at Susie.

Susie was told Bob's affair was partly her fault.

She wasn't meeting all of Bob's needs. Bob wasn't happy at home. Men don't have affairs, she was told, unless the wife isn't doing her job.

Susie was told she needed to win Bob back.

She'd lost him & now it was her responsibility to get him back. She needed to immediately pursue him. She needed to lose weight, cook more & better meals, clean the house better, & offer him plenty of passionate, exciting sex.

Susie was told to forgive Bob quickly & move on from the affair.

Don't bring up the details. Don't ask questions. Don't vent your emotions. Don't be sad &, above all, don't be mad. Just be glad he's willing to stay with you.
Susie was told it was a marriage problem.

The affair was only a symptom of a sick marriage. So, don't focus on the affair but focus on improving the marriage. Work on communication, meeting needs & doing the love languages.

Does this advice sound familiar? I'll bet it does. This is far & away the most popular Christian approach to adultery. It's the advice given whether it is the husband or wife who has committed adultery.

It is the advice most pastors give. It is the advice most Christian therapists give. It is the advice most best-selling Christian authors give.
Fifteen years ago, it was the advice I gave to clients. Fifteen years ago, I would have told Bob & Susie the same 4 things. Because that's how I had been taught by my graduate school professors & therapy mentors.

For the first 2 or 3 years of my practice, this was the approach I used. It is one of my deepest regrets as I look back on my therapy career. Why? Because this advice, this popular Christian approach to adultery, is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
It is certainly well-meaning, but it doesn't work.

It damages individuals. It damages marriages that can't afford to be damaged more than they already are. Most of all, it's not biblical.
If Bob & Susie follow the classic, traditional Christian counseling solution to adultery, there will be 3 consequences. I know because I saw these consequences happen to couples the first few years of my practice, & I keep seeing them happen to couples who come to me after trying the traditional approach.

First: Susie, the victim of Bob's adultery, is further victimized.

She's forced to take blame for this terrible action she did not do. She's forced to feel guilt for driving her husband to another woman. She does not recover from the trauma. She is unable to vent her pain so it remains inside & gets worse. She is unable to forgive her husband.

She is unable to trust her husband. She will always wonder if she's being a good enough wife to keep Bob from having another affair.

She'll be anxious, depressed, insecure, & bitter.

Many pastors, church leaders, & Christian therapists will not confront Bob. They will confront Susie! Susie, who is already reeling from Bob's adultery, now gets smashed again by her counselors & helpers.

She's told: "Susie, Bob's adultery is your fault & you'd better get to work so he won't stray again."

"Susie, not only is the adultery your fault but now it's your fault that you're angry & bitter."

Bob, the only one who sinned, gets a free pass! Disgraceful.

Second: Bob does not recover from his sin of adultery.
He does not fully confess it. He does not take full responsibility for it. He does not repent of his sin. He does not regain respect for his wife. The deeper personal issues which led to his sin are not uncovered & fixed. He does not make the real changes he needs to make.

He stays emotionally attached to the paramour. This other woman, this tramp, stays lodged in his heart so his wife can't get back in. He is, in fact, more likely to continue the affair with this woman or have another one.

Third: Bob & Susie's marriage does not recover from his adultery.

Respect & trust are not re-established. Full forgiveness doesn't happen. Communication remains poor. Their conflict resolution skills don't improve. They do not develop an intimate connection. The unresolved trauma of the adultery continues to separate them.

If Bob & Susie follow the traditional Christian counseling approach to adultery, their marriage may survive & I hope it does. But survive is all it will do. It won't thrive.

It won't be a great marriage. It will be a wounded marriage.

If Bob stops the affair, they will probably get a brief honeymoon phase. It'll last three to six months. "Flight into health" is what we psychologists call it. They think they're over the affair. Their counselor & pastor think they're over the affair. They're not.

They're running away from the trauma because neither one really wants to face it & deal with it. After the honeymoon, they'll crash & burn. All these consequences I've described will happen. Their attempt to run from the adultery, an attempt often encouraged by a counselor or pastor, will fail.

The adultery will haunt them for the rest of their marriage.

Question: Why is this incorrect, unbiblical approach to adultery still the most popular one in the Christian community? There are two reasons.

Reason Number One: As counselors, we have been trained to achieve balance in marital therapy.

Good marriage work usually demands that you help each partner see his or her role in the relationship problems. It does typically take two to mess things up. "Here's what you're doing wrong, Bob." "Here's what you're doing wrong, Susie."

In your basic marital case, you ask both spouses to change. In your basic marital case, you don't zero in on one partner & demand that he or she change first.
We're taught that this delicate balancing act applies to all marital cases. It does not!

It makes sense for the basic, garden-variety marital case. It does not make sense when you have a smoking gun: one partner in serious sin.

Reason Number Two: Hardly anyone confronts sin anymore.

There has been a huge shift in Christian culture in the past 15 to 20 years. We've gone from an emphasis on sin & its destructive power to grace & only grace. Everything is grace, grace, grace & forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness.

But we have forgotten that there is no grace & forgiveness without true, complete confession & repentance (see 1 John 1:9). And there is no true repentance without confrontation of the sinner.

As Christian leaders, we used to call sin sin right to the face of the sinner. Why? In order to bring about healthy shame & guilt & brokenness & repentance & change. That was biblical love in action.

Now, too many of us have re-defined sin. Sin is not really sin. Sin is dysfunction or addiction or bad judgment. These things can certainly be involved in sin, but sin is rebellion against God first & foremost.

We offer grace & forgiveness immediately. We want the sinner to feel good, not bad. The subtle message is: your behavior isn't that bad, & you don't have to feel that bad about it. This is unbiblical wimpiness in action.

I know very few pastors & Christian therapists who confront sinners head-on. What are their excuses for wimping out?

"I'm scared of the confrontation itself."

Confrontation is incredibly intense, difficult, & painful (it also loses clients). But it's what a good counselor does. If you're not willing to confront sinners with loving firmness, you're in the wrong line of work.

"I'm scared of the sinner's wrath."

It's very common to be blasted & even hated for having the gall to confront a sinner. I've had a lot of ugly scenes in my office: yelling, hostility, rage, venting & raving, & slamming doors. Repentance is very seldom the initial reaction.

You've heard the phrase "shoot the messenger." Being a counselor is not a popularity contest. If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong.
"I'm a sinner,too."

You ask yourself: "How can I, with my own sin & problems, confront anyone else?" Following that reasoning, how can you do anything as a Christian? If you're going to wait until you're perfect before you confront sin, you'll never do it. I'm still waiting for my first sinless day. I'd settle for my first sinless hour.

"I don't want to drive the sinner away."

You think if you confront the sinner, you'll lose any influence on him because he'll reject you & leave the process. The truth is when you fail to confront the sinner, at that very moment you lose all influence on him. You are weak. You lose respect & power. You have fed his (or her) denial. You are an enabler of your spouse's sin.

If the sinner does bolt, he bolts. But you've done your job. You've told the truth. You've given the sinner the opportunity to repent & change. Plus, you've protected & strengthened the victimized spouse.

I'm not throwing any stones! I used to avoid confronting sinners. I believed these same excuses. Fifteen years ago, I realized that the traditional, popular, don't confront sin Christian approach to adultery wasn't working. I turned to the Bible for answers.

What does the Bible say?

One of the great confrontations in the Bible is found in 2 Samuel 12:1-13. King David had committed adultery with Bathsheba & then, to cover his sin, had her husband killed. These verses record what happened when God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David & his sin.

Did Nathan excuse David's sin in any way? No. Did Nathan bring up the stress of being a king? No. Did Nathan mention a mid-life crisis? No. Did Nathan indicate that Bathsheba had seduced David? No. Did Nathan say David's wives & concubines hadn't met his needs? No. It was direct, brutal confrontation. Nathan said, right to David's face, "You are the man."

Using a story about a rich man who stole & slaughtered a poor man's one & only lamb, Nathan nailed David to the wall.

What was the point of the confrontation? Repentance & restoration. That's what God always wants for the sinner. In 2 Samuel 12:13, David gives the correct response to Nathan: " . . . I have sinned against the Lord."

That's the beginning of healing for every sinner: "I have sinned against the Lord."

In 1 Corinthians Chapter 5, the Apostle Paul tells the Corinthian church what to do with a male church member who was having sex with his mother (or stepmother). Paul ordered the church to "hand this man over to Satan," kick him out of the church immediately, & shun him.

It was direct, brutal confrontation. Why? To produce repentance & restoration.

When someone we know, a fellow Christian, is in serious sin, we don't have to guess at what to do. Jesus Christ, in Matthew 18:15-17, tells us exactly what to do:

And if your brother sins, go & reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that "by the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses every fact may be confirmed."

And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; & if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile & a tax-gatherer (NASB).

Here's the bottom line. When someone is in serious sin, you confront that person immediately. No excuses & rationalizations are accepted.

No one else is to blame but the sinner. The focus is on the sinner & the sin & repentance.

When one spouse is in serious sin, it's Matthew 18 time.

My approach to adultery & other serious marital sins is based on Matthew 18:15-17. When one spouse is in serious sin, that sin is the smoking gun. It might be adultery. It might be sexual addiction. It might be alcoholism, drug addiction, or workaholism. It might be laziness, irresponsible spending, anger with verbal abuse, or controlling behavior.

Whatever the sin, I zero in on the sinner & make his sin the focus during the first phase of treatment. He'll repent & change first. He'll confess exactly what he's done & work to fix his problem. He'll help his partner heal from what he's done to her. He'll become the husband God wants him to be.

Later, the other spouse's issues will be addressed. Later, the marital issues will be addressed.

Biblically, my approach makes sense. Clinically, it works well. The sinning spouse will go first. Then, the marriage. You don't have to do a delicate balancing act. It's neat, it's clean, & it's focused.

What if you could get one spouse to agree to change first? As that spouse changes, the marriage changes. As that spouse & the marriage changes, the other spouse also changes. That's what happens with the Matthew 18 marital approach. Whether it works or not, it is biblical. But it works a great deal of the time.

Back to Bob & Susie

To give you an introductory look at my approach, I'll share with you what I told Bob & Susie in that first counseling session. I'll do it by giving my response to the 4 pieces of popular Christian advice they had received.

Popular Advice: Susie was told Bob's affair was partly her fault.

My response: I told Bob his affair was 100 percent his fault.

I made it clear that Bob's affair had nothing to do with Susie. It was his choice. I said: "Even if Susie was the worst wife in the world, she did nothing to cause you to have an affair. Susie is responsible for 50 percent of the marriage problems, but any behavior you do is 100 percent your responsibility. If you went out & robbed a bank today, would you blame that on Susie?"

Popular Advice: Susie was told she needed to win Bob back.

My Response: I told Bob he was going to have to win Susie back.

I told Susie to stop her pathetic, humiliating efforts to please Bob. I told her to stop chasing Bob. Stop being nice to Bob. Stop killing herself to make him love her again. Why reward the man who ripped her heart out?

By chasing Bob & trying so hard to be a good little wife, she was agreeing the affair was her fault. Since he had the affair, shouldn't he be the one working harder? The first thing Susie must do is get Bob's respect back.

Without respect, there is no love. There is no repentance. Bob won't change. And the marriage is over.

Popular Advice: Susie was told to forgive Bob quickly & move on from the affair.
My Response: Forgiveness is a process which involves a number of difficult steps.
One godly, older woman pulled Susie aside & said: "Don't bring up his affair again, Honey."

Unfortunately, there are many pastors & Christian therapists who also offer this disastrous advice.
Is this advice recommended for any other trauma work? "As a child, you were sexually abused by a neighbor . . . just forgive him & quickly move on,"(which would even allow you to think it was your fault). Or, "A drunk driver killed your daughter . . . just forgive him quickly & move on." Or, "A financial advisor stole your life savings . . . just quickly forgive & move on." Of course not!

To heal from a trauma, you must turn & face it directly. Go over & over the details. Feel & express your emotions. Relive the pain. Process it over & over & over. Go through the stages of grief.

Here are the trauma recovery steps I gave Bob & Susie:

Step One: Bob will tell Susie everything about his adultery--verbally & in writing.

Step Two: Bob will write the Document.

Bob will put down on paper a detailed narrative of the entire affair: how it started, how it developed, the excuses & rationalizations he used to justify it, what he & the paramour talked about, where they went, what they did together, where they had sex, & how many times they had sex.

The only exception is the gory details of the sex. For example, he will not discuss what they did in sex.

Bob will read the Document in the second session.

Step Three: Susie will write a Document of Response
She will write Bob an honest, heartfelt description of what his adultery has done to her. It will be her gut-level response to his sin. She won't hold back. She will--emotionally speaking--throw up on paper.

Susie will read her document of response in the third session.

Step Four: The Mode

For as long as it takes, usually 3 to 8 months, Bob & Susie will have completely honest, direct, & intense conversations about Bob's adultery. Susie will vent her emotions whenever she wants & however she wants. Bob will listen, reflect, & say "I'm sorry" a million times.

Susie will ask questions, & Bob will answer every question with kindness, patience, & humility.

This process heals Bob because he confesses his sin, faces it, & finds out why he did it. This process heals Susie because she knows exactly what happened & can work through it. This process heals the marriage because respect is restored, they learn how to communicate on a deep level, they learn how to resolve conflict, & they create real intimacy.

Popular Advice: Susie was told it was a marriage problem.

My Response: It's not a marriage problem, but a sin problem.

Bob sinned big time. It's all about Bob in the initial phase of treatment. He'll do all the repenting. He'll do all the work. He'll do all the changing. Of course, there is marriage work to do. That will come later. It'll come after Bob is well on his way to recovery.

It'll come after Bob respects & loves Susie again.

If Bob refuses any of the steps I require him to do, I won't continue to see him in therapy. I will recommend to Susie that she immediately take the other Matthew 18 steps: confront with one or two witnesses & then confront with her church leaders.

If Bob doesn't respond to these further confrontations, I will recommend immediate separation. Bob will be the one to leave the home. If he refuses to leave, Susie will go into shunning mode. When Bob breaks & repents & is ready to work, I'll see him again.

If you want to know more about my Matthew 18 recovery from marital sin program, get my book, What to Do When Your Spouse Says, I Don't Love You Anymore (Thomas Nelson, 2002).

Find a Christian therapist who follows my approach. Call Focus on the Family (1-800-a-family) & get a list of therapists in your area. Ask your pastor for a list. Call each therapist & ask how he/she deals with adultery or whatever serious sin your spouse has committed.

If it's the wimpy approach, move on to the next one on the list. Make it clear to each therapist you want my approach followed. Until you find the right therapist, start implementing my steps of confrontation & recovery.

My approach is brutally tough. It is controversial. It confronts the sinner. It empowers the victimized spouse. It is biblical. It works.

11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
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Default  Posted: 5:06 PM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is why I tell spouses of SA to find a CSAT. Even the Christian ones won't blame the wife. My husband and I are atheists. My husband's CSAT is a Christian and yet he's NEVER done that damaging crap. He has always put the responsibility solely on my SA where it belongs.

Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
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Default  Posted: 8:20 PM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

unicorn...Thank you, thankyou thankyou. what youposted here has been an eye opening, remarkable help to me. i am searching for answers for what to expect in recovery, and in behaviour with sexual addiction, if in deed the Lord works in my husband and brings him to recovery and reconcilitatio ( not holding my breath, but remainineg open to Gods miracles) and its not as easy to find answers. Your postings Helped. Still praying..

Posts: 9 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: pittsburgh,pa
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Default  Posted: 10:05 PM, January 9th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


just posted my first lesson exercise on RN handle is cleo there also..I will look for you there!

WS(him)52 - diagnosed SA in 2011
Filed for Divorce 11/12 - he is still chasing women
Disclosed 14 affairs beginning 1 year after our marriage in 1986

Posts: 748 | Registered: Dec 2005 | From: Texas
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Default  Posted: 10:26 AM, January 10th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is hard for all of us and im sorry we have to be here. This addiction is a toughie and I believe it can be managed if the sa really puts in the work to recover.

Me BGF 26
Him Wexbf 22
D-Day Dec 19 2010 EA
5 month old daughter
Happily R!!!!!!!
Live Love Laugh Cry! Hope For The Best! Expect The Worse And Know Things Will Be Ok

Posts: 46 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: SerenityHope84
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Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, January 10th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


This is why I tell spouses of SA to find a CSAT. Even the Christian ones won't blame the wife. My husband and I are atheists. My husband's CSAT is a Christian and yet he's NEVER done that damaging crap. He has always put the responsibility solely on my SA where it belongs.

I wish there was a "like" button on here! I loved your post! I can't wait to meet SA's CSAT in two weeks!

Me (BS)
Him (fSAH)

Ignorance was bliss but it wasn't the reality of my marriage...

Posts: 427 | Registered: Oct 2010
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Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, January 10th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Question for all of you:

Do your SA's also tend to be "obsessive" in other areas in life too?

Example: My SA is a perfectionist. However, he's such a perfectionist that it literally takes him months or years to finish projects around the house, if they get finished at all. His motto "I want it done right the first time" My motto: "Just get it done!"

Also, he is a gamer - not video games, board games - and it's a hobby of his that requires tiny tanks and ships and stuff. No problem, BUT, he has tons of books on it and won't get rid of them because he's afraid he'll need them one day. Same with old Fitness magazines, or Health magazines. Don't get me wrong, he's not a hoarder, but he just hates letting go of "stuff". It takes a lot of encouragement from me.

Do you guys share the same thing?

Me (BS)
Him (fSAH)

Ignorance was bliss but it wasn't the reality of my marriage...

Posts: 427 | Registered: Oct 2010
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Default  Posted: 6:30 PM, January 10th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I cannot think of any obsessions, but mine is a hoarder. He has a hard time throwing anything out. He has improved remarkably in the last few years, but he had the potential to be in very dangerous territory with this. He also cannot handle death; of anything. I have to just make the appt. to put a cat down, because if I consult him the poor thing will live for ages in horrible pain. I'm sure when I think more about it, I'll think of obsessions in other areas.

Me: 60 Yrs. (BS)
Him: 60 Yrs.(FWH- life long sex addict)
-2 ONSs followed by an A-2005/06
-cheated while we were engaged
-seems to stray every 30 years or so
D-Day-June 10, 2006
Working on own recovery. His is his!
Married: 37 yrs. Grown ch

Posts: 966 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Canada
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Cool  Posted: 6:39 PM, January 10th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My H has always been pretty laid back & not really obsessive about anything--- except when he was in the clutches of the lust monster, sigh...

I'm not sure how I came across this but I don't think its been posted here. If it has, I'll delete it but I thought it could be helpful especially to those new to all the SA stuff:

Chapter 1
When you discover that your spouse or partner is a Sex Addict your world becomes foreign & unfamiliar. What you thought was real no longer exists, in fact, it never did. And, the person that you love; that man or woman you thought you knew, is now a stranger.

What Is Sex Addiction?

My simple definition:

Sex Addiction is an unhealthy coping mechanism characterized by a set of escalating, compulsive sexual behaviors with negative consequences.

These behaviors have negative affects on the person engaged in the activity as well as everyone who is associated with that person including family, friends, employers, employees, intimate partners, & just about anyone within their social circle.

Sex Addicts find it difficult or impossible to control their sexual compulsions in spite of serious consequences such as job loss, social scorn, financial ruin, loss of relationships & family, arrest or legal repercussions.

I think that Sexual Addiction is a maladaptive behavior that can be modified through various methods of treatment such as counseling, medication, self help groups or behavior modification.

Personality Traits Of A Sex Addict

Sex Addicts have eerily similar personality traits & childhood experiences that leave no doubt that the two are correlated. Almost every woman I have talked with describes conversations & behaviors that sound as if she were talking about my husband, rather than hers.

Here are a few of the most common personality traits of Sex Addicts.

-Lead double lives
-Engage in compulsive lying
-Lack empathy
-Lack coping skills
-Lack trust
-Lack self-esteem
-Feel overwhelming shame & guilt
-Unable to form intimate bonds with partner
-Use sex to medicate their emotional pain
-Socially isolated
-Emotionally immature
-Engage in Black & White thinking
-Feel out of control
-Harbor anger

Who Are They?

So, let's look at each of these traits & try to understand a bit about who our Sex Addict spouses or partners really are as opposed to who they led us to believe they were. Notice I said understand, not forgive, not justify, not accept or rationalize, but understand. This understanding is for you not them, & it will help you make sense of the crazies, restore your sense of reality & stabilize your emotions.

Just remember, understanding the cause does not negate the consequences.

They Lead Double Lives

It only makes sense. Sex Addicts are engaging in behaviors that are secretive, shameful & ridden with guilt. So, out of necessity, Sex Addicts hide their secret life from their partners or spouses, employers, clients, friends & family.

Leading a double life is not easy. When I think about all the details that need attending just to conduct my everyday life, it is incomprehensible to me how anyone could deal with orchestrating two separate lives without going crazy. It's bound to catch up with them, & it usually does.

All those details. All the lies built upon lies, all the schedules, hiding receipts & bills, erasing internet address histories, deleting phone numbers & text messages, remembering all those passwords & screen names, explaining, running, lying; geez!

No genius has enough brain cells to remember all that! That's why we find out. It may have to knock us over the head, but our Sex Addict partners or spouses will trip up & we will find out.

I think one of the reasons so many Sex Addicts get away with the deception of their addiction for so long is that most spouses or partners are busy dealing with the details their own lives & also have a basic sense of trust in the relationship. After all, you never look behind the door unless you have hidden there yourself.

When I found out about my husband's addiction & finally had most of the facts about his activities I was appalled when I realized that he could pick up a hooker in the late afternoon, spend an hour in a motel having sex or 20 minutes in an alley getting a blow job & then come home and sit across from me at the dinner table & talk about the weather. In my darker days I even wondered if he even bothered to wash his hands.

They Engage In Compulsive Lying

Have you ever told a lie & then had to tell another lie to cover up that first lie? Of course you have, we all have. But, for most of us lying makes us to feel like crap so we learn early in life that in most cases it's just easier to tell the truth.

In contrast, Sex Addicts learn to lie as a way of life. This usually starts in childhood when the addict learns that he can avoid consequences by lying. Now, I know you are thinking that we have all tried that when we were kids, but for whatever reason, the addict finds that lying works for them & eventually the lies becomes so ingrained that fact & fiction blend together as one.

That's why a Sex Addict's stories may change on a daily basis making you feel crazy. Each truth they claim is genuinely their reality at that time. They lie to themselves, to you & to the world. They lie about who they are, what they believe in & what they have done.

And, they believe their own lies.

They Lack Empathy

Empathy. That wonderful emotion that allows us to put ourselves in another's skin, to imagine & share their emotions & to understand their feelings. Empathy makes us human & it requires observation, listening, & understanding.

Empathy prevents us from doing things that we know will hurt others because we empathize how badly they will feel.

Early during their development children learn empathy by observing that certain emotional cues can suggest what another person is feeling. Children even learn to predict someone's emotional response from the context of the event, such as seeing a friend fall & skin their knee & knowing that they will feel pain & cry.

The development of empathy is complex, & it is necessary in a relationship. Without empathy the partner is nothing more than a possession as there is no understanding of their partners emotions or needs.
Sex Addicts tend to be highly sensitive to their own pain but dismissive of, or indifferent to, anyone else's feelings.

They Lack Personal Coping Skills

My husband, like most men, is a fixer. When he talks to me about things around the house, or scheduling vacations or fixing the car he is brilliant. He can problem solve, schedule, set goals, make plans & get things done.

That's why it doesn't make any sense that he can't deal with the tiniest of personal slights without plunging into the depths of self-pity.

Most Sex Addicts suffer from some form of depression, which makes them somewhat negative in general, but, the lack of ability to cope with personal issues seems to be a separate trait. My husband has told me that anything could set him off & running toward a prostitute.

They Lack Trust

Sex Addicts do not trust anyone. Not you, not me, not their mother, not their counselor or their spiritual advisor. They trust no one, especially themselves.

Most Sex Addicts have had their trust violated during periods of abuse in their childhood, thus learning that trusting those you love or look up to only brings pain & humiliation.

Without trust, Sex Addicts never feel safe. They cannot allow themselves to form close relationships, cannot confide in others & never feel secure enough to relax & let their guard down. The Sex Addict endures a highly stressful existence, always watching their backs & waiting for the next hurt or criticism.

This lack of trust in Sex Addicts explains their inability to form close human bonds & connections as trust is the cornerstone of intimate relationships.

They Lack Self Esteem

Self esteem is a set of beliefs that we hold about ourselves, a sort of self appraisal of our worth. Self esteem is a belief system linked to our emotions & the most important emotion that affects our self esteem is shame.

As expected Sex Addicts have a very low sense of self esteem. Most addicts feel worthless & unworthy & these negative emotions often lead to depression or anger.
Several years of counseling with experts in Sex Addiction did not seem to have much of an effect on my husband's addiction. He continued to act out & live in a world of denial and deceit.

Only when he changed to a family counselor, who aggressively tackled his anger issues about his childhood abuse did he begin to change.

They Are Overwhelmed By Shame & Guilt

Linked to their lack of self esteem is the fact that Sex Addicts live with overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt. We have all felt shame. The trigger for this emotion is different for everyone and often we cannot even remember why certain incidents cause us to blush or get that queasy feeling in the pit of our stomach.

Likewise with guilt, we all know what it feels like, but usually when we feel guilt we know why we feel guilty & know that what we did was wrong by our standards.
But, for a Sex Addict an uneasy, overall sense of shame & guilt constantly simmers within, ready to boil over at any moment.

Anything can set it off. A casual remark, their boss not saying Hello in the morning, a speeding driver who cuts them off in traffic, a computer freeze, shoes that are too tight, the rain, the sun, the wind, the air, well, you get the point.

My husband told me that whenever I would question him about his addiction he would feel like he was a young child ready to get a beating for doing something bad. Add those feelings to the shame & guilt that an addict feels about their secret activities & you have the makings of an emotional volcano.

What causes all this shame & guilt?

Most Sex Addicts have suffered some sort of childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse, which leaves them with the scars of betrayal, guilt & shame, a lack of self confidence, low self esteem & a constant sense of unworthiness.

My husband says that he used to feel ashamed just for existing.

Sex Addicts feel that no one would like them if they knew the truth; if others knew who they really were. In a sense this is correct, but it is also a self fulfilling prophecy. People do judge others on what they do, & most of us would not find the dark, secretive activities of a Sex Addict endearing, & the addict realizes that.

But, the shame over their acting out as well as the shame from their childhood increases their anxiety & emotional pain, which leads them right down the path to acting out. It's a nasty, vicious circle.

They Are Unable To Form Intimate Bonds With A Partner

Intimacy is a painful enigma for the Sex Addict. They crave intimacy yet they run from it. They will unconsciously do everything they can to avoid genuine intimacy with a real person, yet they will seek intimacy in inappropriate ways that can never satisfy that need.

There is no doubt that one of the most painful aspects of being married to or involved with a Sex Addict is the lack of emotional & sexual intimacy within your relationship. In the latter stages of Sex Addiction, the addict withdraws into their own world of fantasy leaving their partner alone & bewildered.

Most of us, not knowing what the issue is, will try everything we can to regain a closeness with our partner. We will lose weight, buy sexy clothes, cook their favorite dishes, go to counseling, read every book on the self-help shelves or try to talk them back.

But, as we try harder, they just pull farther away. Our attempts are not co-dependency or enabling as some may want to label it, this is simply a normal attempt to fix our relationship & reestablish the bond.

You & I may think that sex is one way of reestablishing that bond. It is pleasurable & releases all sorts of great hormones that make us feel all mushy & cuddly. It makes us forget their faults & renews our love for them. That's why we call it intimacy.

Sex Addicts Use Sex Is A Medication For Emotional Pain

For Sex Addicts sex is a medication. A drug used to make them forget the emotional pain that forever haunts them. It doesn't matter who is on the other end, it makes no difference; they are just a means to an end like a bottle of booze or a snort of cocaine.

Sex Addicts have learned to use sex as a way of withdrawing from reality rather than to enhance a relationship. That's why we get that feeling that they are not really there during our lovemaking. They are somewhere else, somewhere that doesn't include us.

Frequently, in the latter stages of Sexual Addiction the addict will avoid sexual contact with their partner as their fantasy world consumes all of their time.

Even when Sex Addicts engage in sexual acts with others outside of the relationship, that other person is still just an object, a vehicle to deliver that shot of Dopamine to their brains to ease the pain. (I will explain the research on brain chemistry in Sex Addicts in a later chapter).

Intimacy is what they crave yet intimacy is exactly what they reject.

Is the sex pleasurable for the Sex Addict? Oh yes.

Addictive sex is a high that us mere mortals can never even imagine, that's why it's so addictive & that's why we can never compete with the fantasy. But, just like any other drug the higher the high, the lower the low.

They Are Socially Isolated

Most Sex Addicts are loners. They have few if any friends & live a relatively quiet life. Of course, this is a generalization & the few exceptions will stand out, but, for the most part Sex Addicts are actually, or at least feel, socially isolated.

When my husband & I were separated he rarely went out anywhere except to go to work or shop for food. When he did go to a few events, such as a play or a cook out at his apartment complex he said he felt totally alone & isolated even though he was in a crowd of people.

Psychologists say that social isolation can lead to all sorts of disorders including addiction, so this could be the age old enigma of which came first. I'm not sure that it matters which came first, what does matter is that the social isolation of the Sex Addict allows him to sink even more deeply into their fantasy world of sexual obsession.

They Are Emotionally Immature

Once, in the beginning of time, my husband & I were in a joint session with his counselor. The counselor made the statement that L. was an 8 to 10 year old in a 50 something year old body. My husband was mortified by that statement & still looks back in anger on that day.

But, I have to say that one statement was one of the most profound revelations I have ever had. It was as if a floodlight had lit up the dark recesses of my mind & I have never forgotten the impact it had on me.
By understanding that L. was severely emotionally immature made sense to me & it made sense of all of his stupid, thoughtless & unkind behaviors.

It was not an excuse but a reason, a reason that finally clarified the insanity.

They Live In A World Of Denial

Denial is a defense mechanism that allows us to retreat from thoughts, emotions or facts that are just too painful to endure. A little sister of denial that Sex Addicts also use is called minimizing, which acknowledges the facts but reduces the seriousness of them.

Sex Addicts are the royalty of denial, & minimizing is their security blanket. This is one of the reasons that Sex Addicts engage in what is called Staggered Disclosures, or admitting the truths about their acting out in bits & pieces over a long period of time after their addiction is discovered.

By minimizing they may admit that they have a problem but will give all sorts of reasons why it's really not that bad.

Sex Addicts become experts at all types of denial, but the most common are the denial of fact by lying about it (commission) or by leaving out important details or by completely overlooking the facts (omission).

There is a common phrase that the recovering Sex Addicts use to remind themselves of the power of denial:


One really infuriating trait of Sex Addicts is to feign amnesia. This is a type of denial of awareness. At times it seemed as though every other phrase that came out of my husband's mouth was either I don't remember or I don't know.

I realize now that he probably couldn't remember all the facts either because of his denial or because his lies were so entangled that he had no idea what he had told me previously. But, no matter how you slice it or what you call it's still lying.

They Feel Out Of Control

A Sex Addict's feeling of self control is as wild as a roller coaster ride. For the most part Sex Addicts have always felt that their lives were out of control As their addiction escalates & they spiral deeper & deeper into their compulsive behaviors the addict becomes desperate to regain control.

The only time a Sex Addict feels in charge is when they are acting out. For that brief moment when they are lost in the trance, enjoying the illusion of power & pleasure while engaging in their sexual behavior, they are in command.

But, as soon as they come down from the high they do a free fall into a world of remorse, emotional pain, guilt & depression, facing the reality that they have lost control over their addiction & their behaviors. And, of course, the only way to make the pain go away is to act out again.

[This message edited by unicornsearcher at 6:40 PM, January 10th (Monday)]

11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
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Default  Posted: 10:42 PM, January 10th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does this sound familiar? Where do I go from here?
I've been repressing this, I apologize for parts that sound mangled. I will be editing this as needed. I need to get something out or I will start screaming and not stop. 
1999 I'm 24. Life is good. I hang out with my friends, work out, go dancing in NYC, go to Museums and Broadway shows. It didn't get much better for me. Big band revival hits. Spanish music hits. Everything old is cool again. I sign up for ballroom dancing. My instructor introduces me to another of her students, we hit it off. He can MOVE. I was digging that. We have a great time. I turn 25, and we are dating and they make us instructors at the studio. 

2000 life is still good. I get to dance all the time, have a wonderful, attentive loving boyfriend who I'm already getting marriages tingled for. I never had that before. Some weird things I start to notice, but I shake them off. I start to get jealous. I was never jealous before. A friend of my father suggests that before I get married, that we go to premarital counseling. (this was a general statement-I wasn't dating anyone at the time) but I took that seriously and we went freely and discovered that we were the perfect couple and could handle everything. The things that made me nervous, we talked about and worked through. 

2001 big year. More of the same goodness. This time Boyfriend got a promotion. His job entails that he work late or come in at midnight, since he worked IT at a call center. It was normal and I was supportive. We talk about marriage and children. I still got uncomfortable about certain situations. I noticed that he would do things and tell me afterwards. I hated that. I didn't like the fact that i seemed out of the loop. I didn't care if he went to the bar after work with co-workers to have a beer, but it would have been nice to have been considered or maybe asked to join them once in a while. He always shrugged it off, or told me that I was clingy. And like a puppy being trained, I obeyed and backed off, even though it bugged the heck out of me. I brought these things up on counceling, but Boyfriend can say all the right things. Has trouble with the follow through. 

2002 get engaged in feb. I become Wedding Planner, I did not have support from my parents. (whole other story, not because they didn't like Fiancé. They can be major pains, but always helpful they are not.)
I notice more weird things. F had a key to my apartment but he wouldn't give me one of his. After saying that he would. Talked about this in counseling, saying that other women had had a key in the past, but sold it that I was different and he wanted to do things the right way. He could be very romantic and thoughtful. I bought the whole thing, even though it did bug me that I didn't get one after we were engaged. I brought that up repeatedly, but got nowhere with it. So I pushed it aside and dealt with other stuff. I also find out that his female boss, J, who I never liked was more than just a friend. First the story was that she liked him, then it was that they dated once or twice but nothing happened, then it was that he was dated, then finally that they had slept together. I found that out near the wedding date and was very upset about the lies. He wanted to invite her to the wedding (that still chafes) and I waffled back and forth before finding my spine and said 'no, this is my wedding and I don't want her there.' to which he replied 'well, make up your mind. I can't keep telling her yes, than no. I look like an idiot.' I was horrified that he would tell her anything. These were our private conversations! I told him so, and he shrugged it off and made a snotty comment and walked away, like I was the one at fault. 

2003 I quit my job, and start studying for my teachers exam. H was supportive yet started to act more distant. A beloved uncle of his died, and we start going to help his aunt. They own a cattle farm. H decides he wants to take over the business, and brings old boss, J, into the mix. (she had changed jobs) I argue to no avail. I need to be supportive, not kick him when he's down. I start to try harder to get back to the happy place we were at before. I start to hear about how I'm too clingy and I need to let go. Stupid councelor agrees with H. I need to own my issues. H says all the right things in therapy. Again, the follow up isn't there. I blocked out a lot of this year. I remember he went to a co-workers wedding without me. I suspect J was there. I'm forced to deal with J on a weekly basis, and told 'why do you have s problem with J? She doesn't have one with you. You make it difficult to work with.' I stood my ground and would not back off. She was messing with my family life. We had many fights about that. I told him to choose, and he told me that I lived him, that I wouldn't make him quit. 

2004 I start teaching, farm stuff starts to fade out a little. J finally was out of the picture when we went to councelling, and H was told it was damaging his relationship with me. He still spoke to her, but wouldn't tell me. Or would tell me little things afterwards. 'oh, J stopped by the office today' he would bring home gifts that she had given him. I didn't find out they were from her until later. I try to get pregnant. Things were busy and I focused on school. Easy to push things aside. 

2005 I get pregnant! Finally after 2 years of trying and 1 miscarriage. I notice he's acting really weird. In august, I'm 6 months pregnant, and I find a text message from him to OW 'I wish I could be there so you could take care of me.' WTF?
I confront him and he denies. For 45 minutes, he tried to convince me that I was crazy and yelled the whole time. I was having none of it. I made him call the number, a girl answers, then awkwardness. My world exploded. All I could think was 'oh my God. I'm pregnant! Why couldn't I have found this before? Now what do I do?' I became numb. He started crying and confessed everything about OW. How she was someone she took the train with and that it was an EA. I still don't believe him to this day. I can't sleep at night. I get up at 3am to check his work phone. There's gotta be all
Kinds of awful stuff on there, I figure I'll get the real story. I try to enter the password, only to find that he gave me the wrong one. What a jerk. I start to freak out. H gets up and I demand the password. He refuses. I tell him the password or divorce. After 20 minutes (seriously, 20 minutes?) finally plays the messages but deletes them immediately. I can't grab the phone. They were sex messages from J!!! He confesses a PA while we were engaged and that was it. Says the messages are from 3 years ago. Are you freaking kidding me? Either way-gross!!! (did I mention J is a dog? Double humiliation) then the rage starts. How could you make me sit with her, work with her, make me feel bad?! That I didn't like her?!! He was remorseful at first. Immediately turned in the work phone. He didnt take the train. Was on good steps to recovery. That lasted 2 months. Then, I couldn't bring it up because he didn't want to talk about it. He let me go to hospital on my own with false labor pains, and made me cry. I blocked out the rest. 

2006 I need to fast forward to the birth. It was a long one. Baby boy is born, and we are consumed with being new parents. 9 months later I'm pregnant again. During the rest of this time, I become more quiet, and try not to rock the boat. Sometimes, it would be too much and I would explode. I also find out that my firstborn is autistic. We join forces to concentrate on him. He also gets laid off from work, the company shuts down his department and he starts his own business. Which I run. Oh, and his alcoholic mother moves into my house. She's insane, and I don't have contact with her anymore. She leaves my house dec 2009. This was a united decision. He admits now that it was a very bad idea. 

To fast forward to 2010. I've had enough. He's abusive and blames me. He says things like:
'you start all the fights'
'why do you kick me when I'm down?'
'I don't have any friends because of you'
I say 'how can I trust you? You cheated when we were happy?'
He says 'well, I'm not happy now'
He makes jokes about how he needs to go to other women because he doesn't get enough sex at home. I freaked out, told him that sex isn't a weapon. 

2010 was a bad year. I started to get my spine back. I started pointing out all the weird things, the little pointless lies, the porn on the computer. He tells me not to spy on him and he gets angry. I finally had enough and bug his phone. He finds out and explodes. I find that I don't give a crap about his feelings, and everything he says, my answer is 'yes, I did that. I'm sick of the lying.' I suspect another EA or PA with the paint girl from Lowes. He had her cell phone for work. He yells at me in front of his friends. It comes to a head right before our third son was born. I called the therapist and told him that H had lost his damn mind, and I was out of here. He told me to wait until after the baby was born, to concentrate on that. H left me in the hospital with labor pains again. My father was with me though. I started to talk to my dad about little things, and he was supportive. 

My son is three weeks old, H tells me that I'm mean to him, and starts sleeping in the guest room. So I'm left to take care of a newborn all night and then the other boys during the day. I got no sleep. I wonder why I was mean? I just didn't care. All the times of hearing that I call him too much, I always bug him, etc. I cried for the last time with my infant son in my arms, and started concentrating on me. I have had enough, I looked at him and said 'I'm better than this. I dont need you. I can live without you. Can you live without me?' I also need to mention that he's been drinking this last year. No more than 1-2 beers at night. But if it's in the house, then he drinks. And the friend that he yelled at in front of (random fun fact-he was the best man at our wedding), has his own problems, and they drink more when they're together. I hate that and tend to stay away. I've had to hide any alcohol that I've wanted, because after they go through their stuff, they take mine. I like red wine with dinner, and I'll cook with it, so I could have a bottle for months without opening it. 

Now that's all the bad stuff. There's good stuff too. He can be thoughtful and considerate. He can be very loving and gives me surprises. That was in-between the bad. Once I started focusing on me and the boys, getting out if the house, not calling him at all during the day, he's nicer?! He misses us. He wants to spend time with us. he doesn't want me to go. Tells me that he doesn't deserve me (he's right). Tells me that he can't do this without me. 

I just recently ripped this open. I've been numb for so long, it's all new again. I think I've learned some things, like I can say J's name without feeling anything now. I found that she had a picture posted of H on facebook. It used to bother me. Now it's inconsequential. 

Here's the part that bothers me. I spent all of last night reliving the 10 years. I woke up this morning and cried for an hour. H looked at me, and started to cry without saying anything. He just held me, and said 'it's bad.' and I nodded. My 3 year old came in and said 'does mommy have a boo boo?' and H said 'yes, on her heart. And I put it there.' I told him I needed a break. He flat out refused to go to counceling with me before Christmas. (I found a new guy) I have an appointment this week, he said he would go. 

Today we took the kids to the mall for some family time, and had a very nice time. I wish that guy was around more.

now I'm writing my story. So the question remains, even if he were the perfect husband, do I want to stay? Right now the answer is no. But then, why do I feel bad when I think of taking my children away from their father?
I had a dream a couple nights ago, that it was next Christmas morning, and I had a new husband (it was a friend of mine), and everyone was happy. Kids opening presents, everyone in their pajamas, it was a freaking hallmark moment.And I woke up feeling horribly guilty. 

I don't know how to feel or what to do. I just know that I want me back, and I want to do the right thing.

Tired and Confused

DDay august 2006
TT DDay 1-12-11

Posts: 77 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: NJ
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Exclaimation  Posted: 9:28 AM, January 11th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@ DTaC-

Welcome!Perhaps the first thing to do is start listening to your instincts,your gut. From your story, it sounds as though you learned to ignore your gut. I know I used to do the same. The thing is- our gut is usually right on target. I know that when I listen to my gut, it tells me things way before my conscious mind does. So try that. Just listen. Maybe start a journal & write everyday. There is a journal function here on SI on your profile page if you want to do it online. Journaling will help you see your way. Meantime, come back to SI & post often, it always helps!

Update on my sitch:

Thursday- I go to church. I reach out to 2 long term friends for support & hugs. SAWH has a knockdown- drag out with the kids which he says ends with them telling him they will leave with me if I go.

Friday- He has what appears to be a 'come to Jesus' moment sobbing, begging me to stay, remorseful, etc. I tell him I'll be deciding in June or July, I'm still watching his behaviors, I made no promises, etc. He tells me he'll hand over finances to me so he won't continue to screw us up *in his words*.

We have hours & hours of open, adult conversation about the past, our behaviors (neither us has been totally functional these last few years, obviously). He's more emotionally open with me than he has ever been in our entire marriage.

Sunday- One of the long time friend of ours I reached out to snubs SAWH after church. He is very very hurt. This is the first time SAWH has had public consequences for his behaviors. I manage to support him emotionally without apologizing or making excuses. I give him 'homework' to call a friend he dropped while acting out (a friend of the marriage) & try to pick up the threads again. SAWH has isolated himself & needs to practice reaching out & being a friend.

Monday- He calls me & tells me he's making more financial changes to turn things over to me. He calls his friend & leaves a message. He writes me a love note & hides it where I'll find it later. He encourages me to spend time with my friends & continues to be open & share his feelings.

TBH- I'm shocked. I never expected this reaction from him. My gut wants to trust that this is authentic, but my head & my heart are wary & scared. I'll continue with my classes & getting my stuff in order. I want to be hopeful, but I'm scared.

Hugs~ Sabina

Details & story in profile

"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."

Maya Angelou

Posts: 1350 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Metro DC
Member # 29410
Default  Posted: 11:02 AM, January 11th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


I'm happy you are seeing changes in your WS. This is good, and I know you want to be hopeful.

Keep working your program(s), and listen to your gut about being cautious with him. Take care of yourself!! I forget if you are seeing a CSAT or not. Seems like it would be good to have this conversation with one of those.

I'm having a rough day but I am taking care of myself. I feel happy that I am now stronger, and that I know what to do when WS presents me with another challenge. I'm even happier that I can actually DO the things I know will help me rather than do the anxious things I used to do. I pray that I will continue to have the strength to do the right things.

I'm searching for boundary information. Does anyone have a copy of theirs or someone else's from online that they could post here or PM to me? I would really appreciate it.

Today it is: One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.

Posts: 1062 | Registered: Aug 2010
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Default  Posted: 11:39 AM, January 11th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Posts: 113 | Registered: Oct 2010
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Default  Posted: 3:01 PM, January 11th (Tuesday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

DTaC Welcome!
I've already told you what I believe.

I think some of DTaC's other posts give a clearer picture. Everyone, please take the time to read all her posts and over her some support.


Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
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