In response to your question about healing quickly, everyone is different, but I don't think that in most cases healing would take only a month or two - it is a process.
Glad to hear this has filled in some of the gaps for you.
sK - thanks for the recommendation of the Betrayal Bond - will put it on my reading list. Hope you are feeling better!
Ashland - I am sorry that you are here, but welcome to the club. I don't have any good answers to your feeling physically starved, but I can relate. I didn't realize that SAWH was an SA all the years we weren't having sex, so I was just trying to figure out why we weren't having sex. After being rejected so many times, I stopped asking for sex and felt resigned to my fate. Again, I know that's not a great answer, but that's what I did. I am sorry for your pain.
I have a couple of questions about your post, Ashland:
I'm not sure what you mean about your H's appearance, but I have read several SA books and am involved in an SA spouse group (as well as this thread on SI) and I have never heard of sex addicts having a certain "look."
Also, members of his family being gay has nothing to do with sex addiction. In my opinion, being gay is your sexual orientation and being a sex addict has to do with a dysfunctional FOO and/or sexual abuse. I don't believe that having a dysfunctional FOO or being sexually abused makes you gay.
Also, my STBX changed his hair and clothing style when he started acting out. That alone makes him look very different (and not for the better).
And yes, several girlfriends of mine who know nothing about STBX's sex addiction have mentioned that he suddenly looks very effeminate to them. So who knows.
Anyway, thanks again for the clarification, Choosing, and sorry if I offended anyone - it wasn't meant in that way at all.
Too bad, because then we could all avoid them.
But I do believe that the physical appearances of some SAs will change - either because they are mentally ill/very addicted, or because they choose to different clothing and hairstyles. One of my favorites was the husband who bleached his hair surfer blonde.
Also, perhaps some of us (uh, me) have subconsciously noticed strange things about our spouses' physical appearances for years - and then once we realize they are a SA, they all suddenly become so apparent to us.
I don't know - it's really just a mystery to me. Tiger Woods certainly looked great. Jesse James, not so much.
The Betrayal Bonds book was just recommended to me for healing from sexual betrayals following my divorce. If you type in "books Betrayal Bond" on google, you can find the books.google.com website which will show you some selected pages from the book. You could check it out that way.
I, too, think recovery will take a long time. I feel like I've come a long way since DD#1 three years ago, but the emotional damage is still there. I think healing was delayed as I dealt with the divorce, though.
Or, as a friend of mine (SA spouse also) and I spoke about, let's start up a website where we hook up SAs not interested in recovery with other SAs not interested in recovery. It would save countless numbers of non-SAs from damaging relationships.
I also wanted to clarify (also after talking with my SA spouse friend) that I understand that as SAs progress, they may become interested in sexual activity with same-sex partners even if they were not interested in that before (or, they may be acting out a sexual abuse trauma that involved a same-sex abuser). In my opinion, that is a consequence of the progressiveness of sexual addiction, not a sign that the person is gay or bisexual. My point was that if you are gay, (i.e., are attracted to same-sex partners from puberty on), this has nothing to do with being a sex addict.
Ok, I will stop beating that dead horse.
Hope everyone is well; I am in a numb state right now; not wanting to dig deep into my feelings or reflect much right now - I'm just tired.
As far as the appearance of SAs...interesting. Some of the "dropins" at our couples meetings, the ones who show up once and never again, the ones who get my spidey senses tingling, well, I can say that there is a look of desperation about them. That look of an out of control addict, they talk too much and too fast, and often are jittery. Inconsistent and illogical in their speech. My SAfWH has seen it in addicts in early recovery, and in those who come to one, two meetings and never again. It's that "deer in the headlights" look that I saw in SAfWH's eyes when he came home with a fairy tale about why he was late or hadn't answered his phone. Of course, I ignored my spidey senses back then.
But we know that SAs accelerate their acting out and eventually try riskier and more extreme behaviors, such as the same sex acting out mentioned earlier, meeting prostitutes in potentially dangerous situations, mixing drug use with sex, etc. And the pursuit of the ultimate high replaces all healthy activities, diet, exercise and sleep. Of course, appearance is going to go to hell.
I'd feel sorry for them if it wasn't for the total devastation they cause with their choices.
I am divorcing my SA spouse, after catching him cheating yet again. In the past he passed a polygraph test, and later it came out that he lied, but he insisted he just "forgot" about taking a former affair partner out to dinner.
Now as we are divorcing, he insists he was not cheating again (even though I have him on a voice recorder talking to the OW)
He wants to take a lie detector test. I truly believe that there are some people that are so compartmentalized they can pass a polygraph. I came across this in a column.....I think it is food for thought if you are thinking of giving an SA (many of whom have strong narcissistic and sociopath tendencies) a polygraph.
"In reality, a polygraph test (a.k.a. lie detector) doesn’t detect lies; it measures heart rate, blood pressure and other physiological functions. When asked questions, the resulting response above the established base line for the tested individual is considered a lie. But narcissists and sociopaths have been known to pass polygraph tests with ease. That’s because they believe that what they are doing is right for them, regardless of cultural or social norms or harm done. They don’t see themselves as wrongdoers. A narcissist believes he or she is simply living life their way. A married narcissist may believe that he is entitled to be sexually or emotionally involved with other women"
Edited for spelling
[This message edited by cleo at 10:15 AM, March 26th (Tuesday)]
I just skimmed through a book last night called "Splitting." The subtitle is D'ing someone with borderline or NPD and it was very useful. It tells you what common behaviors to expect (NPD accusing you of sexually abusing your children, smear campaigns against you, possible violence) and what to do about it. Really detailed info - it is written by a L and former social worker. Hope it helps you and others on here who have decided to D.
Hugs to you, cleo, and wishing you much strength as you proceed through the D process.
as SAs progress, they may become interested in sexual activity with same-sex partners even if they were not interested in that before
there is a look of desperation about them. That look of an out of control addict, they talk too much and too fast, and often are jittery. Inconsistent and illogical in their speech. My SAfWH has seen it in addicts in early recovery, and in those who come to one, two meetings and never again. It's that "deer in the headlights" look that I saw in SAfWH's eyes when he came home with a fairy tale about why he was late or hadn't answered his phone.
Cleo - it really sounds like you don't need another polygraph. You have him on a voice recorder. It's really enough. And yes, I agree that NPDs and psychopaths can lie their way out of a polygraph. They believe their own truth. They are very special.
All the while, he had tears in his eyes. We talked and I want to make peace with him so I gave him a hug, but guess what..he didn't press his lower body against mine during the hug.
This may be graphic, but anyone can see when he has an erection and he is avoiding at all costs of being sexual. He is white knuckling severely. I can "see" it. This is the same place he was when he was just trying to be a normal guy, but he can't because he is facing this in private.
I believe that his therapist knows about his sex/porn problem. My SAWH is trying to strong arm it and deal with this alone.
The sad part about this for me is that he is still being that person that I married. He is does things for other people, he is a good father, he is a great cook, etc. etc. etc.
I hate this. I hate being in this place because, as most of you say, none of our SA's are alike. We aren't clinicians as we don't know how severe they really are.
I can see changes in my WH. I know that he strong arming it because his appearance has gone down hill. He looks like hell carrying all that guilt around, stress, and ofcourse anxiety from trying not to cheat, use porn while being a church leader.
Its come to a head. I think he wants to see if I will divorce him or not; without him confessing to the PA. Also, he says he wants to talk with me but doesn't want to do in counseling. I think he is afraid that he will admit everything in counseling so he doesn't want to go. Either way, the situation is getting to him lately. I haven't seen these behaviors from him, nor has he said these things to me. I believe our time apart has brought him closer to his rock bottom.
Sorry, this is just kind of rant.....
[This message edited by torn2bits at 1:35 PM, March 28th (Thursday)]
I am not going anywhere. If I left I'd give up half of everything I worked so hard for all those years when I was alone because he was partying with his girlfriends. I did all the housework, the home repairs, paid the bills, raised the kids so that he could have a life, including an active sex life. Well, unless he decides to fly the coop, he's stuck with me, and I am the ugly, bitter, angry person he created.
Try as I can, I just can't figure out how to stop these horrible emotions. My IC says I spent so long denying the reality of the situation and now it's important to "honor" these real feelings. I get that, but I hate it. I hate that I am someone I don't even recognize let alone like.
EVERYTHING is a trigger. He spent so much of my life lying to me, insulting me, that every aspect of my life is triggering. I can't get away from it anywhere.
It just sucks.
sK - I am so sorry for what you are going through. It makes sense for you to be angry - all those years wasted and you were keeping up your end of the marriage, thinking he was also honoring your M. It's infuriating and you will never get those years back. I think your IC is right; you have to honor those feelings; it's healthy to move through them rather than avoid or stuff them. That is when true healing happens. I am in a blah place right now, but I know it has a purpose, so I am just sitting with it. But it does suck. Is your SAfWH helping you work through this?
P.S. I am sure you are not old or ugly; I'll buy the bitter and angry, though.
[This message edited by numbandnauseous at 2:24 AM, March 29th (Friday)]
This can't be right, can't be the future- this is 2013, not the 18th century, or even 1971, when my mom decided to stay with my dad after he'd had a year-long affair with a 20 year old. She did tell me to "be independent" - I thought I knew what she meant but didn't really, until now.
I'm trying to focus on making myself happy, whatever that means, but it is so hard to do when SAWH is around all the time. I don't feel like I'll ever love him again. I say it but I don't mean it.
Anyway, sKat - you are not alone. I'm thinking about you and hope you can get to a better place, mentally and physically.
P.S. My face has changed since D-day - huge frown lines that weren't there before.
I just came back from a trip alone. I went to a tropical paradise. It was a great 5 days! I found myself in many different ways.
numb_thanks for the advice. I love him very much and I do see signs of the man I married. I just don't know about the facade it seems that he wants me to put up. Kind of going back to the status quo. His family and the church people believe he didnt have a PA. Yes, I am the bad guy right now for moving out, filing for D, etc. I am not scared to D him, but I am afraid that I might have regret of my kids having a life that they could have with both of us. I know that I could "live" even if he was around. He takes care of alot of things and we are a team in many different ways. I have not seen these things in him at all. He told me today that he has been doing alot of thinking.
Ya know what, when he says "I have not had sex with anyone but you" I am going to ask him so...."she was just giving you a blow job?".
This is also a terrible part, I "know" things that they did or what happened because he "showed" me. Its like we both know what he did, but we are not talking it out. Like yesterday, he said he doesn't go down a certain street anymore. This is the street she lives on. I know he is avoiding it because he is trying not to act out. When I mention it, he just says he found a better way to go to work.
[This message edited by torn2bits at 11:55 AM, March 29th (Friday)]
[This message edited by sadone29 at 3:28 PM, March 30th (Saturday)]
Another thing: he keeps saying how relieved he is that I caught him so now maybe he can get some real help. Like it's been my responsibility all this time
BTDT. He's happy now because he is finally living an authentic life. He thanks me for NOT ditching him when I had little inklings because he's certain he'd be dead. I saved HIS life while he destroyed mine.
He volunteered to tell our adult sons how bad I feel, how much pain and despair I live with. So that if they perceive it, they know what's going on and don't expect me to be the strong, resilient, go to mom they have always depended on. I am taking him up on it. I don't want to vilify him, and I don't think the kids will do any more than become more empathetic to me, that is, I don't think they will change their relationship with him. Except to solidify their understanding that he made bad mistakes but is now working hard to make amends. This is a family of recovering addicts, all but DS#2 and even he knows the 12 steps.
I spent money on myself yesterday, have a massage schedule, and am eyeing a few other purchases. I felt guilty about every dime I spent for years while he spent an average of $1000 a month on strippers. Screw it. I make decent money and even will once I retire in the fall and between our pensions and SS I can afford a few things I neglected to give myself. He surely didn't fail to think of his creature comforts.
Missy, I'm going to check out that book.
After I vented to our MC on Thursday, there were a few things that she said about addictions that made sense, although I truly don't think it has helped me at all. Addicts use their addictions like weapons. They fling insults and anger at everyone and anyone who interferes with the consummation of their addiction. They just don't care who gets hurt. And after recovery, they are feeling great, the monkey is off their back, they are clearheaded and feeling better than they have in years. And when they look behind them at the collateral damage caused by their arrows and bullets, they just don't understand how it all happened.
Me, I hear EVERY ugly, nasty, insult and demeaning phrase he threw at me, see every scornful, disgusted look, every eyeroll, every long suffering sigh that let me know he was just putting up with my necessary presence in his life. I just don't know how to un-hear, un-see and un-feel that reality.
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 12:08 PM, March 31st (Sunday)]