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User Topic: Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts-11
SI Staff
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Default  Posted: 11:43 AM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Posts: 10000 | Registered: May 2002
windowsnotwalls
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Member # 36983
Default  Posted: 11:46 AM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Newly Added Resources for Spouses/Partners of SA

by Missymomma
Facing Heartbreak, by Stefanie Carnes and Anthony Rodriguez. The new workbook for partners of SAs.

Stop Sex Addiction, by Milton Magness. Great explanation of how the process ideally works!

Intimacy Anorexia, by Douglas Weiss. This is really a great book for those suffering from Intimacy and Sexual Anorexia. Not all SAs have this but many do.

The Betrayal Bond, by Patrick Carnes. Very helpful for spouses of SAs.

by hathnofury
Hope and Freedom For Sexual Addicts and Their Partners, by Milton Magness. The best primer for SA education. I wish this was the first book I read on the subject, it is like the SA 101 textbook for both the addict and spouse. And as far as I know, the only book written for both the addict and spouse. While the other books on the first page of this thread go into depth about their specific areas, this book explains the whole ball of wax in general, in context, and provides a good foundation for what you need to know.

~~~~

7yrsbetrayed's excellent post on resources for those dealing with SA:

List of resources for Spouses/Partners of SA
This is the advice and list of resources I give to all members newly dealing with a possible or confirmed SA partner. This is all good advice even if you don't stay together. If you don't educate yourself about SA and codependency you're very likely to end up with another addict partner.
~~
Educate yourself about sexual addiction.
First and foremost you should read these books:
"Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts" by Stefanie Carnes.
"Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets" by Claudia Black PhD

and

"Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal" by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means


~~~~
His best hope for recovery is for him to seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) Here is a resource to find CSATs by zip code:
http://www.iitap.com/find_csat.cfm

You might also want to start on that website to find a good therapist for yourself. He has to work his recovery on his own and even if he doesn't get help you'll need counseling to recover from the trauma of being married to a sex addict. And believe me, it IS a trauma. You need to find counselors who are experts on SA otherwise you're in for a world of confusion and pain. (This is my opinion based on experience)
~~~~
Online resources:
http://www.sexhelp.com
This is Dr Patrick Carnes' website. He is *the* expert on SA.

http://www.sa.org
Sexaholics Anonymous
If your husband faces his sex addiction and seeks treatment he'll most likely be directed to a 12-Step group. This is the one I recommend. If you look at their site you'll also find information for yourself that may be helpful. (I personally recommend SA not SAA because SAA is too lax in their definition of healthy sexual behavior. This is my opinion.)

http://www.recoverynation.com is an excellent online community with online recovery workshops for both the SA and the spouse. (This should not replace seeing a CSAT (see below) and going to SA meetings (see above) for the sex addict but is a great addition to those things.)

http://www.candeocan.com This is an excellent source of information. They focus on what they call "porn addiction" however, there is no such thing, it is ALL sex addiction. The info on their site is so good that I still recommend it with the explanation that "porn" addiction is in fact "sex" addiction.
~~~~
To fully understand SA you both need to do some reading. If he doesn't face his addiction you should still do the reading to help yourself and decide what you want. I don't advise women to stay with SAs who are not in recovery and who are not sober.

I recommend for the partner (in addition to the 3 above):

"Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes (I recommend you read this after you've read "Mending a Shattered Heart" and the others, but not before.)

For the SA:
"Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction" by Patrick Carnes
(I don't recommend you read this book, but it would be an excellent read for your husband to start if he's willing to face his addiction, while you read "Mending a Shattered Heart")

Most SAs have a serious porn habit, this book "Porn Nation" by Michael Leahy, would be a good book for the SA. Mr. Leahy is a recovering sex addict who had a serious porn addiction that cost him pretty much everything before he finally hit bottom. (I don't recommend that wives read this book at first. It's too triggery for "just found outs")
~~~~
Sadly, a really helpful post regarding boundaries and consequences has long since been lost. Here is a link to a website with good info on it:
http://joy2meu.com/Personal_Boundaries.htm

This is going to be vital for you going forward. You cannot force him to seek treatment and you cannot control him but you do have a right to set boundaries to keep yourself safe.

12 steps of S-Anon:

1. We admitted we were powerless over sexaholism - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


Here are some examples of the 12 steps translated to a secular versions:

Humanist 12 steps:

1. We accept the fact that all our efforts to stop acting out sexually have failed.

2. We believe that we must turn elsewhere for help.

3. We turn to our fellow man, particularly those who have struggled with the same problem.

4. We have made a list of the situations in which we are most likely to act out sexually.

5. We ask our friends to help us avoid those situations.

6. We are ready to accept the help they give us.

7. We honestly hope they will help.

8. We have made a list of the persons we have harmed and to whom we hope to make amends.

9. We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way that will not cause further harm.

10. We will continue to make such lists and revise them as needed.

11. We appreciate what our friends have done and are doing to help us.

12. We, in turn, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same way.

The Atheist/Agnostic 12 Steps

1. We admitted that we were using sexual acting out in spite of better judgment, and that it was destroying many aspects of, if not all aspects of our lives and causing harm to ourselves and those around us.

2. Came to realize that we needed the support of others that could truly relate to us, what our acting out had done to us and those around us, and could help steer us back on track when our thinking and behavior got destructive. In short, that we can not find all of the answers alone.

3. Made a decision to turn my will and my life into the right direction, despite my desire to overindulge myself. I realized that I am much more fulfilled as a person when I am truly there to take care of myself and others; and that this is impossible when actively acting out.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs. When appropriate, asked the opinions of others and were willing to take those opinions into consideration, whether they were what we wanted to hear or not.

6. Were entirely ready to make a plan of action to stop these behaviors that were harmful to us and others.

7. Let go of resentments, or at least became willing to try. Started to acknowledge that many of our resentments really came down to our defects, not those of others.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Made a genuine effort to maintain a positive attitude, practice patience and understanding of others, and remain honest with ourselves when tracing the root of our troubles. Continued to think for ourselves and not be easily led, but seriously considered the input of others.

12. Having a much stronger sense of self-worth and purpose as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other SAs, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

[This message edited by windowsnotwalls at 1:12 PM, June 9th (Sunday)]


"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" (Elizabeth Edwards).
http://youtu.be/62oby83NtGw
Forever Conditionally Detached

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Pittsburgh, PA
Missymomma
♀ Member
Member # 36988
Default  Posted: 12:36 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I want to add a coupe of resources, some are new since the last resource list.

Facing Heartbreak, by Stefanie Carnes and Anthony Rodriguez. The new workbook for partners of SAs.

Stop Sex Addiction, by Milton Magness. Great explanation of how the process ideally works!

Intimacy Anorexia, by Douglas Weiss. This is really a great book for those suffering from Intimacy and Sexual Anorexia. Not all SAs have this but many do.

The Betrayal Bond, by Patrick Carnes. Very helpful for spouses of SAs.

[This message edited by Missymomma at 12:36 PM, June 9th (Sunday)]


DDay - 6/15/11
R started - 7/1/11
False Discl- 9/27/12
Real Discl - 2/12/13
Poly - 3/1/13 Pass!
Me - BS (46)
WH - 52 (SA, NA, WA)
Kids: 2 littles and 1 grown
The road to recovery is long and hard. Some days I am up for it and others not!

Posts: 1084 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Texas
scaredyKat
♀ Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 8:09 PM, June 9th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the new, improved start page. Sad that there is the continuing need for it.

@wnw. You are doing absolutely all you can do. And sadly, I think your SAWH is doing just about all he is capable of right now. You will have to watch and see what the future holds.

I wanted to add one thing to your arsenal. TIME. You need to keep on keeping on. It very well may be that it is going to take time for him to really change, to integrate all the new living into his life. My SAfWH took what seemed forever to really take ownership of all his behaviors. His acting out with other people and, for the most part, with online stuff, stopped almost right away, but the entire attitude change has been a work in progress. And is STILL a work in progress.

That doesn't mean you should hold your breathe and expect things to be hunky dory, we all know the recidivism rates with addicts. But I do think we spouses are so anxious to see "normal" that we want the mindset to change as soon as the acting out stops. I know I did.

It just may take a LONG time for the real changes to set in.


Me-BS-59
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2910 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
windowsnotwalls
♀ Member
Member # 36983
Default  Posted: 8:27 AM, June 11th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks, SK. Time is definitely a factor I need to have patience with.

Pending negative results on the STD panel tomorrow, we're scheduling a "reset" for next week. I'm still kind of nervous, but he is being very patient and considerate. I have an IC appt again Monday to make sure I'm ready for us to resume normal relations. We already discussed it this week, but I want to make sure.

In some ways, I'm also excited. It kind of feels at time like we did in the very beginning.


"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" (Elizabeth Edwards).
http://youtu.be/62oby83NtGw
Forever Conditionally Detached

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Pittsburgh, PA
cds22
♀ Member
Member # 39083
Default  Posted: 12:31 PM, June 11th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Question about Boundaries and Consequences. What I am finding difficult is that I have spelled out X boundaries based on my feelings NOW. But presumably I am supposed to keep with the consequences months or years into the future.

So, in the immediate aftermath of H's major acting out incident, I felt very distant and our marriage had become increasingly lonely across the preceding years. My boundaries are very firm and quite severe. Now, ironically I am starting to have the marriage I always hoped for. My H is now attentive, caring, willing to talk, shed his justifications and rationalizations, empathetic. He is so much more present without the porn viewing and . . . sometimes I feel like I am starting to fall in love again.

If this continues I am worried that my growing feelings *and my and his huge investment in treatment and recovery* will make me feel differently about my boundaries. So, as of this minute, I would say any form of sex acting out (oral, vaginal, etc) and I want to end the marriage. I am decided on vaginal as a firm boundary forever more. But, I can imagine situations off in the future where one-time oral sex relapse becomes more of a grey area and I don't want to end the marriage but rather to separate. For example, if there is another one-time oral sex incident after 10 years of sobriety and a wonderful, loving marriage. Or our youngest kid is just a couple of years from college.

My basic question is how do you make and enforce firm boundaries across time when: 1) your feelings may change; 2) your situation may change in terms of kids needs or financial
3) your investment in recovery (yours and SA spouse) becomes higher over time
4) the timing of the relapse matters -- so to me if my H cannot hold it together right now, when he is at ground zero, that indicates a more serious addiction/compulsion.

[This message edited by cds22 at 12:46 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 209 | Registered: Apr 2013
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 6:32 PM, June 11th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

windows,

I know this is going to come across as a 2x4, so I apologize in advance, but I really want you to step back and reevaluate your situation.

Pending negative results on the STD panel tomorrow, we're scheduling a "reset" for next week. I'm still kind of nervous, but he is being very patient and considerate. I have an IC appt again Monday to make sure I'm ready for us to resume normal relations. We already discussed it this week, but I want to make sure.

Why would you consider "resuming normal relations" with this man at this point? He is not admitting he has a problem, he is not working on a recovery program, and even if he is std free at the moment, he is exposing you not only to the possibility of physical diseases, but also the probability of heart break at the end of the day and encouraging you to continue on swirling in the chaos that your life has become related to his addiction.

Please, please, please, talk to a CSAT (not just an IC). I know you are taking steps to work on yourself through 12 step and IC, but this is not a healthy move.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 6:49 PM, June 11th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

cds,

My basic question is how do you make and enforce firm boundaries across time when: 1) your feelings may change; 2) your situation may change in terms of kids needs or financial
3) your investment in recovery (yours and SA spouse) becomes higher over time
4) the timing of the relapse matters -- so to me if my H cannot hold it together right now, when he is at ground zero, that indicates a more serious addiction/compulsion.

I think the most important thing, first and foremost, is that your SA has identified their acting out behaviors and what they consider relapses, slips, and slippery slope behaviors. I am not my H's police officer. Yes, I have boundaries, and my bottom line is that any acting out with another person or visiting a strip club is grounds for divorce. That isn't going to change for me. It is not unreasonable for me to expect that he NEVER again acts out in those manners. And I say that with him in recovery for 4 years this fall.

As for a slip, such as masturbation with porn, the consequence is different. If it is once, it is something we are going to discuss with his CSAT in a facilitated manner. If it is a series of slips, it then becomes a relapse, and it will more than likely escalate to more serious behavior, so I would treat it as a separation event. So, to answer your first question, no, my feelings have not changed over time with how I define acting out or boundaries. That being said, since our disclosure, I do not dwell on things he has done in the past, and those things are no longer "dealbreakers".

On point two, I think that it is very important that we all become as self-sufficient as possible. We should work towards financial independence and not relying on an addict as the sole means of our financial support. If at all possible (in your state of residence), I advocate getting a post-nup. I had/have one (I say had, because I have no intention of using it now that my kids are young adults). That brought me so much peace of mind, even though I have a career where I can carry the household if necessary.

Yes, I suppose that the longer my H is in recovery, my investment in that recovery has grown. However, I would like to say that I have also invested in MY recovery,and would like to think that I am strong enough to walk away if he relapsed. Would I be disappointed? Of course! I am human.

I actually disagree with your last point. For the recovering addict, it should actually get easier with time, as long as they don't lapse into complacency. The goals of recovery and working the 12 steps is to develop new patterns of behavior and to make lifestyle changes to better cope with stress without acting out. My H does not struggle with the same things he did years ago. He isn't scanning or "accidentally" finding porn on the internet. He has identified his triggers and is very aware of the things he can do differently, such as taking a walk when he feels stressed, or not surfing the internet aimlessly at night.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
cds22
♀ Member
Member # 39083
Default  Posted: 8:49 PM, June 11th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks Toomany! H with help of therapist has identified for himself what he hopes are "never again" behaviors versus something the IC calls middle circle behaviors. Thus far in no porn, no strip bars, no acting out but one "middle circle" watching a documentary that had alot of scantily dressed women. He did go deal with that immediately with his IC and in SAA . . . though I am still upset.

It is a relief to know it should get easier with time for him. And that is it not unrealistic to expect sexual acting out to never occur again. It just seems so scary because there is ALOT of time ahead of us, many years and decades for him to slip up.

I am financially independent and professionally established. I am investigating a post-nup -- but I am not certain I even need that to be OK money-wise.

I think what is driving me crazy is the idea that I know my boundaries now but I am a cautious enough person to realize that things change, people change, age alone often makes you less of an absolutist. I am not saying I would ever tolerate chaos and lack of safety in my home. But if there was a strip bar lap dance today for example I would hand the H the divorce papers. But how the heck do I know how I will feel in ten years or twenty? I am worried that the more attached I get, the more I age, the more I invest in this process, that my boundaries will become less hard line over time. Or maybe even the more isolated and beaten down I get from dealing with the SA. Yes, I am doing everything possible to address that and I am not a frail or weak willed person by any stretch. But this disease REALLY takes a toll on the family . . .


Posts: 209 | Registered: Apr 2013
hathnofury
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Member # 32550
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

CDS, I wouldn't worry about what you will need in the future. That will reveal itself in time. You just have to get through each day.

FWIW, I had different requirements in the very beginning. I had SAWH send me photos from his phone to prove where he was, called him at work periodically to check up, etc. I needed to know he wasn't going to be one of those WS that claimed remorse and wanted R while they made other plans to keep doing what they did. I checked his internet history, etc. It took some time for me to accept he appeared to be doing what he said, and that if he really wanted to act out, he'd be able to get around any tracking measure I could use if he really wanted. I don't need those things any more, haven't for a long time and told him that. But SAWH still checks in with me, still calls me before he goes anywhere, etc. because he wants to prove himself. I think boundaries can be changed over time as needed, and you just do it when you need it and don't worry about it until it happens.

I also had new boundaries go into play as events unfolded. You cannot anticipate what will happen and what you will need when something unexpected happens. For example, I used to say I needed him to go to IC 1x week and meetings 2x a week for me to consider R. That's not enough anymore. He also needs to be making progress, have a sponsor that actually makes him work the steps, put his recovery before work, etc have been added. He has to want to do these things for himself for them to actually work. I don't want a dry drunk going through the motions as a husband.

As for slips and such...I would still leave him if he had a lap dance. Probably would until my dying day. But he has had lesser slips and we have worked around them, enforced consequences, etc. It all really depended on ME and what *I* needed at the time, and I had my IC to help me through it. When it happened.


BS 43, SAWH 38. M 15years, together 17. Body count in the triple digits. Both in recovery, trying to R.
Three kids under age 11.

Posts: 1402 | Registered: Jun 2011
windowsnotwalls
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Member # 36983
Default  Posted: 6:35 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@TMY,

It's hard for me to come up with the answers to those very legitimate questions. The short answer is I'm not sure if I will, and will only know when the time arrives if I'm willing.

A more drawn out thought process goes along.... I'm not ready to exit. I'm not ready to make a final decision. I do miss him very much some days. We occasionally spend time together, and while I was beginning to get used to feeling so uneasy around him, the last time I wanted more. However, I was so caught off guard by the fact that I was wanting more intimacy with him, I was near frozen and barely even spoke. We just watched a movie in silence.

I can't focus on his recovery or lack thereof right now. All I can focus on is my own. In that, I'm really working hard. I can set a boundary that I will not remain if he acts out. He isn't currently acting out. His thinking is still very foggy, but that's not to be my focus right now. He is shifting towards compassion and understanding. I can see him trying to be better.

There are no CSATs around here, but I don't just go to a regular IC. My IC is a sexual trauma counselor.


"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" (Elizabeth Edwards).
http://youtu.be/62oby83NtGw
Forever Conditionally Detached

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Pittsburgh, PA
outtanowhere
♀ Member
Member # 39001
Default  Posted: 6:59 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ok Ladies, this is where I totally lose it with the boundaries. How do you KNOW he isn't acting out and how do you KNOW if they have a "slip"? My H says he has been masturbating to porn for YEARS! I'm not in denial here! I NEVER saw a trace of evidence! Yes....I have real trust issues!!


BS - 57
SAWH - 60 multiple encounters with prostitutes and other sex workers
Married 36 years
Dday - 2/19/13 - found the emails
I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell

Posts: 492 | Registered: Apr 2013
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 7:05 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

windows,

the last time I wanted more. However, I was so caught off guard by the fact that I was wanting more intimacy with him, I was near frozen and barely even spoke.

You are rugsweeping. If he is not in recovery, at the very best he is white knuckling, and that never lasts. You may want "intimacy" but all you will get is sex. SA's are not capable of true intimacy until they are well on their way into recovery. There is a HUGE difference between sex and intimacy. Discovering that is part of a healthy recovery.

He isn't currently acting out.

Your last posts on the last thread talk about porn (or porn-style) pictures on his phone. How do you define acting out? As physically being with another person? For most SA's the fantasy component is so integral that porn and acting out can literally be anything, including scanning and then masturbation. If he isn't in recovery, he isn't really present with you.

It is ok not to be ready to exit and to continue working on your own recovery. However, keep examining your own issues and needs related to this relationship. What are you getting out of this? For many of us (I know myself included) when my H was active in his addiction, he could be very nice in a manipulative way, and I did not always see it as such. Sometimes I would latch on to it and think that he really wanted to change or cared. He admits even now that he used to manipulate me in this manner. I was so desperate to believe the good in him, that I found myself sucked back in multiple times by that. I only found clarity when I realized what a monster he had become and how far he had went into the depths of depravity.

Please, continue to work on yourself and ask yourself these hard questions. Don't settle. If he is not 1000% invested in recovery, he will only relapse.

Edited to Add: I am not trying to say that his acting out is dependent on what you do or don't do. He is going to relapse without a program no matter what; he isn't in recovery. When I say that you should examine your issues, I mean why do you feel drawn to this man? Why are you willing to accept less than recovery in a relationship? How do you feel this is impacting your children (because I can unequivocally state that this is affecting your children, even if you don't feel it is). Addiction is chaotic, and even when we try to shield our children from it, we fail, and they are impacted by it. Just things for you to think about. Things I learned the hard way.

[This message edited by TooManyYears at 7:09 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
TooManyYears
♀ Member
Member # 26108
Default  Posted: 7:18 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

outta,

I have always trusted my gut, it never let me down.

My H did have a slip early on with porn, and I found out fairly quickly. I just felt something was off. I investigated and found the evidence. I am fairly good with computer investigations, unfortunately.

I don't monitor my H at all. This is a point that there are many opinions on. Others will chime in. I feel that if I need to know something, I will find out (but I always knew when my H was up to something...I caught him many times over the years). I do not want to be my H's policeman, he has a sponsor and his CSAT and his 12 step group friends to reach out to when he is struggling. The first few years of recovery he especially leaned on these resources.

If your SA is in a real recovery, you will notice changes. He will direct his energy to do so many more things. It is amazing how much time all the acting out took before. He is so productive now, at home and even at work. Recovery will permeate all aspects of his life.


Me- 40
H, rSA- 46
2 young adult children
Married 21 years
Last D-day 9/19/09 (Many before this)

Posts: 496 | Registered: Nov 2009
belle2013
♀ New Member
Member # 39528
Default  Posted: 8:56 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Last Tuesday (6/4), I found out my WH had another EA. This was the 3rd time I've caught him in this situation. I think he's addicted to online porn and these online/text relationships.

The first time I caught him, he was texting and talking on the phone to a woman in N. Dakota he had known when he lived in Wisconsin (we live in WY). She texted him something sexual and he had left his phone at home when he ran an errand. I asked who she was, she told me I must not satisfy my man... what a cliche! Anyway, I went through his phone and found messages and FB chats with this girl and phone calls every day multiple times while he was working. I made ultimatums, he broke contact and gave me access to all of his accounts, we made promises to eachother, and things got better. I stopped checking up on him.

Then, about a year later, I noticed an attractive woman around our age from Wisconsin that I had never noticed in his friends list on FB before. I looked at FB chat messages and found their conversations. Sexual conversations about what he remembered them doing that he missed about her, the fun they had, talking about her current sexual situation and how he found it sexy. And, she was moving to the next state over and he was so excited... they could get together. I looked in his email chat history, looked at his sent emails. That's when I found all of his attempts to contact girls in chat rooms to have chat sex and send pictures of herself. There were so many. He would tell them he was married and loved his wife, but that he couldn't live with "getting it once a month" and needed a little stimulation on the side. This time. I threatened divorce if he didn't see a counselor. I went through his stuff again all the time. I made him change his email and his cell phone number after ending it with his ex. Things got better again. Life seemed to get good. Our sex life got better, even. I started to trust him again, thinking he'd finally been "scared straight" and I stopped babysitting him. He quit seeing a counselor. I knew he would watch porn on his phone occasionally when he masturbated, but I've always thought that was just normal guy stuff. Porn isn't real. He can't interact with those women.

Then Tuesday. I get a cryptic message from a woman that lives in NY that I've never heard of saying "Better YOU than ME! Good luck that man of yours." I was dumbstruck. I looked over at my WH and asked him with the message was about. He played ignorant at first, claimed she had friended him and he had accepted because she was a welder that one of his current co workers knew. I told him he could either tell me the truth, or wait until she did because I was asking her what she was talking about. All he could do was mumble "It's more of the same." When I went through all of his stuff this time, he had carefully deleted almost all evidence, but had forgotten his internet history on his phone. I was floored by the amount of porn sites he's visited. That's pretty much the only thing he looks up. On top of that, there were links to "hook up" chat rooms promising local sex. He swears those are pop ups on the porn site he favors, but it's funny how that never happens with pop ups on food network, for example.

I'm disgusted. I can't believe he can't help himself. He swears I fulfill him. He swears there's nothing I'm not giving him. Is this an addiction? How the hell do you detox from sex!?

Oh, and one last detail- when he chats with these women, he creates another identity. He tells them lies about all the stuff he has, all he's accomplished. How great he is. He says he doesn't necessarily find these women physically attractive, but he gets off on how "into" him they are. He seems totally oblivious to how narcissistic and twisted this is.

BW(me)- 33
WH- 34
kids- 9, 7(autistic)
EA x3 via chat/text/phone, lots of online porn and hook up chat sites in his phone browser
don't want to fail again

Posts: 3 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Wyoming
outtanowhere
♀ Member
Member # 39001
Default  Posted: 9:05 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That's what scares me TMY. We have been married 37 years & I've never once caught him looking at porn nor have I ever seen him masturbate even tho he tells me he does it on a regular basis. He is SA & I don't trust anything about him or me right now! I mean he's been able to pull it off (no pun intended) for 10-15 years before my gut woke up!


BS - 57
SAWH - 60 multiple encounters with prostitutes and other sex workers
Married 36 years
Dday - 2/19/13 - found the emails
I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell

Posts: 492 | Registered: Apr 2013
scaredyKat
♀ Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:16 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@outta I had the same questions, how do I know? Unfortunately, you do develop that "spidey" sense that tells you he's acting out. But I DID check. Not frequently, but once in awhile. Once he began recovery, he became fully transparent, I had access to everything, he made sure to check with me, installed a reliable tracking app on his phone, etc. I checked his email a lot in the early days, as contact with a RL person would have had me hefty bagging his stuff. I checked computer history less often, I just didn't want to deal with the trauma, but I felt I needed to know from time to time.
But TMY is right. I SAW changes. I SAW a new person. But I also saw irritability. This IS an addiction and has a withdrawal period.
His slips (that I know of) were horribly hurtful, but in retrospect, they were mild, not even full blown porn, but truly slippery slope stuff. I dealt with it poorly, emotionally, understandably, and slept elsewhere. He dealt with it with his peeps and his IC and his counselor. He counts his true sobriety from the last of the slips.
I guess the truth is that we may NOT know. That's why we work on ourselves. And the truth is, if they have a slip with porn or masturbation, they will either deal with it quickly and get back on track or fall off and go back to full fledge acting out. And we WILL know about that, we won't be fooled again, we are too well schooled.

It's a risk we take when involved with any kind of addict

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 9:19 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]


Me-BS-59
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2910 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
scaredyKat
♀ Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 9:26 PM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

@Belle
Stop that. YOU haven't failed. You have been a loyal wife to someone flawed and sick. And you have found a place with people who have BTDT.

This is an awful addiction to deal with. The first thing to internalize is one great slogan.

You didn't cause this, can't control it, can't cure it.

The main thing you need to do is take care of your own needs and those of your kids. You need to get tested for STDs. I know that's scarey and humiliating. But it needs to be done. Do nice things for yourself. Eat healthy and get to a doctor if you need short term medication.
The first few posts on this thread have great resources for those who have just discovered this horror in their lives. Educate yourself about what you are dealing with. There is power and validation in knowledge.

Hugs and welcome to you. The women in this thread are amazing and empathetic...


Me-BS-59
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 2910 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
outtanowhere
♀ Member
Member # 39001
Default  Posted: 8:50 AM, June 13th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ScaredyKat,

The not knowing is the greatest fear I have. I just don't have any confidence that my H will tell me if he slips. The anxiety of living life on the edge is taking it's toll on me physically & I'm absolutely terrified at being broadsided again! Just don't know if I have what it takes to go through this again!!!


BS - 57
SAWH - 60 multiple encounters with prostitutes and other sex workers
Married 36 years
Dday - 2/19/13 - found the emails
I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell

Posts: 492 | Registered: Apr 2013
windowsnotwalls
♀ Member
Member # 36983
Default  Posted: 9:53 AM, June 13th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The not knowing is the greatest fear I have. I just don't have any confidence that my H will tell me if he slips. The anxiety of living life on the edge is taking it's toll on me physically & I'm absolutely terrified at being broadsided again! Just don't know if I have what it takes to go through this again!!!

All we can do is work on ourselves. The more we educate ourselves, the more we surround ourselves with a support system that values us and helps us rid the "muck" of old thinking, the better we can handle things if there is a next time. We learn not to personalize the SA's acting out. It isn't about us, never was about us, never will be about us. We didn't cause it, can't cure it. Policing their recovery won't solve a thing, will only distract us from our own. We learn to trust our gut instincts. If it feels off, it probably is. We learn we aren't obligated to drop boundaries and safeguards when we feel "off". We learn to validate then trust. I, too, was blindsided before. Then I went through about a year and a half where he accused me of being paranoid (even though there were new active discoveries during that period). My father was the one to tell me, "It isn't paranoia if it's based in fact." Read, talk, post, reach out, write, breathe. Be patient and allow yourself time to heal. There's a confident woman that can trust her gut instincts just waiting to emerge in you.

Do you have a strong enough support system? Are you attending S-Anon or COSA meetings? Are there any near you? If you don't have any local, feel free to PM me, and I can give you the #s, times, and access codes for some phone meetings.

Take care of yourself. Hugs.


"She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails" (Elizabeth Edwards).
http://youtu.be/62oby83NtGw
Forever Conditionally Detached

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