I am struggling regardless of how this will all shake out. A couple of days ago I got the photo albums out of the basement, because that's not a good place to store photos. I had not taken them out the boxes we packed we moved to this state 3 years ago, because there was no room for them at the old house. Naturally, the kids wanted to look at them, ask questions, relive memories. And I kept thinking how I was in the dark, and how many times did he act out during THAT pregnancy, etc. And don't even get me started on the wedding album. So I trigger every time the kids pull one out.
And because I have not made any albums in the past 5 years...there's none of the youngest. I have the photos, I had all five years of them printed a month before DDay, but they are not in albums. The girls are asking where their brother's album is. So I will have to throw one together for him, before he figures out he doesn't have one, and I am sure I will trigger during that too.
SAWH asked what he could do. Could he box up the albums and put them somewhere else, etc. I don't want to take them away from the kids. I remember how much I loved going through photos as a kid. They were our most prized family possessions. Any time we had a hurricane or potential flood, they were the first thing to go in the car when we evacuated. They love hearing stories about when they were babies. And like anything else the novelty will wear off and they won't be looking at them multiple times a day like right now.
It pisses me off stuff like this happens so often. SAWH could get hit by a truck and die, and this stuff will still happen whether he is here or not. Yes, this stuff should become less frequent and yes, I will deal with them better and more swiftly over time but it's still sucks it has to happen at all.
How will you be screwed and the kids suffer on so many fronts if you D?
How are you taking care of yourself right now? IC? Exercise? Cup of tea? Hot bath? Prayer? I know you have a lot on your plate and I hope you are finding some way to take care of yourself. Hugs to you.
TMY - thank you a million for your experience, wisdom and advice. There is a special place in heaven for you....
NG - you are so strong.
I am in IC and group therapy. Stopped going to 12 step, I was getting resentful of committing so many hours to this and it was nearly an hour away so it seemed the best thing to trim back. I do take hot baths and go to church, etc and get a massage once a month. But last night I either had a big panic attack, so I am probably not doing enough.
I'm screwed because I am stuck in a state where I basically have no employment options. I have no family locally to provide childcare and other support even if I could find employment. If we split, we can't keep the house we are in. And if I move, it is likely I will not be able to stay in this school district, which was the whole point of moving here, and the other ones are really bad. I don't want to subject my kids to moving AGAIN - my oldest has already been in three different public schools and she's only in 3rd grade. I can't move back to my home state without considerable legal expense and lengthy court time. So no matter how you slice it, a new beginning of any kind will be extremely difficult.
I know women face this all the time, and it's not like I have to do it under duress while my H tries to abuse me/tell lies about me/withdraws all $ support, but it requires me to CHOOSE to do this because it is the better option over what things are now. And I read the horror stories over in the S&D forum, and I have to concede that that could be part of my future reality too if I choose a different path. In all honesty I don't know which option is worse.
It's upsetting. Our house would be sold in a minute if we listed it - we have had two realtors ask if we would consider selling because inventory in our area is non-existent. I feel like I am being forced to make a decision without being given all the info. I feel like I have to choose between two situations that I don't really want and sound really shitty.
I am sure lots of you feel the same way. I am glad I am not alone, but it sucks nonetheless.
If you do not want to hear problem solving, hath, then don't read any further. I am sure you have researched everything out the gazoo, but here are some thoughts:
-why no employment options where you live? I'm just thinking maybe there's something you could do at home/online to make a little to supplement what SS and CS you would get. Also, are all your children almost in school? That would take care of some child care issues.
As far as moving, if your house is in such a desireable neighborhood, could you ask a bit more for it so that you would make a good profit? Have you looked into apartments, condos, smaller homes that are still in your school district? Again, I'm sure you've already done/thought of all of this.
I know what you mean re: being stuck choosing between 2 shitty situations that you don't want - it totally sucks.... I think time will tell us when we are ready or something definitive will happen to push us over the edge one way or the other.
Ok, here is my motivational speaker part of this post. I have a friend who is in the process of D'ing her NPD husband. She was doing some small sales job out of her home before she moved out. This led to a "real" job, which didn't pay much. She interviewed for another job (for more money), got it, and when she went to her employer to tell them she was quitting for a job that paid twice as much, they matched it. She now works primarily from home and her job is very flexible, which allows her to spend time with her kids. Her STBX would always tell her how ugly she was and how terrible she was in bed; she is now dating and having "the best sex of my life." She is getting her self-esteem back and is so happy. She does have to deal with her angry NPD husband, but I don't think she would go back and I don't think she has a single regret.
I am reading this book, "Supercoach" and just in the first chapter it talks about visualizing what you want and it will come. My friend has said that things just seem like they keep falling into place for her - she got her house from a friend of a friend, a connection through her work and they gave it to her over someone else because they knew her. She got double her salary doing the same job she was already doing. It takes a leap of faith, but wonderful things can be on the other side.
[This message edited by numbandnauseous at 3:37 AM, March 11th (Monday)]
All three kids will be in school full time starting in the fall. So in theory more opportunities then.
However, I am in a metro area of higher than usual unemployment. Very few hourly jobs available, and I don't want to commit to a FT salaried type position until I find out what's going to happen with special needs DD at school. And then I have the added problem of nearly all the PT hourly jobs (even minimum wage ones) require background checks, and I have a DWI from 20 years ago that evidently prevents me from any childcare/driving positions, and apparently most jobs period because they have so many applicants with clean records. Add no work history for almost a decade, and no work history in this state at all. Basically I would have to go into sales or work for myself at this point until I get a break. Which I guess I will have to do in the fall no matter how this shakes out.
I have been looking into other housing in the area. One of the reasons we bought the house was because there was an abundance of very cheap condos at the edge of the district, so either/both of us could stay elsewhere within the limits to keep the kids in the schools if we split, even though there was likely no chance of getting any equity in such a place in the future. However, I see now ALL of those are gone. And the few that have sold lately, sold quickly and at twice the price despite being in basically terrible condition. Rentals here are more than our mortgage+maintenance expenses for half the size, even apartments. It is very rare for someone who has bought here in the past year to get a house so cheap and have already tripled their equity, we just got stupid lucky.
I actually had the discussion of how I felt about choosing between two shitty situations with SAWH. Told him I wanted a third option. He took it to heart. Ramping up going to meetings, etc. in addition to doing things for me/the family that he has not done before. Again, hard to get overly excited over stuff they should have been doing all along but it is progress. I need to think long and hard about what I really want so I can actually visualize it like you suggested. I think that's the biggest issue, I just don't know.
He wont be completely transparent, which makes me question if something is still going on. He has showed me credit card statements but won't give me the passwords. He recently have me his smart phone to look at, but won't give me his email passwords. I won't go to counseling. I believe he grew up in a family where he learned not to show his emotions, not to cry. He keeps everything to himself, that one of the reasons I believe he fell victim to this addiction. I think this is his way to escape reality cause he never really learned how to deal with his emotions.
I think it started as a porn addiction, then escalated to posting on craigslist and joining adult friend finder. he claims no physical contact, he hasn't been with anyone since the day we met. I'm not sure whether to believe him or not when he has looked me in the eyes and lied to me so many times.
I have been so pathetic and have begged him for the whole truth so many times. He claims he is telling me the truth and then something else comes up.
This is getting more difficult each day. I don't know how to deal with this. Recently I was able to access his craigslist postings, where I saw 5 ads he posted spaning from 11/10 thru 7/11 (the month we were married). They were all to M4M, very graphic, giving specific information on meetups on his very only day off, with enough time for it to end before I came home to work. Also he referenced areas that are on his way to work. He says it's all fantasy, although he won't even admit that he is attracted to men. He also had some responses to women back in 7/11, two weeks before our wedding.
Is it possible this is still only fantasy. I do see a progression of his addiction.
We have been going to MC. Something came up and I have come to a realization that I just hate. But it is just so true.
I was a classic SOSA. I kept busy, I rugswept, I ignored the signs, I believed the fairy tales. I wanted to believe SO MUCH that someone loved me, that I just ignored the possibility that he was screwing other people, spending a fortune on lap dances, you get the picture. I TRULY had my head in the sand. I NEVER suspected lap dances, certainly not to the degree that they were happening, I had to research them on the web, when I did find out, as I didn't even know what they were! And NEVER suspected my rather prudish, straight laced, double degreed, professional husband would be engaging in them, or the massive amounts of porn he was viewing while I was dealing with kids, homework and household stuff as well as my own full time profession.
Yeah, I was an idiot. And if I had ANY doubts at all, I made a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to believe my husband because I just did NOT want to live my life as a nasty, suspicious person. Instead, I kept busy, immersing myself in project after project, finding joy in those things, working out, but in reality, that was my drug, keeping me numb to what was really going on.
He also had a series of crises which prevented me from asserting myself, those times when I determined I was tired of the verbal abuse, sexual neglect and emotional distain with which he treated me. If I decided I was going to confront him, inevitably, he'd have some sort of family or job crisis. I HAD to stand by him then, didn't I? So I smothered my own concerns and problems and did what I said I'd do in my marriage vows.
My IC asked me when it was my turn. Well, it's my turn now. And, for the most part, he IS stepping up. But, crap! I never wanted this kind of marriage! I wanted a partnership, a relationship where two people are equal, NOT one where someone is weak and pathetic and needs a "turn!"
Here's the worst part what I realized, the revelation that has just now come to me. I discovered that the person I used to admire, ME, was really someone fake and phony, who let me down when I needed her most. She didn't stand up for me. She too, lied and deceived ScaredyKat into believing that everything was okay. I always thought SHE was a good person, someone who could be admired and looked up to for her resilience, strength and joy, and SHE was a phony, lying person, too!!!
I don't know who I am! I thought I missed the old me. but now I see that the old me wasn't so great, she was deceitful, not protective of my feelings or of my life, rug sweeping and conflict avoidant. I don't want to be that person, so who DO I want to be? How do I start all over again? Not to mention that I am still hanging on to anger, resentment and have walls up the size of the grand canyon?
I discovered that the person I used to admire, ME, was really someone fake and phony, who let me down when I needed her most. She didn't stand up for me. She too, lied and deceived ScaredyKat into believing that everything was okay. I always thought SHE was a good person, someone who could be admired and looked up to for her resilience, strength and joy, and SHE was a phony, lying person, too!!!
I want you to know that I completely get it! One of the things I have been working on in counseling is "who is TMY"? I don't think I have any idea. I think sometimes I frustrate my CSAT, but I really do not know who I am deep down. My FOO was very abusive, and I am not sure I ever developed an identity other than a facade.
The funny thing was I can so identify to your whole post about before the last d-day. I was climbing the ladder in my career, going to grad school, and appearing to have it all together. I have been a workaholic for so long (and I am still struggling with it), that I thought that was my identity. Of course, I also projected the identity of "happy family" to most people as well. But wow, I was such an emotionally absent mother. I have felt so sad about that lately. I almost cried on the way to work the other day when I thought about the fact that my kids are pretty much grown up now, and I will never get that time back.
However, we both need to be gentle on ourselves. I know, I know, easier said than done! Ha! Yes, I take responsibility for the fact that I propped up the image and family facade (not only for his sake, but mine as well), and that I immersed myself in work (and the last year before d-day, alcohol) to cope. But we were just trying to get by. I know my FOO did not equip me to function in a healthy relationship. I am sure I sought out my SA as his dysfunction fit mine. Of course I wanted to believe in him. Of course I wanted to believe that it wasn't as bad or that he would really change when he was caught.
That last d-day was really hard for me. I was finally forced to let go of the facade. I dropped out of my Master's program (with 6 credits to go!). I had to face the realization that my life really was in shambles, when the police called me out of a work meeting. No way to get around the rumor mill.
As hard as it was for me to drop the facade and let go, it has changed my life. However, I am still a work in progress. One of my great fears is that I will not like myself if I ever figure out who I really am. I also fear abandonment by my kids. I am not sure if there is anything I can do on that front. I fear a self-fulfilling prophecy where the cycle is repeated, and they end up in dysfunctional relationships, estranged from me, like I am from my FOO, and my H is from his.
As for the anger and resentment, as my life crumbled and I tossed the facade, I let go of it. I don't really know what else to say about that. I am still on this journey, too. Sometimes I think it is harder for me, starting over from scratch with who I am than it has been for my H in working a program. How do you discover who you really are? I don't know. Maybe someday I will know who TMY is deep down at the core.
So, after almost 5 months I finally got my ws to admit he's a sex addict. I'm not sure if he's doing it just to humor me and if he really believes it or not. Although I feel it's a step in the right direction, I'm still very frustrated because he refuses any treatment, he says he handling it himself, he hasn't done anything for almost a year. I told him that's white knuckling.
While it may be "progress" to admit that he is a SA, it is nowhere near enough. This realization may confirm it and offer some gratification that your instincts are right about him, but unless he is truly motivated in a life or death sense to work a program and recover, the realization will not generate progress.
I am sorry, but I agree with SK. Focus on yourself and work a program for you. Recovery for you is so much more important at this point.
I don't read the posts in this topic very often because... the truth really hurts. My husband is a SA who "goes through the motions" in my opinion, says he's not as "bad as the others", masturbated this week (even though we are on our 3rd 90 day abstinence) and we had sex twice. I am so lonely. I have been lonely for years. Now that I know what's been going on and I'm slowly beginning to catch some glimpses of clarity, I'm terrified. I've done all the work, read 100 books, and I'm still waiting on him and looking at broken promises. He's "staying home", spends all his free time with me, but I don't like him or want him. He's an arrogant know-it-all that thinks he has all the answers to everybody's problems, including his own. We still haven't had therapeautic disclosure. He still hasn't finished reading 1 book. The first DDay was December 2011, the 2nd was October 2012.
We are seeing Indidvidual CSAT and having joint counseling, I have a psychiatrist (Thank God), he goes once a week or so to 12 step programs, and says he is working on himself.
He's also a workaholic and told me last night that he lost his only friend when I discovered they were giving each other blow jobs. I'm just venting, here I guess. I have not one nugget of wisdom or help to offer anyone. I'm underemployed in an area of unemployment (my full time job was working with my husband at our business), now I work part time. We are in state that still has the alienation of affection law on the books, and I have plenty of proof. I want to divorce him but I'm still in love with him.
My IC said he is very sick and it will take a long time for him to make any real progress. Some days I hate him. 14 + years together, at least half that time he was in that blow job relationship, and last October had a short affair with the skank he thought I'd never find out about. All I do is cry. I'm better, don't want to die anymore, but still cry like a baby several times a week. He's unemotional. I hate that I am posting here and need to post here. I don't think our prognosis is good.
SK, totally identify with being disappointed in self. Like TMY, not knowing who I really am or what I want. It is part of the package, and it sucks.
Heartbroken, I have never heard of a story involving Craigslist (even non-SA ones on SI) that didn't end up in an actual meeting eventually. If your gut says otherwise, and he's been caught in other lies...you are probably right. I am so sorry. The rub is you may never know for sure.
Hannelore, I agree to detach and let go. You have done all you can do at this point. Time to heal, reflect, and explore the exit plan.
I have other issues I want to share, but I will put in a separate post.
I am trying really hard to see that everything I go through, we all go through as spouses. But I am having issues with a few sticking points.
First, I keep hearing a pattern of where the SA withholds affection and sex while acting out, and usually when they are in early recovery, sometimes a long time. SAWH has always been affectionate. He always wanted sex. I accept that his ability to perform with me when he was actively acting out probably was because of the Viagra I didn't know he was taking. But he wanted to be with me several times a week in addition to all the others. That doesn't seem to be the normal MO for SAs. And that disturbs me, and makes me wonder what other mental issues I have to consider.
Second, he is still affectionate all the time. Still wants to have sex. That never changed. He doesn't do it for show or to please. Touch is his love language. He does it because he needs it, in addition to doing it for me and our relationship. I don't doubt doing it for him as opposed for me ranks higher in his head than he admits to. But he's working with his CSAT to rewire his thought processes on sensual and sexual touch and so forth, so it appears to be changing in the right direction.
I guess what bothers me is all of this does not appear to be the norm with the rest of you, my group, my S-Anon sisters. Also he has not admitted to any sexual abuse or an isolated severe traumatic event. Definitely some bad FOO issues, mostly neglect that led to him seeing way too much porn too young and a level of sexual activity not appropriate for a teen, but not any single turning events as it were. So the questions are, is he really different in those respects, or better at hiding being the same, and in either case, how does that impact me? Does it mean he will never be able to improve, etc. Or is it indicative of other mental issues, etc.
I do understand not having a huge rock-bottom moment does play into everything. But IDK how much.
Its confusing and frustrating. As all of you know.
But in all the other ways you mention, he was a fairly typical SA.
I don't know the meaning of it all. I do believe that these guys all have scary similarities, but they are also all very different too. Some more than others.
I often find myself thinking of the "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Ridiculous, I know, but it helps me make sense of all of it.