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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts 6
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 3:16 AM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My H has navigated through the 9th step, so I thought I would provide some feedback as to what it looked like in my house. My H wrote me a 4 page letter and read it out loud to me. The letter detailed all the ways he perceived that he had wronged me, from the acting out to the manipulation and emotional distance in our marriage.

He gave concrete examples of such instances (not meant to be comprehensive, as it was not a disclosure), and told me how he believed that they had hurt me. He then also told me the changes that have occurred in his thinking related to his behavior and made promises and action plans regarding each behavior that he identified.

He completed the 9th step in the context of his 12 step group, but also worked on it with his CSAT and read it to his CSAT led group for feedback. This is why I am a strong believer that SA's need EVERY available resource to properly recover. And must really WANT recovery for themselves, not as an appeasement. The fact that my H had many people to bounce ideas off of, and was able to work on the 9th step intensely led to a better finished product. I also think that rushing through the steps is a mistake. My H is just finishing up the 9th step. I don't know what amends he is making with others, but he has been in recovery for almost 2 years. Rushing through the steps like they are some sort of checklist is not really internalizing them.

My H has shown a LOT of remorse in the last 2 years. In the previous years of acting out, he would get caught and be angry, gas light and blameshift, or he would be manipulative. He has expressed the fact that he is sorry he hurt me even before this formal step. I do appreciate the fact that he spent a lot of time on his amends to me, but in my eyes it was a formality. Everyday I am living with a man who is trying to do the right thing. Just my opinion, but any SA who is truly in recovery should be trying their hardest to make amends along the way, not just in the formal 9th step.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 3:42 AM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi dayXday,

Sorry you have joined us. I have read your post, and you and your WH are off to a good start, but I want to caution you that the road is rough. I relate a lot to how you reacted. On the last dday, I was very angry for about a day. I made him a list of demands and had him sign a postnup, and that was with us separating. We were formally separated for 3 months, but I talked to him everyday. I hugged him, cried with him, etc. I did understand and forgive, even though if I were to tell 99% of the people in my life even half of the things he did in our marriage they would think I am absolutely nuts for staying married to him.

That being said, he has made tremendous changes in the last 2 years. There is hope, but there is also a lot of heartache. I preach cautious optimism to those whose spouses are engaging in recovery. Sager mentioned earlier about the fact that there is a lot of fog in the early days of recovery, and that disclosure is something that happens later. Do not be shocked if there is more to come. I think I took the attitude that it was in the past, and that while the acting out was hurtful, I knew enough that very few things could be as terrible as the things I already knew. My H had really progressed to a very degraded state and did things that looking back even he is repulsed by.

Keep reading and learning. You are already on the right track, with 12 step groups for both of you and the CSAT. Utilize ALL available resources. Work on your healing first and foremost. I know that it is easy to take on the role of support person, but right now, you need to secure your own recovery first. While I think transparency is great and all, I am NOT my H's sponsor, therapist, or policewoman. I understand the need to verify, but don't get caught up in the cycle of focusing on his recovery. Let him own it.

Hugs and the best of luck to you as you begin this journey.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 3:55 AM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

bent44,

This whole time he has been using drugs (coke, meth, pot) and up to all of his SA behavior (CL, prostitutes, phone sex, video sex, even went so far as to post HIMSELF as an escort). Not pretty behavior.

But, a couple of days ago, he has claimed to "turn a corner". OK, it has only been a couple of days, but there has been a change in his behavior. Not just towards me, but in his activity level if ya get my drift.

So, trust me, I know...a couple of days is not much.

My question is this- is it possible for them to de-fog 9 months later?

My poor little heart SO wants to hope there is a sliver of hope for us as a family, for him to help me heal, etc. All the things we all so desperately want as spouses of SA's.

Honestly, I think you are right to listen to your head right now, not your heart. I know that we all want hope and look for it. I think that is part of the reason why we are good people. We want to see the best. It is why we hang on as long as we do.

However, I think that given the fact that your XWH has polyaddictions, he would have to demonstrate a REAL longterm commitment to change at a high level to actually overcome this. I think that being addicted to drugs and SA he would need inpatient treatment (I am NOT saying this as a spouse of a SA, but as a health care professional now...putting on my nursing cap). I do deal with drug addicted patients frequently, and meth especially is not a drug people just up and quit.

All of the drugs aside, I think that you may be onto something when you say he may just be attempting to manipulate you. Keep focusing on being the best parent you can like you have been doing, and moving on with your own healing. If he is really serious about recovery, you will see the proof in the long run. He has to want recovery for himself.

Any addict can white knuckle for a bit. My H white knuckled at various times during our marriage. White knuckling is not being in recovery. It is a temporary "management" of the addiction without addressing the core issues. Without addressing the core issues there is no recovery.

Please, keep focusing on yourself and your child, as you have been doing. Take care of YOU.

ETA: I read your post in the past week in NB about the van. Honestly, his life is VERY out of control. I am glad you supervise his visitation with your daughter. Maybe he is coming close to hitting his rock bottom. Who knows. I think it is prudent to not get caught up in his drama at this point. I will repeat that you need to focus on YOUR recovery. If somewhere way down the road he can demonstrate that he has been in a real recovery for a lengthy period of time, then maybe there is hope for you to begin again. My bet is that by that point you may be so happy with your new life that it isn't even as attractive of an option as it seems now. You are still pretty fresh in your pain. Keep taking care of you, you are worth so much!

[This message edited by TooManyYears at 4:04 AM, August 4th (Thursday)]


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
dayXday
♀ New Member
Member # 32970
Default  Posted: 4:09 AM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you TooManyYears! It really means a lot to have support and advice from someone who has already been through this.

I'm really trying hard to be realistic with myself and honest with my feelings. I feel like every sentence I say begins with "at this moment I feel" because every second changes. What a rollercoaster! I haven't yet wanted or felt that I should leave. I almost wish he was a bad husband or a bad person so this would make more sense in my head!

At this moment we both want to do the work. I know I don't owe anything to my husband because of what he did, addiction or not. I owe an honest stab at this recovery to myself. I'm very blessed to have a best friend who is an alcoholic sober 4 years now. She has been a great support to both of us sharing the hardships that come along with recovery.

It's going to suck, I realize that. I am going to take the time to heal and work on me because I deserve it.

Thank you again.


D-Day: 7/30/11
Married: 4 and 1/2 years
18 month old daughter
BS(me) 27 years old
WS(him) 32 years old

Posts: 9 | Registered: Aug 2011
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Good Morning All, especially to the Ďnewbiesí! Just a quick note to say Iíve been following along the last several days although not posting. DD & I dropped SAWH off at camp for his two week stint as camp nurse. DS will be there this evening and will spend the two weeks with him. Now that I have time and physical and emotional space to myself Iím going to relax and allow my feelings to bubble up. Keeping everything controlled for the sake of detachment, no matter how necessary and helpful, is stressful and difficult in the long term. Iím glad of a respite.

Re step work- SAWH is in denial and isnít in a step group so Iíve nothing to share there, except to say that he told me several weeks ago ďIíve spent this whole last year making amends and youíre still unhappyĒ . Wow. If this is amends, Iím Marie Antoinette.

@ bent44~

My SAWH is polyaddicted, alcohol and SA. For the newbies, my storyís in my profile if youíre interested. Anyway, weíre just over a year after SA diagnosis and despite bold words Iíve yet to see any meaningful work. I wonít say thereís no hope, but all I can go by is my own experience- which doesnít hold out much promise. Just be extremely, extremely watchful. As members on SI often say, regardless of forum or situation, watch what they do and believe less than 50% of what you hear. Unfortunately, based on our sitch Iíd say thatís excellent advice. Just recently my SAWH has started buying beer again, so Iím talking to myself here too.

To the newbies: tmy is our font of wisdom, as is another member called 7yrsbetrayed. 7 is taking a break, but she wrote the Ďnewbieí post on p.1 which is the single biggest source of help for SA spouses on the forum other than actually posting. 7ís story is in her profile & may give you some hope. JMO. Anyway. Detachment is your friend. Practice it faithfully. It helps with the inevitable ups and downs of daily life with an SA. Prioritize your own recovery by finding a CSAT for yourself (donít use the same therapist as your SA), if you canít find another CSAT, find an IC who specializes in addictions. Go to therapy regularly. A good therapist is worth every penny. Fill your life with healthy, new behaviors, things that Ďfill your soulí as a member here says. Come and post often, it really helps.

~ Sabina

[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 9:21 AM, August 4th (Thursday)]


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
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@ TooManyYears,

Thank you for validating how I am thinking right now. My recovery and my new life have been hard won, and I don't want to lose either!

All of the drugs aside, I think that you may be onto something when you say he may just be attempting to manipulate you.

Yes, this. Especially since I blew him off about the van, I think he knows I am getting stronger. He is also the NPD type, and I think that part of him likes to see me weak.

Originally, I told him 1 year of recovery would be necessary for me to consider letting him near me again, but based on his behavior the last 9 months, that has been extended to two. Other guidelines include:

1. Financial ammends to me (he has not been paying child support) and all the other folks he has screwed over.
2. Clearance from a CSAT that he is really in recovery, and that he is not a sociopath.
3. His acceptance of my daughter and I's new life...our evening activities, sleeping arrangements, etc.
4. He signed over "our" house to me shortly after I kicked him out. That would need to stay in place to protect me in the future.
5. He would have to be strong enough to help me with my healing process.
6. Send daughter and I to Disneyland as he offered early in this process and then couldn't afford. (OK, maybe this one is a little petty, but so what!)
7. No emotional or sexual abuse.
8. All of the guidelines listed on this site regarding transparency, disclosure, etc.
9. Continued periodic drug tests.

How does that sound to you? Anything else I should add? I have repeatedly told myself that if he is not someone I want for my daughter, why would I want him?

@ Sabina,

Thank you for your words of caution, and I am sorry to read your WS is still not really doing the work. You are such a strong woman to keep putting one foot in front of the other!

@ DayXDay,

Goodness, girl. Where did you find your strength? I am so amazed by your clarity so early on in this process! Your WS is so lucky to have such a compassionate and loving woman in his life.

Stay close to this site as the roller coaster of emotions hit you. The people here know more about this stuff than anyone ever should.

I almost wish he was a bad husband or a bad person so this would make more sense in my head!

Trust me on this one, try not to wish that even a little bit! My XWS was a bad husband, and while it does make sense in my head, it really sucks for the heart.

It was nice to hear 7 is just taking a break. I was worried about her.

Thank you so much for your replies. As much as it sucks to be here, ya'll are a supreme comfort. Hugs and well wishes to all.


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
dayXday
♀ New Member
Member # 32970
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Feedback on the topic of CSATs please?!

My husband and I are beginning a long road of therapy. We have an appointment with a couples counselor specializing in infidelity recovery. My husband is going to start with a CSAT. I know it's important that my individual therapist also be a CSAT so that I can better work through this on my own as well. Here is the dilemma, we live in a secluded place (an island) and are having a hard time finding multiple CSATs here.

So do I go to his CSAT on my own also or do I just go to a regular therapist maybe only specializing in addictions in general? Feedback on what the pros and cons in this situation are so that I can make the best choice for MY recovery.

Thank you all so much! I've never felt so much love and compassion for a group of people I've never met.


D-Day: 7/30/11
Married: 4 and 1/2 years
18 month old daughter
BS(me) 27 years old
WS(him) 32 years old

Posts: 9 | Registered: Aug 2011
dayXday
♀ New Member
Member # 32970
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Stinking iPhone posted twice, sorry about that!

[This message edited by dayXday at 12:12 PM, August 4th (Thursday)]


D-Day: 7/30/11
Married: 4 and 1/2 years
18 month old daughter
BS(me) 27 years old
WS(him) 32 years old

Posts: 9 | Registered: Aug 2011
Mamato3
♀ Member
Member # 29624
Default  Posted: 12:47 PM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Welcome to the newbies! (Although I guess I'm still a newbie too.)

I was wondering about OUR side of the healing and recovery process. I just finished my Step 1 in my SAnon program. It was much more of an eye-opener to me than I thought it would be.

I was one of those "I don't need help, why do *I* need a program" people, but I've really embraced my SAnon program.

Have any of you completed all of your steps? Or are working on steps? How has it helped your healing/recovery for yourself (totally aside from your SA)?

It's helping me remember that I'm a very strong woman, that I have some "character defects" that I can work on (within my SA relationship and in other areas of my life too), and that talking to other people in this same situation is HUGELY helpful.

[This message edited by Mamato3 at 12:49 PM, August 4th (Thursday)]


Me - BW - 38
Him - FWH (and SA) - 39
2DDs (8&1), 2DSs (6&3)
1st D-day: 09.13.10 (admitted to EA)
2nd D-day: 01.31.11 (admitted to PA; almost two years with CW)
3rd D-day: 02.01.11 (admitted to more)
Working our SA/SAnon program

Posts: 64 | Registered: Sep 2010
hathnofury
♀ Member
Member # 32550
Default  Posted: 6:11 PM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ok, quickk question.

My whh is being evvaluated at a sa center run by ken adams , who has written books wwith carnes. He is being evaluated with someoonne who is being trained by carnes. So in good hands, in theory. Three meetings and lotsa onine assessments.

But i have not been asked to be included, and wh says it sounds like he meets some but not all requirements for sa. That he doesnt present like a typical case, etc.

Is this normal for evaulations, or is he blowing smoke? Ii havve asked to a session so i can hear the guy in person.

[This message edited by hathnofury at 6:14 PM, August 4th (Thursday)]


BS 43, SAWH 38. M 15years, together 17. Body count in the triple digits. Both in recovery, trying to R.
Three kids under age 11.

Posts: 1408 | Registered: Jun 2011
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Default  Posted: 9:13 PM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@ dayXday~

I'm no expert, but I'd suggest trying an addiction specialist if another CSAT isn't an option. IMO, a spouse needs an advocate of their own, and 'sharing' an CSAT makes for uneasy bedfellows I think. I'd wonder if my sessions were truly private, which patient was the priority, etc. If you have a different therapist altogether these things wouldn't be an issue. Again, this is all IMO.

hathnofury~

My SA isn't in treatment, so I don't know and can only offer guesses. IMO, it's good and healthy to ask for a session with a therapist to find out what's happening. Keep in mind that due to privacy laws (HIPPA) and confidentiality rules there is likely to be little information directly about your SA that will be shared unless he consents first. SA is incredibly difficult for the spouses and treatment for us isn't as advanced as for the SAs. It's painful and stressful and overwhelming. At least, that's the way my first year has turned out, anyway.

~ 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
bent44
♀ Member
Member # 31386
Default  Posted: 11:18 PM, August 4th (Thursday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

OK, ladies, sometimes a little humour makes it's way into my brain. Hope this doesn't offend anyone...

My XWS has a few different names he has come up with for his "activities" on line.
The name he used to set up his escort services is Tom Cruise (ego much?), another is Larry, and one more is Rick.

I thought it might be funny next time he mentions the "corner he has turned", I could reply, saying...

"Well, if you're like every other Tom, Rick, and Larry out there, you may need to get professional help."

Do ya think he'd catch on?

PTSD has permanently warped my thought process.

[This message edited by bent44 at 11:20 PM, August 4th (Thursday)]


"If you marry a chicken, don't expect an eagle."


I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: California
dayXday
♀ New Member
Member # 32970
Default  Posted: 1:15 AM, August 5th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@sabrinatheowl I didn't even think of that! Thank you it makes perfect sense.

Well to add to the obstacles, there are no SANON groups in the state I live in. I called the national headquarters and they said the best they can give me is an email group for me to work the steps. Whomp whomp.


D-Day: 7/30/11
Married: 4 and 1/2 years
18 month old daughter
BS(me) 27 years old
WS(him) 32 years old

Posts: 9 | Registered: Aug 2011
UnbearablySadd
♀ Member
Member # 18150
Default  Posted: 4:37 AM, August 5th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"Well, if you're like every other Tom, Rick, and Larry out there, you may need to get professional help."

Do ya think he'd catch on?

No idea if he would, but thanks to you for the (much needed) laugh in my dark life!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGQd8M5t4Ao&NR=1

it's all about James Hunter, now ;)

And here's the 180 link:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=256092


Posts: 1379 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: This side of R that side of S
anotherOctober
♀ Member
Member # 29794
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, August 5th (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the laugh :)

Back to 180. I have to get out of the way of the blameshifting.


Posts: 125 | Registered: Oct 2010
sager
♀ Member
Member # 173
Default  Posted: 6:48 PM, August 6th (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

there are so many new people. It's going to take me a while to catch up....

dayXday: you have the best attitude of any person I know. It will take you far and your H is a lucky person. There used to be this guy on SI called poodlepapa. He gave me the best advise when I was whinning and complaining about the lot I had drawn having a SA husband. It was something like: Stay or go. You can do either and be justified. But if you chose to stay, you owe it to yourself, your h and your marriage to give your all and do the work. And he was right. Don't stay if YOU are unwilling to do the work and feel blessed by having this person in your life. Luckily, while it has been a very, very long path for me, I am encouraged to see the work that we are both doing. If you both do the work, you will see positive results.

For a while my H and I saw different therapists and yet another MC. I have had a bad run with therapists (one moved to Mississippi, one retired and the last one died), so when I needed i new one, I started going to my H. He is not a CSAT but a therapist that specializes in addiction with special training in SA. He also did family therapy and now does MC. I think it will be up to the therapist to determine if he/she can treat both of you. But I'll tell you, this "one stop shopping" has really helped keep us on the same page.

Sager


married 21 yr.
d-day #1 8/17/01
d-day #2 7/9/11
3 children - 20, 18, and 16
H in addiction recovery
"Well-behaved women do not make history."

Posts: 1192 | Registered: Jun 2002 | From: Upstate NY
HereIAmAgain22
♂ New Member
Member # 32987
Default  Posted: 1:46 AM, August 8th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So when DDay#3 blew open we decided to separate - mostly my reaction but certainly not resisted by my wife. Our counselor was on the same page and identified this as SA. I'm confident he is on the right track wth her and that she has to do this herself. My WS is sounding like she's ready to "do the work" so this is good. I should say we have 5 kids and to not disrupt them are going to sort of "tag team" the house. My wife has said that once she gets her self healthy she will work on the marriage. Until then, she can't work on the marriage. While we are in this phase, what can I expect???? I'm getting too much of this "we're separated" speech and I'm feeling very cut off. After DDay#2 she agreed to NC and opened up her email etc. to me. Now I'm not even getting that same sort of openess. Is this gaslighting? What leverage do I have if any? I do not want to divorce until the time comes that she can't get herself healthy and make amends with me. Can I expect NC and openness from her even though we are separated? If she does not keep to this can I expect to know? This separation thing is killing me. She just insists that she has to get herself right and there is nothing for me until that happens. Is this a reasonable approach for the SA? Thanks for any input.....


ME BS Male - 47
WS - 42
5 kids ages 4-16
3 D-Days
God help us.

Posts: 12 | Registered: Aug 2011 | From: USA
dayXday
♀ New Member
Member # 32970
Default  Posted: 2:09 AM, August 8th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@Sager Thank you for your kind words! I read a really great article in the healing library called Courage. It's the one thing that I've read that gives me some understanding into my strength right now. I've spent too much time trying to get mad and angry and trying to force myself to react the way I "think" people are supposed to but all of that is not me at this moment. I know these phases will come on their own and I just have faith that we are strong enough to work through this. We don't just love each other, we really like each other too.


D-Day: 7/30/11
Married: 4 and 1/2 years
18 month old daughter
BS(me) 27 years old
WS(him) 32 years old

Posts: 9 | Registered: Aug 2011
Mamato3
♀ Member
Member # 29624
Default  Posted: 6:38 AM, August 8th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

To dayXday . ..

I've spent too much time trying to get mad and angry and trying to force myself to react the way I "think" people are supposed to but all of that is not me at this moment. I know these phases will come on their own and I just have faith that we are strong enough to work through this. We don't just love each other, we really like each other too.

I totally and completely get this. I think this is working for us too. I have a lot of hope for us. It gives me extra hope to know that's how someone else is thinking too.

And we love AND like each other too. :)


Me - BW - 38
Him - FWH (and SA) - 39
2DDs (8&1), 2DSs (6&3)
1st D-day: 09.13.10 (admitted to EA)
2nd D-day: 01.31.11 (admitted to PA; almost two years with CW)
3rd D-day: 02.01.11 (admitted to more)
Working our SA/SAnon program

Posts: 64 | Registered: Sep 2010
SabinatheOwl
♀ Member
Member # 30023
Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, August 8th (Monday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Welcome to SI, HereIAmAgain, to the club no one wanted to join. Iíd say the best start is to read the first post on p1 of this thread and read all of the books 7years recommends. Several of us have posted our stories on our profiles: me, 7yearsbetrayed and toomanyyears. Reading our stories may help you get a clearer picture of whatís ahead for you. Is your therapist a CSAT? Has your WW been diagnosed by a CSAT? IMO, the very best thing you can do is to get into therapy with a CSAT- one for your WW and one for you. Donít use the same therapist. The spouse needs their own advocate, someone they can be confident of and assured that this person is looking out for your best interests. If youíre in an area where there are limited numbers of CSATs, I highly recommend finding an addiction specialist, again this is for you not for her.

While we are in this phase, what can I expect????

Which phase- newly diagnosed or newly separated? My SAWH and I arenít separated as Iím still financially dependent on him I canít offer much insight on that aspect other than to say that when I did bring up separation he said, ďif weíre separated why should I act like Iím still married?Ē My SAWH is in total denial of his diagnosis so Iím unsure if this would be a typical reaction. Itís said here (on SI) sometimes that separation allows the WS (wayward spouse) to continue the A. Again, thatís for you to judge. If youíre asking what to expect after the initial diagnosis, the reactions are diverse. In my case, my SA started group therapy and 12 step meetings within a month of diagnosis. However, he stopped all of that and went into complete denial three months later and remains there now. .Some SAs work really hard on recovery from the start. But be warned, SA is a process addiction similar to food- meaning sex drive, like being hungry and having to eat, is built into the human animal and your SA will have to learn at completely new sexuality. Alcohol and drug addiction are slightly different in the sense that one doesnít need alcohol or drugs to live. Changing a personís sexual expression is an incredibly difficult task and there will be slips and relapses.

Is this gaslighting?

From wiki: ďGaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making them doubt their own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.Ē If your WW is not being open, honest and transparent that would be stonewalling, the definition: a spouse is stonewalling in communication in a marriage relationship, he or she is usually using delaying or stalling tactics, or refusing to answer questions, or doing whatever can be done to hinder or obstruct a discussion, or bluntly refusing to cooperate with partner (definition from about.com).

What leverage do I have if any?

I donít know, really. Manipulation doesnít work. The SA has to want recovery on their own in order to fully take responsibility for what they did and to be fully invested in recovery for their own sake. When all of this was new for me, I too wanted any leverage I could use to push/pull/drag my SA into full recovery. After significant amounts of therapy and step meetings I came to see that the best course is to detach from the SA and let their behaviors speak for them. I donít want to be in a M where my SA is Ďmaking the motionsí to keep me happy.

Can I expect NC and openness from her even though we are separated? If she does not keep to this can I expect to know? This separation thing is killing me.

You can expect it, yes. These things are normal and expected in any M after an A. However, youíre dealing with an addict and that makes the road that much harder. If she isnít open and transparent then you might need to verify whatís happening on your own. After 50 legitimate posts (no smilies or bumps) a new forum called I tips will open to you and you can get good advice for how to verify there.

She just insists that she has to get herself right and there is nothing for me until that happens. Is this a reasonable approach for the SA?

My CSAT said that to our spouseís support group all the time. I found it a bitter pill to swallow, but her words have proven to be true. There are certainly things your SA can do to help you along- like complete transparency and openness and accountability- but I was told that serious couples work is a long ways off past initial diagnosis. In my case Iím nowhere near readiness for couples work due to denial.


This is an amazingly long answer, but I hope it helps you a little. As I mentioned above, my storyís in my profile if you want perspective about where Iím coming from. You can PM me if youíve got questions you donít want to post here.

~ 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


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