Sadone - Ugh, I remember those days. It is so hard to decide whether to stay or go! It seemed to be on a constant loop in my head. My CSAT just kept repeating to wait a year. So, that is really the only advice I have. The same that was given to me. Although it took almost 2 years for me to see the changes that I needed to stay.
Scaredy - So true, sobriety and recovery are not the same!!! It has taken a long time for my SAWH to move from sobriety to recovery.
Well, I got my date night! Actually a weekend. We had a long talk about the plateau and moving things forward. Thankfully talks go a lot better these days. Well, I am off to clean up after working out. Hope everyone has a peaceful day!
Wbf: I do NOT have an addiction to sex, I just like attention. ~cue Wbf shut down~
I'm curious if this is common and also, what are the reasons behind it? Is it because he did not want to admit to me that it could be SA until I indicated I was thinking that, too?
In some ways, SA dx has been a positive for our R efforts. It's made me realize the woman he was seeing is not someone special, that it was part of fantasy and she was easy access/convenient for him. Plus she probably has issues, too, if (1) she knowingly got involved with a married man and (2) she was involved with someone who wanted fantasy scenarios for sex and (3) she allowed herself to be with someone who was in control to a large extent about how/when they saw one another. Sources in the know say she is a well known gold digger who runs in those circles (of WH's career) and this is probably not her first time at the A with a MM rodeo.
SA also makes me realize that so much of what is wrong with our M has to do with SA. So the question I am asking myself is why am I working so hard to R with someone who is so deeply broken if our M was probably not so great to begin with? I have made it clear I am NOT going to just stay for the kids.
I had mostly good days, but some really dark days too...one in particular was along the same lines...what is wrong with me that I am so attracted to this man that has done (or said he wanted to do) such disgusting things. I told him that I am so head over heels in love with a man that may not even exist. I feel permanently broken inside and everything and everyone is a trigger.
I've been reading about the comments on sobriety versus recovery..how in the world do you tell the difference? I'm going to have to go and research that - unless anyone can recommend something to read?
Would I like to have a sex life? Well the answer to that is, I have stopped having ANY expectations that require action from other people. And this does. He would need to do more than he is doing and I still haven't seen any changes. So, I don't hope or expect. I control what I can control, ME.
Sadone, I see signs in your exchanges that he trying to control you with his pity party. AA has a saying, "poor me, poor me pour me a drink." You have every right to be angry with him exclusive of how and what he's doing in recovery. Guilt and shame is something that addicts have to deal with and it inhibits their recovery. He needs to take his negative self talk to his sponsor and his group and leave you out of it. Tell him that.
Woman...SO common...see the note "sobriety isn't the same as recovery..." and hugs to you.
Schilling, welcome to our group. Lots of love and support, no clear answers but lots of resources...
Thanks to all of you for your support to me. I DO NOT have anything like this IRL...
It's been a long day.. heck it's been a long week.
I had IC today, the first time since our blow out MC session. I asked a lot of questions about Sex Addiction, and our therapist strongly feels my partner has a problem with this, as well as drinking and I happen to agree. I've thought it for YEARS but any time I'd say anything I'd get the same reaction the therapist did.
He needs to go into IC or this IS NOT going to work out. I can't continue to do this over and over again. I am too darn young and spent too many years dealing with this. When I was younger, I felt overwhelmed and too young to deal with such adult issues, now I just feel worn out, spread thing, tired, indifferent and annoyed.
Sobriety is absence of acting out in any way. Most 12 step programs and therapists define this as no sexual acts with anyone except for one's significant other including oneself. If someone is sober and a diagnosed SA, but not working a strong program, 12 steps, with a CSAT, etc., IMO they are "white-knuckling" and it's just a matter of time before they act out in some manner.
Recovery is a life long process that is really a series of life changes that result in changes in one's thinking. It requires daily working of the steps, not necessarily ALL every day, but an awareness that make integrity and healthy choices second nature. Recovery is something a person does for themselves, and the result is healthy relationships in their families. It isn't just for addicts, but for those of us who's lives have been damaged by addiction as well. It isn't linear, and some people can get stuck on one or more steps and don't make progress. They can stay sober, but not move into a sense of strong, secure recovery. In my opinion, that leaves them vulnerable to relapse.
I don't know if I explained that well. Hope others will chime in here.
As I said before - he had been through significant therapy before but never really "embraced" it - was sober for 4 years and then completely fell off the wagon by acting out online for a year before I found out. So I asked him what he thought about sobriety vs. recovery last night and how it applied to him before and now.
His answer was actually comforting in a sick kind of way. He said before that he was sober, but not in recovery at all - stopped meetings, never really got an official sponsor, never talked to anyone everyday - he was totally white-knuckling it and admitted it. He said now, he is working the steps everyday, talks to at least two if not more of his group everyday, looks forward to meetings, is disappointed when he can't go etc...he said he is sober and in the early stages of recovery. He is actually doing a workshop for 4 hours tomorrow by choice and then some weekend retreat in the next month or so. So...all in all - it gave me some comfort
AND I was finally able to sleep through the night without medication! WoooooHOOOOOOO. I'm a new woman today!
WIF - I may be able to give you some info on the custody stuff and how it affects everything but there are alot of variables (type of acting out, etc...)so PM me if you want my history with it.
I hope everyone has a peaceful weekend - (((hugs))))
I'm almost envious. My H is doing the steps, going to meetings, has a sponsor, calls his peeps everyday yet, still says things that totally creep me out.
In one of our conversations in the first few days following dday, I was trying to get to the reasons behind all of this madness. He told me that he just wanted to be lusted after in the way he lusted. We didn't know about the SA thing yet but, I couldn't get my head around that.
Fast forward 5 months (as of today!). We were talking a couple of days ago about how to meet each other's needs. I was telling him how I needed to be valued and know I was the most important thing in his life blah, blah, blah. His turn comes and he says " I just want you to desire me the way I desire you". Yikes!!! Is it just me or is that SA talk? He just substituted the word lust for desire which to me are too close to being the same thing for my comfort.
I sent him an email yesterday before he left for his SA describing whiteknuckling & sober drunk. I asked him to talk to his sponsor about those terms hoping he could see how dangerous that thinking is.
He had a tough day yesterday. He had a grape sized carcinoma removed from his arm at 2, then IC at 4 followed by his meeting at 6:30. I let him decompress when he got home so we haven't discussed further yet. He got news this morning that a very dear friend passed away last night. I know I need to give him a little room right now as I'm afraid he is too distracted and it won't go well if I bring it up right now.
Ok friends! Tell me what you think! Be gentle!
I am asking because this is one of the areas that H and I independently don't see in him and it has made us question the SA diagnosis from time to time or at least the severity of H's addiction troubles.
So for my H there was no past abuse, no terrible childhood, no poor self-esteem (I mean no one has perfect self-esteem but that has never been an issue for H). He feels like the porn and lap dance business was mostly about a very maladaptive way that he developed to cope with stress and also with resentment/anger. He thinks it took root in a selfish streak of his and widened that selfish streak. And as that addiction grew so did the selfishness. But for him the shame was the result of the porn/SA more than its cause.
In his particular case, as best I can tell, the paying part of it and the porn was because he didn't want to cheat. And also the transaction element was part of the turn-on to him - - sort of his buying power. I realize this all sounds bizarre but his biggest distortion IMO is that he didn't think the lap dances were cheating (though he did think the oral sex was). He was appalled at the very thought of having an affair in our many talks and said he rationalized that the porn was helping him stay faithful! I must say those conversation early on was pretty freaky and I am grateful for CSAT and recovery for straightening that out.
I am not doubting anyone else's story and missymomma I know you are commenting on common themes no every case! I guess throughout this I have been wondering a lot about subtypes of SA or "staging levels" or severity. It is a new field and none of that seems to exist and it has left H and I struggling a bit with the literature. Some of it def. seems right onto H and to our situation, some does not.
This is not just theoretical musing on my part. We are really struggling with H's 2 SA meetings per week plus his CSAT and we are trying to get to the MC once per month too. Our sense is that H would be OK with CSAT 2-3 times per month and SA once per week and of course having his sponsor. But we are so freaking terrified of a relapse that we are dotting every i on the treatment. I wish the field was more advanced.
[This message edited by cds22 at 3:44 PM, July 19th (Friday)]
I may not be clear on what you are asking but, would what you are referring to as subtypes be equivalent to the various stages of acting out? According to what I have read your H was pretty early into the acting out. Does that mean his addiction will be easier to cure? That's a tough one. I guess it would be dependent on how deep seated the problem really is & if he is able to substitute healthy substitutes to soothe himself instead of acting out. How hard will it be to remove whatever it was that motivated him to seek that particular "substance" to soothe himself? All those little unknowns make it impossible to get any real reassurance about recovery.
My H consistently denies any type of abuse as a child. He grew up under very modest circumstances & other than being an extremely pampered child (H is the youngest of 3 boys) nothing to indicate abuse.
He attended a weekend workshop 3 months ago & part of the homework was childhood memories. A lot of the stuff he wrote in his journal I had never heard before but, one entry particularly interested me. He wrote that at around the age of 6 his mother caught him & another little boy showing each other their penises. She was very upset with him and as punishment made him lay on a bed naked & exposed. He didn't remember how long he had to lay there but, just said he felt extreme shame. When I read about abuse I often just assume that it was physical. H's mother was not a bad person and as spoiled as he was, I don't believe she could have imagined the impact that particular punishment would have on him. Now, 55 years later, it makes me wonder if it could have all started there.
All that being said, will my H be harder to cure? His acting out had definitely escalated way past your H. He admits that it started roughly 15 years ago where your H, from what I remember, had only recently started.
I feel like my H has a pretty hard road in front of him due to the length of time this problem has existed not to mention the personality issues. It is very frightening for me to look at it in those terms. He is doing IC with CSAT once a month and SA meetings weekly as that is all that is available in our area. He also attends any workshops that are within 50 miles of us. Logic says it will be more difficult for him to recover but, who knows? We may be able to be significant contributors to that research!
I think of these things in very clinical terms and equate it to the way an oncologist stages cancer. Whatever stage the cancer is in will determine the course of treatment & the prognosis. The literature on SA while plentiful is very generic & I think that is one reason I have struggled so hard. I'm a black & white kind of girl. Grey areas make me crazy! I haven't been able to find anything that helps me "stage" H's addiction or what the recommended protocol thus, prognosis, for his stage should be. I don't think that exist as it is a fairly new science but, seems to be evolving pretty quickly. H said his SA group has doubled in 4 months which is pretty sad news.
It would be nice to have the answers to these questions but, I think that is a long way out.
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 6:56 PM, July 19th (Friday)]
Part of it for me is wanting a better sense of my risky future. But another part of it is that we can't do things in the present that would not only be enjoyable but help with recovery for both of us. We can't really manage much MC. We wanted to join a religious congregation but we don't think we could attend even once per week with our current schedule for H. As I mentioned, he has 1 IC and 2 SA meetings every week AND his IC wants him to add group therapy for 10 weeks in the fall.
Missymomma, I feel like H is somewhat into his whys but not fully there. I think the transaction stuff came in part from a desire to compete, status, etc imported into a strip bar. But there is probably more, I dunno. I just wish he could explore his whys every other week in IC!
As I mentioned we are petrified not to do everything rec'd to us . . . but at the same time I can't help wondering if everyone needs this level of treatment intensity of 3-4 meetings/therapy sessions per week.
[This message edited by cds22 at 8:26 PM, July 19th (Friday)]