My therapist told me that finding out which hotels SAWH mistress had been staying in when she came to town would be very painful and I should really consider whether I really wanted to know. The answer - YES. I was sick of driving through that part of town and wondering which hotel it was. Driving down the highway looking at all hotels wondering if that was one that she stayed in.
Also, because I had asked and I had prepared myself, I was able to detach and deal with the info then let it sink in slowly.
I SO prefer that to finding out something accidentally or through searching and being sucked punched in the face with it. I think sometimes knowing something bad is coming IS better.
I also was very serious about I needed the WHOLE truth if I was going to stick around. I didn't want to stumble onto anything later or have a conversation give a hint that I would pick up on and then question to find out more. I was sick and tired of having to ask the RIGHT questions.
I wanted him to have to face everything he had done that had hurt me and admit it without me having to question. To give me the courtesy of being able to choose what marriage I was in. Every secret and acting out activity he had, was just a nail into the coffin that was our relationship. Dig em up, air them out and MAYBE we can move on.
I'm with Sabina on not having an idea if you cleaning the office yourself is codep or not. Maybe if you just shoveled it all into the front yard and set fire to it? I've had those urges :) And I completely get the need for that office to be "new." Our couch that he committed most of his acting out and talked to his mistress every day was a huge trigger. It's finally gone and I will actually sit in the living room again.
WH and I were in false R. After months of assuring me "I knew it all", I discovered his Ashley Madison account. He didn't deny it -- and finally admitted all of his sexual encounters were a result of his membership.
HE DID NOT THINK THIS WAS PERTINENT INFORMATION and I was overreacting. Through further investigation, I discovered this went back much farther than he first admitted. He spent nearly two years trolling for women. It was obsessive and out of control. And I wondered why we had financial problems.
Needless to say, this set me back to square one. What else is he keeping from me that I have not discovered on my own??? I cannot trust him going forward. He is not in treatment and lives in a land of denial.
I am slowly detaching and getting healthier. I kicked him out of the bedroom and shut down the bakery. I don't know what the future will bring, but I finally realize I will survive -- with him or WITHOUT HIM.
Stay strong, Kat. You need what you need, and you have every right to ask for it!
Hugs to all...
[This message edited by Ghostwalker at 11:53 AM, January 13th (Friday)]
"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."
I wanted him to have to face everything he had done that had hurt me and admit it without me having to question. To give me the courtesy of being able to choose what marriage I was in.
Yes...nicely worded, Kicked.
Went well - discussed attributes of WS's FOO that may have led to some confusion in his views of sex.
It is so easy to want to slip back into denial...to want to forget everything and start anew...this is what I've done for 7 years really...I mean this last dday was by far the worst - I only knew of the very, tip, tip, top of the iceberg before...but still, every time I would find something online before (an inappropriate facebook message, an inappropriate email), I would yell and cry; he would apologize; we would take some action (moving computer into public space, downgrading phone); and I would forgive/forget and move on. I'd tell myself that we were getting better while it was really getting worse, much, much worse.
I don't want to slip into that pattern again. I don't think I can survive another dday like this last one...
I really need to find a way to incorporate the truth into my new reality...
WS IS an addict. WS will always be an addict. WS will always be able to lie and deceive me with relative ease. The likelihood of slip/relapse is almost 100% over time...
I need to accept this. Hiding from it will not make it go away. If I do not accept it, then I will with almost 100% certainty encounter another shell-shocking dday - perhaps worse than this last one.
Just so much easier to go to the sweet, illusion of denial. Don't do it self...don't do it...
Just sending support.
Sabina WOW!!!! You are choosing YOU and there is nothing wrong with that.
Kat, I am sorry you have been having these troubles. I needed to know the truth to continue in the marriage. There was no way I could trust without it. Do what is best for you in your life. We aren't going to have to live with him, look him in the eyes daily like you will. That IC may be being precautious because of what sager said "once you know it, you can't take it away".
The result for me is that I moved out with my kids and he has escalated his lies and anger toward me. He tells people I am emotionally unstable, I am a bad mother and he is trying to control my every move. I got my answer. I am not as important as the addiction and to seek recovery.
These realities are hard to swallow sometimes, but they are real.
Hugs to you all and hoping that you will continue to choose YOU no matter what anyone else says.
I've been reflecting on conference call MC appointment from yesterday, and I am bothered by something...
I don't think WS ever loved me.
During MC, he stated in passing that he felt he started to "lose control" during the 2nd year of our relationship. Later, when we had our one-on-one 15 minute phone call, I asked what was going on at that point in his life that caused him to "lose control" then rather than some other time before.
He said, "During the first year, you were really exciting. I can even remember a girl coming over to my house, and the situation leading to where it was obvious that she wanted to give me a BJ. I was disgusted and told her to go away and never come back."
"But during the second year, I guess you weren't as exciting. I started looking at porn again. There was this girl who really liked me, and instead of pushing her away, I encouraged it. I spent time with her when I should have been spending time with you. Nothing physical came out of it - but I enjoyed the high of the attention. I can see now that it was inappropriate."
The funny thing is, I remember this girl. I remember the first time my instinct kicked in that something wasn't right. We were in college at the time - I walked into the cafeteria with my roommate and saw the two of them talking...just talking up ahead, and something in their body language SCREAMED to me red flag. It was the first time I ever got mad enough to want to hit somebody. I remember I was so angry, I started shaking, couldn't eat, and left right away. I remember confronting him about it later on...and feeling so stupid about getting SO upset about "talking." I thought I was being an overly jealous, possessive person, and so I apologized. He told me that they were just friends, nothing more, and I believed him. But I should have trusted my instincts ...something in me saw the change subconciously...if only I had walked away from the relationship then...but they really were "just talking." My body knew though...it KNEW.
I don't know. When I hear him talk of this "excitement," I get kind of mad. "Excitement" is not love to me - it's infatuation. Hearing him talk about this, I feel like our relationship was never about love...at least from his end. I think the first year was pure infatuation for him, and I think the last 8 years were about holding me as a "trophy" to his parents in order to help with his self-esteem issues. (This was a big theme in MC yesterday - his self-esteem issues with his parents. I guess they always voiced their disappointment that he was not as smart as his older sister. I happen to be smart - well book-smart, not life-smart obviously - so by having me as his gf/wife, he was able to "show" his parents that he was at least "smart" enough to land a "smart" girl.)
So again, I think our relationship was really 1 year infatuation + 8 years trophy holding. His actions within our relationship certainly support this theory.
I don't know. It is heartbreaking. He was the first boy I ever dated longer than 6 months. Ironically I was "excited" to get past the "excitement" stage. I liked getting into the more comfortable stages of getting to know one another on a deeper level (so I thought) and building stability and support. Ironically, the more I was opening up, the more he was closing down - acting out. Like I said, I don't think he ever really "loved" me at all...at least by the definition I use - unconditional, selfless, familial, spirit-bonding love. How was I so stupid that I didn't realize we weren't on the same page? For being so "supposedly smart," I am IMPRESSIVELY STUPID...
So my question for all you ladies...are SAs capable of love - true, authentic, mature love - before recovery? Do you think any part of our relationship was truly loving before? Do you think it can become truly loving if he is successful in recovery? Or will he always have this selfish, immature view of love...that it is only about "excitement," that it is a "feeling" rather than a commitment / series of actions.
Heartbroken and sad today. Input, reflections, wisdom appreciated...
Thank you and sorry if I am writing too much on here. While I get support in the other forums, I don't always feel like they fully understand. I know that you do.
Love to you - the familial, spirit-bonding kind.
But as far as him loving who I am as a person, I don't think he's capable. For one thing, his self-esteem is so trashed that he cannot be vulnerable. He can never be genuine because that would mean dealing with his imperfections. Because he cannot be vulnerable, he cannot recognize my vulnerability. To him, vulnerability is a liability, a weakness. My tears (because he'd hurt me, or I was sad, or for whatever reason) used to enrage him. So to my way of thinking, his inability to be vulnerable made him unable to love on anything other than the most infantile/juvenile level.
Here's an entry from my journal-of-sorts that I've been writing and sharing with my IC:
"In 1995 or 1996, I donít recall, I answered a phone call in our apartment (we had been married for less than one year). There was a woman on the other end asking for ***. I told her he wasnít home, then asked who she was so I could take a message. She responded by asking me who *I* was. When I told her I my name and that I was ***ís wife, she got pretty flustered. I donít recall the specifics of the conversation because I was flustered, too, but I do recall her mentioning that she & *** were old friends from California. I think she refused to tell me her name (if she told me, my brain didnít process it). Later I confronted *** about having a strange woman calling our home, why didnít she know who I was or that he was married if they were friends, and that I did NOT approve of him having ďsecret friendsĒ, especially female secret friends. He, too, refused to disclose who the woman was, only that she was probably someone from California. He got upset with me that I didnít get her name & number. He then went on to dreamily wonder aloud about how he would react if she had been a particular women, how he would react if he heard her voice again, and so forth. I couldnít believe my ears. He also was very upset with me for telling him that I would not accept him having secret friends, especially secret female friends. He declared he would have whatever kind of friends he wanted to have, and I would not be making that decision for him. He went so far as to grab our displayed marriage certificate/license (or whatever thing that one proudly displays) and threaten to tear it in two. He screamed at me, demanding to know if I wanted a divorce over a phone call. I was so stunned & confused, I didnít know how to react, I couldnít fully comprehend who he was or what was happening at that moment. I told him no, I didnít want a divorce, I didnít want to fail at marriage so soon."
The above was less than one year into our marriage! Yes, it illustrates my co-dep issues. It also illustrates the depth of his "love" for me. About as deep as a shadow.
This is something I've been pondering a lot lately. Because if THAT was how much WH loved me in our newlywed year, when we were still having tons of sex & didn't have kids or any cares in the world, if THAT was the pinnacle of his love for me, well DAD GUM! Do I have anything to work with here? Or rather, does HE have anything to work with? Does he have the ability to love me in the way I deserve to be loved? The way I want to be loved?
I DO believe my H and I experienced true intimacy over the years, that's what makes this all the more puzzling and hurtful. My H's SA behavior began, as far as I can tell, with his cancer diagnosis. It's like he flipped a switch. He did not share his fears with me, but apparently it blew his mind and he started acting out. He calls it "temporary insanity". Insanity for sure, but temporary? Hmmmm, I doubt it.
WS, I'm so glad your H is in treatment. If nothing else, it gives you a fighting chance. Since my H is NOT in treatment, maybe others will be more helpful in that regard. I would think he needs to address his own issues before pointing the finger at you.
Stay strong, sweetie. Keep posting. That's what we're here for...
The funny thing is, I remember this girl. I remember the first time my instinct kicked in that something wasn't right. We were in college at the time - I walked into the cafeteria with my roommate and saw the two of them talking...just talking up ahead, and something in their body language SCREAMED to me red flag. It was the first time I ever got mad enough to want to hit somebody. I remember I was so angry, I started shaking, couldn't eat, and left right away.
This happened to me so many times through my marriage. So many. I'm sitting here shaking my head. In addition to his S&M issues, my H also seemed to cross boundaries with women. I don't know if he slept with any of them. But my red flag would go up. And more often than not, the woman would say something strange to me - or act in a hostile manner when she learned I was his wife. Once he worked on a political campaign with a lot of young women. They would stay out late - lots of drinking. It was always hard to reach him. And then the head of the campaign called our house, and asked who I was when I answered! I told him I was H's WIFE, and the guy said he didn't know my H was married.
I think I was in a real fog in my 15-year marriage, and the fog is just beginning to lift. I'm afraid of what I'm going to find underneath.
And I don't think I ever trusted my instincts throughout my marriage. I couldn't - because I couldn't handle what they were telling me.
are SAs capable of love - true, authentic, mature love - before recovery? Do you think any part of our relationship was truly loving before? Do you think it can become truly loving if he is successful in recovery? Or will he always have this selfish, immature view of love...that it is only about "excitement," that it is a "feeling" rather than a commitment / series of actions.
I'm struggling with this. I think that SAs are attracted by what is new. They need more and more stimulation, constantly. So that's the only reason that you were only exciting to him for a year. He could have been married to the smartest and most beautiful cover girl model in the world, and SHE would have only excited him for a year too. It's not you, it's him.
I think that my husband did love me. I know he loves his children - in his own way. But it's just not enough to stop the addiction and make him act like a good father and do the things that would entail. So in my case, the real answer is NO, at this point my husband does not seem to love anyone in a true, authentic or mature way. It's a selfish, shallow and self-centered love. I'm wondering if it's NPD, which is all too common with SAs.
WS, I'm sorry you're struggling so much today. I'm so glad your husband is in treatment - most men here never went to any sort of inpatient treatment, including my husband, and I will always wonder if that would have made a difference. Please take good care of yourself this week. I hope you keep posting. Your posts help everyone here.
Take good care.
BTW, I'm in a holding pattern. Of course he's not ready with the TL. But, are you ready for this??? He's "working on it." Bill Gates would look on my fortune enviously if I had a nickel for everytime I heard that.
Thursday is the day. TL will be done, office cleaned, crap in garbage that may have triggers? gone. I told him if he didn't tell the boys by the end of February, I would. That's what he had to offer me. He is working on steps 3-5 actively with sponsors, claims there really isn't anything else I don't already know, but I think he is still holding on to things, to punish me for all the resentment he has toward me. Resentment for things I didn't do or had no idea he didn't like me doing or not doing them (Passive aggressive much?) He even accused me of not ever letting him be weak or showing his vulnerabilities. Since that is about as realistic as I am 6'2, I didn't tear his throat out and he backed down on that pretty quickly. But why the F*&%( does he have to say it at all!!!
I'm tired of being the punching bag.
WS, it sounds as though you fell into much the same role as I did, absolutely incredulous when you found out things about this person that was living in your husband's body. It TRULY isn't anything about you, although WE ALL feel that way. Even Halle Berry, EVEN Elle what's her name. That we JUST weren't good enough. The analogy is that we are the celery when the addict is looking for chocolate fudge. Or the milky way when the diabetic needs a beautiful healthy meal. Or the beer when the addict craves mainlining crack. (is that how they do it? I'm clueless)
But somehow, while it certainly helps explain the behavior, it doesn't make the pain better.
My H is upset. I said I am proud of him that he is successfully fending off the addictive behaviors, but I don't think he deserves any praise for finally being the person he was supposed to be for 32 years, "a loving and faithful husband" the concise and specific vows that we Quakers make in meetings for marriage.
That's what he promised to do. That's what I have done, as a wife.
I think, that my H and many of yours thought that marriage with YOU, their "soulmate" that they met during a quiescent time of their addiction, or at least during a cycle of their illness when they felt well, they thought, "AHA!" Now I won't need anything else! This is the one that will solve all my problems!" Of course it doesn't work out that way, and SA is far harder to deal with than just spicing it up in the bedroom...
I KNOW the intimacy disorder keeps them from forming real adult relationships. But it isn't an excuse for mistreating us, and treating whores, tramps and hookers like gold,
Take a break today. I love all of you and really do appreciate this mutual admiration/group hug society.
I think, that my H and many of yours thought that marriage with YOU, their "soulmate" that they met during a quiescent time of their addiction, or at least during a cycle of their illness when they felt well, they thought, "AHA!" Now I won't need anything else! This is the one that will solve all my problems!"
Yes, that sums it all up.
I've always been so grounded in reality that I never thought I could slip into a deep state of denial. But it happened to me. In a huge way.
It started the day I returned home from my honeymoon. I got a phone call from a friend who told me that my husband's first marriage had ended because he cheated on his ex numerous times. This friend had only just found out the truth and thought I should know.
I was absolutely crushed. He'd lied to me. I thought I'd married a really decent and faithful man. When I asked him about it, he wouldn't discuss it and said it was in the past and to forget it. Instead of dealing with the lie about his divorce, was was a material lie, I chose instead to make excuses for him in my mind by thinking that he had just married too young the first time and had been immature.
Three months after our wedding, I found a very inappropriate email he'd sent to a strange woman. It was very manipulative and filled with sexual connotations. I confronted him. He didn't say anything and I insisted we go to counseling and we did.
The IC saw the email and was genuinely mortified. I still remember the look on her face. Her initial assessment was that he was SA. I didn't know what that really meant. Back in 2003, there was very little info about SA out there. He was to go back alone for testing. He later told me he went and was tested and he was not SA. I didn't follow up. My bad. I instead went further in that "sweet illusion" of denial because I thought we were happily married.
For the next few years, things seemed just fine. Of course I was in denial, so who really knows what he was up to? But in 2008, I received a phone call from a stripper and she told me she had a four-month affair with him and now he wouldn't leave her alone and that he was psycho and for me to tell him to leave her alone.
Confronted with this bucket of cold water in my face, I immediately went online and looked at the cell phone bill and found her number with thousands of contacts by him, with her rarely reciprocating. I also found another stripper's number, and he had been calling and texting her ad naseum for a year, which is as far back as I could see with the online billing history.
In the end, he would only admit to what I already knew. I suspect there is much, much more that I will never know.
At first I asked him to leave so I could think. He got his own place and he was in my face constantly. He wanted to R, said he was in SAA, that he loved me and he was really pressuring me to make an immediate decision to R.
I decided to wait. I knew there was more I needed to know. I figured out his password to his new email and read his email communications with numerous women he'd met on Internet dating sites. As he was crying to me about how much he loved me and wanted to R, he was hooking up with these women, and pretended to want a relationship with them. As soon as the women had sex with him, he would drop them like a hot potato. He was was absolutely heartless about how he dumped them, too, destroying their dignity.
This was a very disturbing insight into his twisted and dark soul and after seeing all of this, I couldn't get out of the marriage fast enough. By this point, the denial was gone and had been replaced with an urgent need to save myself.
It has now been almost four years and I'm doing ok. I'm certainly glad to be on the other side of this ugly thing. I don't for a minute think he ever loved me. I served a purpose in his life, that is all. This does not upset me because I know that he is not "right".
I don't know if my ex is a different version of SA, but I do think there are other SA's out there that are like him. In the old days, they used to call them philanderers. But now sympathy is expected because they have a "diagnosis".
I do feel sympathy for SA's because they do have a problem. I recognize that, but I feel even sorrier for the women (or men) who love them and who subsequently suffer irreparable damage.
I would suggest you get your own, independent IC to counsel with as you go through this. And most of all, I wish you strength and courage as you will face some difficult decisions as you move forward.
Speaking of looking back, I too have doubts about events and situations that occurred, things SAWH said to me at the time that I never concentrated on properly. I have to remind myself that I was operating from a position of trust at that time. Unfortunately, all I can see now is how deliberately blind I was, how I ignored the niggling feelings in my gut. Of course, we had three young children at the time and I was working part time, but still I canít help but beat myself up when I think back over the years. All I was concerned with was if he was sober of alcohol.
WS, I agree with GhostWalker though; what your WH said to you is blameshifting.
Re: diagnosed SA vs. serial philandering & being NPD
This is one thing that I wonder about once in a while. I used to feel really torn up and uncomfortable with it, but Iíve since decided that whatever is wrong with SAWH I canít fix him. He gets zero sympathy from me & the longer weíre together the more I see him simply as a user & a manipulator who does whatever he needs to for a Ďfixí. Imo my SAWH is likely NPD who uses his addictions to medicate, but as I said, I canít fix him so AFAIC heís a liar & a user. Plain and simple.
As for me, Iíve maintained the sleeping arrangement. I got a rude reminder about who SAWH really is last night. SAWH told me he had to be at work early this morning for a Ďfire drillí (heís a nurse who works in a small inpatient facility). Fire drill? Really?? Does he think Iíll believe that?! Being the suspicious person I am I checked his cookies when I got up for work only to discover that Wednesday night he looked up a 24 hr diner near his job & has been on match.com. Not only that it appears he has a Yahoo account. He didnít come home until 10 pm on DDís bday early this week, although he called her from there to tell her so. *sigh* Iím pretty sure heís found a new AP or re-contacted one of his old OPs.
My IC (and the CSAT I used to see) donít think that surveillance ought to be necessary, particularly if Iím leaving and am trying to emotionally detach. I feel like I have a right to know WTH is going on in our ďMĒ while weíre still under the same roof. Iím scared Iíll backslide in my own recovery, though. @#$%&*#~>|!!!!! Iíll be spending some of my saved $ (and some of his, insert evil grin here) to keep tabs on him.
Any and all input appreciated
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 6:38 PM, January 14th (Saturday)]
What do you need to know that your H is acting out again? Is a picture of them together enough? An e-mail between them? If that's what you need, then you need to spend the money. But don't devalue your instincts. Maybe just knowing what you know is enough.
I believe your plan is to leave him.... What can we do to help you be sure that's what you want?
I *suspect* he's using, but I have no evidence. I don't really *need* evidence, as his treatment of me these last two years is enough for me to leave completely aside from his acting out status. You're right, Sager, I'm devaluing my instincts and doubting myself as I've been trained to do.
All of that being said, yes I am going to leave. Me and all of my FOO baggage will pack up & go as soon as I have the resources.
How can you help me trust myself? Simply by doing what you've done. Reminding me that I have choices, that I don't have to reflexively react from my childhood script, helps me tremendously.
I'm sorry if this is disjointed, I'm a little off the rails emotionally.
Thank you Sager. More than you know. ((Sager))
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 9:25 PM, January 14th (Saturday)]