Currently, WH and I cannot separate due to financial circumstances. He breaks my heart every day. I'm still checking his web history, and he's constantly looking for small apartments (big enough for one!), beds, sofa beds and futons. He's fantasizing about his love nest.
I have stuffed down all my feelings, both anger and pain, so our son who lives with us, does not have to endure the chaos. He was becoming extremely depressed. Not good.
I feel so hopeless. My WH is deep in denial about his addiction and continues to claim he loves me and wants to stay in the marriage. I sometimes feel like I am losing my mind.
Thanks for listening. Hugs to each and every one of you...
I am so sorry to hear of your pain, and of his denial. As hurt as I've been and as hard as this road is I at least have a ws who has admitted his addiction, and sought proper treatment. I have been where you are, and I just feel for you so much. My prayers are with you. Please do what you need to do for your son. I understand completely the financial inability to leave, if it wasnt for me going back to school and taking student loans and living on campus with my kids I would never have been able to move out either. Good luck to you in the coming days, weeks etc. I will be thinking of you.
Ghost, I know right after DDay, our largest confrontation ever, WH looked at a lot of studio apartments. I thought the same thing, he was looking for the exit strategy to his love nest. I would later learn he was just scared to death I was going to throw him out, and he wanted to be prepared. I think to some degree he is still scared I'm going to throw him out. We are also in a position where separation would be financially difficult. We'd have to change just about everything to make it happen so it would take considerable time and effort to do it without a huge increase to debt. But it is possible, we'd just have to plan it all out and take all the necessary steps to do it.
WH and I are actually doing a lot better. He's owning his shit, and we had a long heart to heart about his not meeting my expectations. He has been making a huge effort to spend every available moment outside of work with me or the kids, when what I really wanted him to do was find a therapist, go to 12 step, etc. I think he gets it now. He's got a few therapists he's trying to schedule something with, etc but of course it will be difficult to do anything now until after the new year. But at least we are on the same page. I still need to write out my boundaries and requirements, but I feel better about US in general.
And I feel good about ME. I was worried the last two weeks of the year, not being able to go to any group/12step/IC might be my undoing. I even have all the info for online/telephone meetings on standby. But I haven't needed it. I feel at peace. I feel a little happy, even. I still have lots to work on, and still need to remember to eat breakfast and read my motivational stuff daily, but I'm in a lot better shape than I had been.
Happy Holidays, ladies. I hope you can find peace and joy within all the chaos this season.
I've always wanted to have children, and I'm almost 30. Would it be better for me to leave him so I can have a chance to meet someone else before I "dry up?" I can't in good conscience have children with him and risk bringing them into this environment, right?
Does staying with him mean I have to sacrifice the dream of having children of my own?
Is this a normal thing to think about right now? Why is this even on my mind? Feeling crazy again. . .
First of all, you are ONLY 30. you have plenty of time to have kids. I had my last (of 3) at 35. I have a friend who is expecting and she is 40. My sister is adopting 2 more kids (she has 6) and she is 52. If you want children, you will be able to have them with or without a significant other. Really, you have lots of time before you need to worry.
I agree with your thinking. you shouldn't have children with an unhealthy spouse. He needs to get into a strong recovery before you even think of children. And that will take a while (like maybe 2 years, I think).
Unless your H has been sexual with children (in which you should never have children with him), your H can still be a very good father (if he is well). In fact, if he deals with the reasons that made him an addict, he may be a very, very good father. It is when the sick try to raise the helpless that real trouble begins.
Please, please remember, you are only 2 weeks out. Unfortunately, you can't make the healing process go faster. It takes TIME to really be in a place to make sound decisions. I'm glad that you will be with your Mom. Try to do something unexpectedly wonderful (there are some great movies out right now).
The holidays are expecially rough. But guess what! The day light is getting longer each day now. We are headed into the light! Something about knowing that makes it just a little bit easier to make it through each day.
He attends a group for SA 1x weekly, and until this month was in IC. I cannot say that I've seen an improvement of our relationship other than him not crossing some of the boundaries I put in place back in June (like, don't yell at me or the kids again, don't insult my mother anymore, don't lecture me anymore, don't be mean to me & the kids anymore). He still steadfastly refuses to discuss his SA with me, will not discuss the OW with me, will not discuss our relationship with me. We have attended MC but he will not discuss anything nor will he commit to the homework we are assigned. I'm feeling that there's not much more I can possibly do on my end.
I found out the OW, the one he was writing love letters to, WAS IN PRISON FOR SELLING HEROIN & METH!!! She was his girlfriend before we met. He looked her up on the internet, knew she was in prison, but wrote to her anyway (and called her, I assume, since I found the phone numbers to the prison). She was serving a 6-year sentence for her crime, but is now out. WH swore he broke it off with her, but presently I don't believe it because I see phone numbers showing up on our cell phone that are from her area code (in another state, and we know no one in that area). WH is a romance addict as well as a SA. I'm wanting to just pay for a short-term Spokeo membership to confirm the names attached to some of the "off" phone numbers I found on our cell. Which, BTW, he carries around in his pocket 24x7 these days. Yeah, he thinks I'm that dumb not to figure things out.
I've been making great progess with my IC. We are doing lots of FOO work, and as we peel back the layers of my past I'm finding my voice & strength. But it's very slow work. And I still feel like a mess when I consider being a single mom to three kids because I have physical limitations which will make it hard, if not impossible, for me to get/hold a job that affords us a decent wage. I don't know what to plan for my future.
WS, you should most definitely wait until you have a healthy person to have children with. Work on healing. It will come for you.
Ghost I feel for you. I have a WH who is in in deep denial as you know. Hugs to you as you are still with him every day.
I have moved out. I didn't realize how much I would love and miss him once I was out. Even though he was abusive to me. I saw him today for a brief meeting and he denied all. He said he was not a SA and he never had a PA.
I hate that I want him to hold me, I want him to make love to me. Every time I see him I want him to hold me. But still HE LIES about everything. I even started crying in front him. I had to tell him that I was still in love with him but would not share my husband with anyone. He won't tell me the truth because of his image.
He expressed great love for me and said he did not want a D. I don't either but he wants me to rugsweep. If I was with him, I don't think he would ever tell me the truth.
I am hurting so bad. I love him soooo much. He was my best friend. I will be alone for the first time tomorrow in 23 years. All my family goes to see their in-laws and my WH has the kids with his family on Christmas eve.
Stay strong honey and know that you're not alone being alone on Christmas Eve, I will be thinking of you while I spend the day and Christmas morn alone. I am so sorry for your pain, and his denial. So many of us want our ws to hold us, comfort us. We are all here for you. Take care.
Anyways, if anyone has an emergency and needs a friendly voice to talk them down, please send me a PM..most likely I'll be home & I have low cost long distance. Also, I found some great articles to share later.
Hang in there and try to be merry. For those of you who responded to me and my profile, thanks so much. It warmed my heart!
Oh, one other thing I'd like to share...it's over on the post I made for bipolars. I did see a CSAT..it was an appt made for the WH, but he actually had a huge work project & couldn't make it. My history (of which I could only give her snippets in 50 mins) reads like a who's who of dysfunction. I did over 5 yrs of therapy due to my 1st husband being an arrested sexual deviant & because my FOO was alcohol, I am one credit shy of being an accredited drug & alcohol counselor (didn't tell her that) She comes from the Carnes school & trust me I know she'd labeled me codependent w/o saying it. The problem is I know I'm not, more like a harborer of dysfunctional husbands, rotfl. I got a lot of good use from Al-Anon which was initiated during the days women stayed at home & there wasn't room for them in the workforce.
This whole sex addiction is relatively new, much like ACA/ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) & some of the old farts won't even acknowledge it, although it's been lobbied for inclusion. I think the best thing to do is to pick up the good books here recommended on codependency & you'll know if you fit. If you don't, then much like me, you're dealing with trauma, nor are you paranoid (which is being afraid of that which is most likely not to harm you) versus hypervigilance (that which is likely to harm you. A lot of the SA stuff is modeled after the 12 steps and thus, where the codependent label comes in...just saying.
[This message edited by oldtimer97 at 1:26 PM, December 24th (Saturday)]
It occurs to me that this "Bible" of SA may be seriously outdated for more recent cases of SA - and by that, I mean it was published in 1991, the dawn of mainstream internet in America.
It makes sense that a majority of SAs who developed their SA during the pre-internet age had some type of abuse in their childhood. I do not discount that at all, and I am thankful to Dr. Carnes for fathering this study.
However, with the popularity of the internet. . .I predict that there will be a large increase of SA that has nothing to do with abuse during childhood but rather access to limitless free pornography, especially at early, developmental ages.
I think of many of my peers in the 30ish bracket who "came of age" at a time when free porn was readily available at the touch of a button. If more and more people have limitless access to sex at pivotal developmental ages, it almost seems like pornography becomes the abuser - pushing new sexual ideas and experiences on the user then enticing shame because of the ensuing physical pleasure! Most view it normally out of curiosity and move on, but others will associate it with the "high" and its inherent emotionally soothing effects. After repeated years of use, the second group's brain chemistry becomes altered. They associate sex with 2-dimenstional figures rather than actual human beings. By this time, they may be married or in a serious relationship, but the relationship with pornography is compulsive and progressive. They are trapped. They are addicted.
The counselor we had before (granted not a CSAT) kept pushing WS to admit that he was abused when he was a kid. WS ransacked his brain trying to think of something, someone, anything that could fit into that category. All he could remember was the first time he got on the computer in the 6th grade and found his first pornography website and the "light-headedness" he felt, a mixture of guilt and pleasure. To me, this sounds like the pornography was the abuser, not any actual person.
Anyway, I just foresee this being an increasing problem in my generation and those younger than me - as though heroin were suddenly available free of charge and we're all wondering "why is everyone addicted to heroin?" When I think of the amount of porn my guy friends had in college - it's a wonder everyone's not a SA. Maybe a lot of them are / will be.
But then again, maybe none of them will become SA and I will find out when WS goes to KeyStone that he really was abused as a kid but had repressed it. Who knows. . .
Anyway, those are my thoughts, and I needed to share them with someone. You all are the only ones I can really discuss this stuff with! Sorry for all the posts!
FWIW, when WH was being diagnosed, the CSAT said there is a disturbing new trend of SAs fitting the profiles you are describing, AKA my WH. You got it right, no abuse necessarily but excessive exposure to electronic stimuli burns out the normal response and they have to go to other extreme measures to get the same effect. Then BOOM they are full blown addicts in only a few years instead of many.
This is what *I* want to know. So if now people that do not have the historical markers for SA can easily become SA, what about their spouses? How has THAT demographic changed? Perhaps they are not the classic co-deps, for example? Perhaps they really did pick a partner that was not all those things that the S-Anon books said we picked in a partner WHEN WE FIRST MET, that those traits did not come until later. Maybe?
I dont have much time to reply to everyone though I wish I could, and have read all of your posts. Stay strong sisters.
And wanted to wish you happy holidays!
Remindme...best advice I can give you is to look at the first page of this chapter of the thread. This is a very complicated disease and varies among individuals. If you do think there is SA in your story, RUN to a support group like Sanon or COSA and get IRL support as well as joining us here. You must take care of your healing, you can't do it for your WS. If he chooses to fix himself, there are real steps he can take to control the disease. Many WSs have.
Ghost, Hurt, Oldtimer, and all the rest of you who have WS who are acting out, I am so sorry you are still dealing with the active addictions. I can only imagine the pain you feel. And of course, it's never as easy as "just leave!" as some would have you do. It just isn't, even if financially it were feasible. And too often it's not.
WS, please don't fret, you do have time. You are so wise to consider this before you bring kids into the equation. Although my fWH didn't act out until ~10 years into our marriage, our kids were about 7 and 3. And he hid it pretty well for 20 years, I do know the tension in the house affected them in various ways. Only my denial, my enabling kept them from getting caught up in the drama completely.
And your assessment of the impact of porn and its impact on young people, especially men is very real and very scary. One more reason I want my fWH to tell my sons the truths. All of them, without all the details, perhaps. They need to know the cost to the soul that this addiction has.
One of the gifts to my family was transferring the few home videos we have to DVD. One is of Christmas 1992. Which, I suspect is when some of the acting out began. We lived in a tiny little house, decorated with spit and love, and very little money. I look so YOUNG. And thin and not bad. I almost always hate the way I look in pictures, major FOO issues, not relevant...my boys are adorable, the older one shy and gentlemanly, the younger one bossy and just too cute. And we squeezed our entire families into this tiny little space in a wonderful creative way for presents and dinner. I thought it was great. but throughout, where was fWH? Isolating. Poking at the woodstove, sitting alone on the stairs, wandering around as though he really wasn't part of the party...I used to think it was because of his partial deafness, his inherent shyness, but it also was a sign of things to come.
Now granted, it was a big chaotic mess. 20 people, loud people, wrapping paper flying, maybe I'm over thinking this...
He is still fighting many of his issues. Still shows so many signs of insecurity, about money, his worth in the world, in our relationship, it's sad. SAs are like puppy dogs, one minute begging for your attention and the next minute growling at you if you get too close to their new toy. They really don't know where they fit in the pack no matter how much external validation they get...
All in all, he's doing well. Most of the issues are mine. I still can't get past the ugliness and anger. It truly isn't at all in keeping with my personal philosophy to be this angry and hurt for so long and that sucks
My wish for all of us is that the happy moments gradually start overtaking the sad ones and the balance tips in our favor. With the help of our Good Orderly Direction, we can make it so!
For Christmas I gave myself a break from reading all the SA books and read another completely unrelated one for fun, spent time with my parents (who I really can't give enough thanks for) and generally tried to distract myself from the situation at hand.
Now, instead of viewing his addiction as an illness (and fretting about the consequences but not taking the infidelity as personally per se), all I can think about is how he was physically unfaithful to our marriage and how I feel betrayed. I mean, there are so few deal-breakers for marriage in my mind - really I can only think of two: abuse and infidelity. Why did he have to pick one of the two?!? And right now, I don't even think of him as my husband but some long-term significant other with whom I need to end things. We have nothing tying us together - no kids, no mortgage. Financially it would even be better for me to leave - he's lost a salary and added some significant health-care costs! I should be filing the divorce papers right now!
And then I think, we've been together what would have been 9 years this February. Why am I so quick to give up on him? I must be one selfish, fair-weather wife. He's sick, and I'm ready to shove him down the river. And then I think of "her" - the one he brought home and slept with on this very floor, the one he connected himself to physically, making all the sounds and smells that only I'm supposed to know about, and I think. . .well, he chose this, he did this to himself.
This is what is doubly sick about SA - it's like you have to go through all the pain of an affair(s) in addition to all the grief of being in a relationship with an addict.