I posted here a few times a year ago.. then I compartmentalized it all and kept going. I don't know what it is that causes me to again start obsessing.. maybe it is something he does.. or a way that he acts. I don't know. And I don't know why I continue to stay. I guess because I really do love him.. and I continue to let him talk me into believing him.. Then I feel like an idiot until I again surpress all the feelings and basically live my life in a vacuum. I think one of these days I am going to blow.
I can't even remember what I wrote a year ago. So here is my story again.. or maybe I left stuff out last time. I can't remember.
Married for 22 years. Together for 24. One child who is 20 and away at college.
I was raped when I was 16 and got pregnant.. sex was always a problem for me and I never had orgasms until my husband introduced me to vibrators. I found out he is a cross dresser by leaving to run an errand... forgetting something... coming back and finding him in my lingerie masturbating. The first time I accused him of cheating on me was when our daughter was a year old. I found a deleted email in our joint account (the internet and email were new back then) that said something like "Hello Mistress Vickie.. I would love to setup an appointment with you but I am married so I need to be discreet".. HA.. After 20 years I still remember it almost word for word. From that point on it was something every few years. Dating sites (I am just looking at the pictures), Phone sex (It's not like we will ever meet), Emails with a coworker (she is ugly and lives in Texas.. I was humoring her), Texting about a hookup (it never happened.. When would I ever have time to see someone?), Craigslist ads (I don't know why I posted/answered that.. It's not like I would ever meet anyone face to face.. that's just creepy), Y Conversations and phone numbers programmed into his work phone. ** I haven't said anything to him about these latest ones because this time I want proof. He has denied ever.. ever.. meeting anyone in person but I don't believe him. The Y conversation I found was between him and another cross dresser arranging a meeting at a Starbux to get 'all comfy' before anything else happens.. The phone number programmed into his phone is another cross dresser about 5 minutes from his work who advertises EVERYWHERE that he can hook up anytime in his garage.. and he is a skank. I checked his phone number online and pictures came up. I am horrified that my husband might be letting this person touch him.. or that he is touching this other person. And it just goes to show you have compliant I have become with all of this that the fact that this is another man isn't even phasing me.
My husband is a sex addict.. Nothing is too much. I have gone from being a traumitized 16 year old with problems around sex to a 47 year old husband pleaser who goes shopping with him for his "outfits" and plays into his submissive fantasies by being his "mistress".. I have gone a long with all of this even though, when I really let myself FEEL, I feel dirty and betrayed. Especially knowing that having done all of this in an attempt to keep him satisfied it seems it was all in vain as he is just tramping around with, it would seem, whatever is available.
I need suggestions on how to catch him. Audio in the car? GPS? Something on his phone? He has gotten smart and seems to be using his work phone for most of this. I don't have that password yet.. but I will. He checks it and then walks away with it still unlocked so I can quickly scan it before he comes back or before it locks me out.
I need ideas. And once I know.. FOR SURE.. that he has laid his hands on these horrible skanky people.. then I will need to figure out how to comfront him and get out.
I hate myself for being so weak.. I hate myself for loving him. I hate myself for going along with all of this for so long. I should be worth fidelity. I have even given him the opportunity for us to lead separate lives sexually.. I just told him to be honest with me and I wouldn't be mad.. That the lying and sneaking around would hurt me more than the cheating.
Oh.. and we haven't had "normal sex" in years. I actually can't even remember the last time he kissed me. I miss the intimacy but he is not into it. He is into kink.. and naught.. and porn.. It seems if our 'sex' life doesn't resemble something out of his vast porn collection then he loses interest.
So yeah.. ashamed of that too.
The horrible thing.. is I can't even cry about it anymore. Nothing surprises me.. I feel shut down.
BeachGirl65...I know you feel like you need to catch your husband and confront him, but by the way you talk (type I guess), it sounds as if you already know. Also, you don't have to catch him doing more inappropriate behavior, if what he's putting you through now (e.g. a sex life you don't enjoy) is already affecting the relationship, to pursue MC or IC.
Secondly, I don't think there is anything you need to be ashamed of. You were raped at 16, and it sounds like you never had a chance to heal from that. Many people who are victims of sexual abuse have difficulty in these areas (my brother is a sexual abuse survivor).
Last, I think you need to start doing the 180, even though there has been no confrontation, and start taking care of you. Get enrolled in IC, at least to take care of you and deal with the trauma, if not to work on your husband.
Others will probably give you better advice than me, but I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you.
Hang in there! Hugs to you and all our SA spouses
I am pretty sure I want R but I am still getting everything in order from now on in case it doesn't work out.
When I was 20, my WH and I first met and dated. During our 8 month relationship then, he took it upon himself to "try anal sex" and shoved it in me without asking, preparation, lube etc. It caused physical damage (which did heal) but mental trauma that remains with me until today.
I have been told in the last few days/weeks/months that he needs anal sex in his life and he's not willing to compromise on that. I have explained to him how my body shuts down when that happens and it's agony for me. It is a dealbreaker for him so I have to really think about that if I want R.
This is the reason he went for his jolly little ONS, and it was because of that he realised he could say to me if he didn't have anal he wouldn't be happy. As if I'm meant to be grateful to his skanky OW
I'm not really sure why I have just dumped all this out, but I guess the comparison is the kink factor - it seems a lot of the SA types have a certain thing they are into. I really admire you for supporting your WH with his cross dressing so far. I imagine it would have been easier to deal with if it was just between the 2 of you though. ((hugs))
[This message edited by CallMeRed at 4:25 AM, August 22nd (Wednesday)]
He's insisted he's not looked at any images since d day. I installed a keystroke logger yesterday on the computer he uses the most and I feel much calmer now I have done that.
[This message edited by CallMeRed at 4:28 AM, August 22nd (Wednesday)]
You are not weak so stop beating yourself up. You are traumatized from putting up with your H's shit for so long. Have you seen an IC? It doesn't sound like your WH is interested in recovery at this point and until he is nothing is going to change. You need to detach and do the 180. I'm not the best to advise on how to catch him as my SAWH managed to fool me for most of our M. Hang in there and take care of you.
RE: our sex life. It isn't that I hate it, it is that some things are missing.. but I could get past that IF I knew that our life together was just our life together. Suspecting that it isn't the case is what is making it uncomfortable for me.
CallMeRed.. OMG.. I could have written the part about 'just deciding to shove it in".. It was on our wedding night. Guess he decided that since he had 'sealed the deal' it was my turn to put out. Freaked me out. What a swell memory to have.
That - along with allowing other people into our bedroom - are both dealbreakers. I will bend only so far .. so I guess I should be happy that I haven't turned into a complete doormat.
thanks guys! This really helps.. being able to just get it all out. I don't have anyone to talk to about all of this.. which is, I guess, the point of an IC.
Good morning all-
beachgirl65, I just want to reach through my computer and give you an IRL hug. Don't beat yourself up, you've been seriously traumatized over your lifetime- you've reacted in the way that protected you the most. There's no shame in that. You're a survivor, take *pride* in that strength. I read your story and the first thing that comes to mind is that it's time to take care of *you*. It's called self-care. It's important. Crucial, even.
To that end, read the first page of this thread. There are resources there that can help you. I'd recommend reading up on how trauma & PTSD survivors heal their wounds. Start your self care small, take a craft class & learn something you've always wanted to do. Make plans with some girlfriends and have lunch together (or dinner, whatever works) every few weeks. Start an online journal, it's possible to set a free blog to be completely private. Take walks every day to have private time. Find small ways to feed your soul. Lastly, but most importantly, find a specialist IC whose primary interest is working with trauma survivors. Goodtherapy.com is an excellent resource, just use the advanced search function.
As far as catching him & how to go about it, when you have 50 'legitimate' posts (not smiles) the IT thread will open for you. So, come back and post with us, you're already at 29!
"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."
So.. since I haven't confronted him about anything recently. When I do start the 180.. when he asks me what is wrong .. and I know he will... how do I play it? I am definitely not ready to get into it with him yet again.. so do I just smile and say "nothing is wrong"? I hate lying.. I have such an aversion to it.. I want to be completely open and honest with him and I just can't..
And don't get me wrong. I know I have written about all the bad stuff he has done.. but there is a lot of good too. (see.. I am sticking up for him.. even here! I definitely need help)..
thanks for the resource ideas. Off to read the first page.
It's so hard to live with this for all those years. You need to start forgiving yourself. One way is to read about something called "The Abuse Cycle" You can google it. Wikipedia actually does a good job of explaining the basics. We spouses of SAs often deny that we are abused because too often we are the "grownups" in the relationship, doing all the heavy lifting in terms of childcare, day to day decision making, etc. while the SA is being self indulgent in their magic life. But we are. We finally confront them with our niggling doubts and get beaten down "how can you thing that?" "how dare you spy/question me?" So we shut down, smile and deny our basic needs and knowledge. That's abuse.
I found the Steffen's book to be particularly useful to me.
"Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal" by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means
While I definitely can recognize some co-dependency traits in myself, I had NO knowledge of his acting out. But I sure did react to his abuse in codependent ways. Make sure you get the most recent edition of Mending a Shattered Heart as I believe the Carnes research is moving more toward recognizing the trauma model in spouses and de-emphasizing the co-dep part.
(((((((((Driving)))))))) We are here for you. We certainly support you in any decisions you need to make and can listen to you. Wish we could give you RL hugs....
TT sucks...it seems like the bottom of the barrel doesn't exist...
Life is never what we planned it to be.
My IC (only been once so far) said to me, "did you know the way he is treating you is a form of abuse?". It hadn't crossed my mind. And when I saw someone just above mention "abuse" it brought tears to my eyes.
(((Beachgirl))) I am so sorry that happened on what should have been the happiest day of your life.
First day since d-day I have been actually wondering what it would be like to not be with my WH any more. Which is what will happen if there is a relapse. I am getting myself mentally prepared, I guess.
Big freaking hugs to all of you..
How he builds the walls necessary to live a life with me and then live that other life. And why is he married? Why not just go live that life? Am I the cover for him? I want to believe he loves me.. but how can he? how can he love me AND do this?
This is very hard to process. It took us (me and SAfWH) much research and an intensive "class" to be able to verbalize and identify the "how could he do this." I still haven't internalized it completely.
SAs, all addicts compartmentalize their lives. They truly do. This other nasty life does not exist when they are with you. Until they need their next fix. Then you become the obstacle.
My SAfWH says it was all pretend. His reasons for trolling for whores include long term depression, self esteem issues up the wazoo, FOO issues that would fill a textbook. All BS of course, I shared much of the same background. But the poor coping skills and general self indulgent, selfish manner that he, and most addicts use to live their lives account for his choices.
He says that he always loved me. I seriously doubt that he had the emotional maturity to love anyone. The fact is that I WAS the cover. I was also the housekeeper, the nanny, the accountant, his personal coach cheerleader and IC and when it was necessary the respectable wife he paraded in public. And, like you, I was resented, neglected and abused anyway.
Addiction is insidious. It sneaks up on them. They start slow and gradually escalate to the horrors you find out about.
READ as much as you can. It will help you process these realities and eventually find some peace.
Setting up an appt with an IC.. makes it all real.. something that I actually have to address.. It scares the beejeezus out of me
It IS scary. It's scary to know that for the rest of his life, your spouse will be dealing with this. Just like an alcoholic, even if they've kicked the addiction, there will always be a propensity to it. But you know, the other flip of the coin is...at least I can put a label to this behavior, at least I know this isn't just something I made up or some crazy behavior my spouse accuses me of. That provides to me some relief in a way, and some hope that with a diagnosis my H will get the help he needs.
How he builds the walls necessary to live a life with me and then live that other life. And why is he married? Why not just go live that life? Am I the cover for him?
I agree with ScaredyKat on this. They DO compartmentalize, and a lot of them even have the Madonna-whore complex. Like my husband, they have never associated intimacy and sex together. Sex is something that you do that's dirty and kinky, it's not about love and closeness to them.
Secondly, they also have a LOT of self-esteem issues. My husband has many body/self-image issues. I was the first woman he took off his shirt with, and why his cheating has just been online, not physical.
Last, if you think your spouse's SA has made you codependent, I can guarantee that the SA is a counter-dependent; it's not just like we have the only problem or something. I listed info on the counter-dependent spouse on the codependency thread. Let me know if you'd like me to repost that here.
From my experience, I believe that my H truly loves me, and that all our SAs have some love in there for us somewhere. They're just so Fing damaged when it comes to issues of love, sex, and intimacy. And the internet does nothing but provide them with a tool to encourage this behavior.
I must say that I love this thread also. I could keep a journal, but just knowing that people are actually reading this, keeps it all grounded in reality for me.
Hugs to all SA spouses.
On our first anniversary, I planned an amazing weekend getaway. At this point, i knew he was trolling on craigslist, but he always said it was nothing. He made me think I was crazy and making stuff up. Deep down, I knew but for some reason, I did nothing. So back to our fist anniversary, after a lovely dinner, i changed into a sexy outfit and came out of the bathroom. he was on my laptop. he said he wanted to try something new and fun. my heart dropped. Sex for us was always great (for me) I was pretty much up for anything (with just us), but that being said i pretty much had to beg for it and even when i asked, 2 out of 3 times he would say no. :( so when he said lets try something new i said ok. :( he posted an ad on craigslist wanting someone to direct us. basically, someone called us on speaker and instructed us on what to do.. i did it and it was horrible.. i'll never forget it. so embarrassing and i'm mad at myself for doing that, but at the time I was just trying to please him in hopes that he wouldn't go elsewhere.
Its like I alwasy knew when he was up to something and rather than dig to find the truth, I would try harder to be a better wife so he wouldn't stray. Its humiliating!!
It feels good to get this out... My IC helps, but I feel like everyone here understands just a little bit more!!
[This message edited by lastin12 at 9:27 PM, August 22nd (Wednesday)]
I sent it to my WH and this was his response...
I had read some of the book but had never looked at that website. I totally get what youre saying and where youre coming from on this, but like they said on the video, it is controversial, and when people are telling me one thing and youre coming at me like this, what am i supposed to do. Ive told you what the counsellor told me to tell you ma, but if you want me to go against their wishes then ok. I'll tell them what you are saying again and see what they say. Ive told them before but ill do it again. Again, I do understand where you're coming from on this
I thought that was progress. Then I found another voucher for cell credit. Dated AFTER I introduced all of this stuff.
He hadn't used it but it was in his wallet. He said he realised he shouldn't but in my head I know he was keeping hold of it until the need arose now.
I feel like 14 years of lies have hit me aside my head in the past 48 hours. Because it was only after seeing my IC on Monday and her telling me he has been abusing me and that I should "have some pride" etc that I have finally started to see my situation for what it really is.
I am no longer going to be "grateful" for what I do get from him. I want 100% or nothing.
[This message edited by CallMeRed at 5:15 AM, August 23rd (Thursday)]
That voucher would have been used immediately.
I wanted to make an informed decision before I let him have that sort of freedom.
I am trying REALLY hard to come to terms with the fact that I can't (and shouldn't) have to watch what he does. I have actual panic attacks whenever I have to leave the house.
I had to go to my moms to setup a new computer for her and I forgot the install key for MS Office after having already left the house. I was driving back home PRAYING that I wasn't going to find my husband online or doing something already.. the minute I left the house. I was almost physically sick driving back home.
WTF is that? Still looking for an IC.. I really do need one.. for my sanity if nothing else.
This has been going on for so long and I can't ever see it change.. but I don't know if I want to be without him.. I do love him.. We have so much fun together.. I just hate hate hate hate hate hate this part of him. I wish people came with labels. Had I know back when I met him that he was a sex/porn addicted cross dresser I would have never given him my heart. This was the 80s.. I had plenty of boyfriends who dressed like my girlfriends back then.. but that was what I didn't want for myself.
Wow.. sorry.. obviously blew a gasket there for a minute.