N&N: Even if you put the SA thing to the side for the sake of argument, is this the type of behavior, attitude, parenting, marriage you want? Whatever his problems are, they are SIGNIFICANT!!!
I have to say the ass hole conversation made me laugh out loud. I SO relate! I guess it just is another reminder that even tho there seems to be different flavors of SA, they are all still made of the same basic ingredients.
NN - it sounds like your H is a "dry drunk." He said he doesn't have the compulsive aspect of SA. Well, one of the hallmarks of SA is that they claim they can walk away from it, stop at any time, and some of them often do for awhile (as in they stop acting out for period). But they always come back to it - and most often with a vengeance. Maybe he hasn't really hit bottom yet? You can't force him to embrace his issues. A dry drunk is one that doesn't act out but they also don't embrace their problem and over time it just compounds the problem. Just some thoughts. I know it is hard but shift the focus onto YOU and what YOU need to heal from this.
However, REAL SA cases see a gradual build up/progression.
Eh, not necessarily. My SAWH was a sexual anorexic for most of his life. His SA was progressive when he started acting out but nothing gradual about it! He started with strippers, quickly went to sex with them. Took a short break during and right after drug rehab. Then started with prostitutes. Just like any other addiction, some accelerate at warp speed and some progress slowly. There are those in meetings that never have progressed from porn and masturbation, but the amount they used it progressed greatly!
[This message edited by Missymomma at 4:10 PM, September 13th (Friday)]
I'm curious about what kind of issues come up in proceedings with regard to SA issues. I'm guessing custody and visitation are the primary areas where this would come up. Also, how do young children (12 and under) react to the break up when things have been deteriorating for awhile. In our case, we are sleeping apart and living in same house. We are getting along ok on a surface level but I think that is mainly because I am hold back a lot and I am detaching and at a point where I am only here biding my time for the most part, seeing what improvements on his end actually happen and worrying about my own self for once.
Anyone else pursuing D and had similar circumstances leading up to filing? How did it go? Any surprises? Any looking back or mixed feelings you did not anticipate? I guess I am thinking that since this process will be so long in the making that if and when I do move forward with D I will be ready and not feel so much regret.
So like where I am, they really push a 60/40 or 50/50 split on custody unless there are dire circumstances involving documented neglect or abuse. Somebody on SI told me to get sole custody in my post-nup. That is not technically legal here (but it may be where you are). So what I did instead was talk frankly to SAWH about how difficult 60/40 would be, how the courts would determine the days, etc and how much easier it would be for us to make our own arrangements without the courts interfering (he has a job with sporadic long hours). That the only way to do that is give me full custody, and he knew he could trust me to see his kids when it worked for him. Put a document in the post-nup that basically said that, and because he chose to himself he didn't know it is not really legally binding. However, because it is in there, it is clear that was our agreement, legally binding or not, and now I have a failed polygraph on record so I have that in my pocket too.
The reality is he would not likely fight me on it as long as he got to see the kids occasionally. But it is also possible if he ever lawyered up in the event of a D he could go after 50/50. I am hesitant to put anything on legal record of his history of SA lest it affect his earning power to support the kids. But I will if I have to. There are other things you can do legally as well, such as a court-ordered parental evaluation, court-appointed counseling, etc. But if you read some of the accounts in the S&D forum, many spouses of SAs (or otherwise mentally unstable people) have a really hard time in the court room with custody. Like I said, in many areas they don't prevent custody without documented abuse/neglect (can't be solely preventative), and/or the WS goes batshit crazy and doesn't show up, doesn't provide documentation, etc to drag things out or doesn't follow the decree or sometimes just up and leaves with the kids indefinitely, forcing the BS to pursue kidnapping charges. So if there is any way to get your SAWS to give you full custody, *that* is the route to take if you can, and if it is legal to get that in writing pre-D do that too.
Again, I am not going through a D, just have a post-nup on file. I have not had to secure any documentation or start any court processes under duress or with a non-cooperative STBX. I got all my stuff done early that I could while he was freshly feeling guilty with his "support". While staying married we have been paying off as much debt in my name as we can and only done financial things that could be split easily in the event of D. The stuff that makes D ugly and hard has not even been on my radar yet. HTH!
My husband is a sex addict, too. He's had EAs and phone sex and close PA calls before, but his first true PA started about a year ago. He confessed in January (I'd found out about the prostitute he paid for when he acted out after getting dropped by OW) to the PA, the whore, and the two escorts. Wow!
My mistake was to not insist that he start counseling for his sex addiction as a requirement for R. I thought that the little steps he was making, the changes I could see, his obvious return to me was enough. It wasn't. We just returned from a trip to drop our DD off at college and to visit his may-never- get-well-again father in the hospital. His inability to deal with that stress got to him. I found out a week ago that he was on a hook-up site that day, confronted him about it, and insisted that he start therapy for his addiction. He's already made the appointment.
Unfortunately, he has two weeks of travel between now and then. He leaves today and gets back 10/1. I, of course, will be a basket case the entire time wondering if he's getting back together with hER (yes, she'll be on the trip), or if he's drowning his sorrows with hookers/escorts, etc. Worst part? I may never know. His job is classified, so his toys are secure. I didn't know last time what was happening, so . . .
This time, I've decided not to resume intimacy with him until--at least--he's made his "disclosure" statement. From what I've read here, that comes a few weeks/months into the counseling, right? And, from our experience eight years ago, when he was first diagnosed, there was a 6-month period of celibacy at the beginning of his treatment. I'm assuming it might go something like that this time?
Dunno. Am hurting. More than anything, though, I'm worried. I've learned enough about SA to know this isn't about me and it isn't about problems in our M (which--aside from these infidelity issues--isn't bad); it's about him. As much as I want to, I can't save him from himself. Two weeks ago, I wasn't that worried about this trip. I felt like he'd mostly come out of the fog and was committed to us. Now? He's just so vulnerable. That doesn't mean I'm justifying his actions; it means I'm concerned that he's not in a good place.
So I'll sit. And stew. And either read incessantly while he's gone or clean compulsively. I guess it could be worse, right? Sigh. So I may be reaching out for some hand-holding and some shoulder-sobbing. My poor bff is beside herself with this last revelation from him; my therapist (who's been our MC, too) says she doesn't want to see him again. She says things sometimes get personal with long-time clients (like me) and that she doesn't think she could counsel him again. So I've just got y'all. Thanks, in advance, for listening.
Ok, this is probably the worst thing anyone has ever said to me. I know you didn't mean it that way, but being a past feminist I take this to heart, like a dagger right through. Really, just awful.
Because I do believe that men lie about sex does not make me a perfect SA spouse.
Was I perfect when I would question him about things - just in case. Like do you go to strip bars? And he said no. I'd ask him cuz all the other men did, yet he said no?
A perfect SA spouse are those I've met in 12 steps that ALLOWED their men to go to strip bars - yes, that is a perfect SA spouse. The perfect cheater wife are those that allow their men to look at Playboy and think it will help their relationship. To me a perfect SA spouse are the tons of wives/girlfriends that allow their partners to watch porn or soft porn when they are in the same room and think that if I allow them to do this infront of me they won't do it behind my back.
The truth is I know a lot about male sexuality and I do know that the more you allow the more they want - even behind your back. The truth is that man is very sexual and monogamy is a myth. But an important myth that I bought into. And I believe in - but the man must go against his nature if he wants to be monogamous.
How I was a perfect SA spouse was only in this: I chose the wrong man. A man who lied to me for my entire relationship. He knew I was an open book and so me being an open book was probably even easier for him to lie to me because I didn't lie to him so I thought he would be the same.
I am not a perfect SA spouse because I despise all strippers (even though so many stupid women think it's no big deal), I despise all escorts/prostitutes (even if they are "just trying to support their kids or are trying to save money for college" BS), but I truly feel for anyone female who is made to do any of that - I only despise females who choose to do it. My H knew all this and it pissed him off! It pissed him off that I didn't let him go to strip joints!!! Because he saw all the other men go and thought their wives let them...hahaha.
So, yes, I'm a perfect SA spouse because I believe my A$$hole husband. I believed he respected me, respected all women (sex workers or not) and respected our relationship enough to go against his male sexuality. Boys will be boys -always - unless they have respect. And MEN in all societies are not taught respect. I was blind, because I thought he respected me. But he wanted to see naked women and be with them more than he respected me or our relationship.
Hath - great and nice reply and thanks for saying I'm not the perfect SA spouse. I wish I knew more about your story.
Woman in Flux: thanks for your reply. Mine never felt any issue, really. He felt all the time it was fine as long as I didn't know about it. That is what I don't understand about so many SAs. See mine never felt bad about it at all. I read often that SAs feel bad, that they want to stop, that they even TRY to stop. Mine never felt bad, never felt guilty, never tried to stop, nothing. So to me I often wonder - is that the difference between an actual SA and a womanizer?
[This message edited by trappe25 at 12:21 PM, September 16th (Monday)]
My 3 year divorce and counting to a SA has been difficult. Things escalated with my SA once I filed and a lot has to do with him being a SA.
When we were doing in-house separation, that's when it all started and I had to move out to protect my kids.
I just want to say that no matter what you do, make sure you keep the focus on YOU, what YOU want for your life. You are a special person in your own right without being someone's wife or mother.
We can never control them or what they will do. They will do what they want regardless if you change your appearance, your attitude, worry; it doesn't matter.
The book Don't Call it Love really allowed me to see this thru their eyes. In that way I could make my own assessment of, if I thought my husband would recover or not.
I wish you all peace. Live life with no regrets!
You wrote above: "The truth is I know a lot about male sexuality and I do know that the more you allow the more they want - even behind your back. The truth is that man is very sexual and monogamy is a myth. But an important myth that I bought into. And I believe in - but the man must go against his nature if he wants to be monogamous."
Lots of things are not in our nature...It's not in our nature to have table manners, it's not in our nature to wear clothes...but we do because we live in a society where there are social customs and expectations for certain behaviors. We no longer live in a time where the life expectation is 30...it's NO LONGER an advantage to have sex with as many people as possible for the purpose of procreation and spreading our genetics as widely as possible.
I learned this from a podcast in June from NPR. It really sums up the argument about infidelity nicely.
As far as criticism you receive on here by other posters, please don't take it to heart. You have to understand that everyone is coming from their own reference point. Some people are more direct than others...it's hopefully all coming from a good place.
I wish you peace...It's not easy when you are going through this. One foot in front of the other. Measure success one day at a time and just stay focused on your own needs first.
SAWH has an old phone he doesn't use in his desk (he switched phones late last year). I cracked into it a couple of months back and saw some things. At the time, just seeing a little was enough. Well today I took another look. I saw all these very long exchanges between him and POA (person of addiction) about how great their sex life is, how hot she look in some outfit, I miss you, can't wait to see you, I dreamed all night about you and did not want to wake up, and the most romantic of all "I thought about you while I masturbated in the shower." YUCK. Maybe I am victorian but who wants this stuff digitally expressed? So gross. Is it pretty typical SA stuff or is this two people in an actual healthy relationship? My H and I married before the age of texting, so I would not know - and obviously, our sex life has suffered over the last several years due to SA (did not know about the A or the SA til recently).
Torn - Hope things smooth out for you! When do you think the divorce will be over?
WIF - Sorry you read that! That would be hard to get out of your mind.
Ripped Soul - Glad you are here! Have you found a COSA OR S-anon in your area? I remember the two weeks before my SAWH started with a CSAT, it was rough. Hang in there and come and post whenever you need to! This is a great group with a lot of wisdom.
I reread it every six months or so, and it is painful even for someone who has lived it. SAWH followed the cheater's handbook, and I followed the Idiot's Guide to Being a Sucker. Not something you want to read before bed or when you are feeling especially low. It stops about 16 months after DDay, so do be aware there is more positive things that happened since then, but also negative ones as well.
I'm still married to him. He took a second poly over a week ago but we can't get a sitter until this Saturday to review results. They will only release the results to us together, said so before he took it.
So that's where I'm at.
[This message edited by hathnofury at 5:29 PM, September 16th (Monday)]
I know this is a tremendously difficult time!
I think what may be helpful for you to keep in mind is that with an addictive disease I am not sure "allowing the SA to do x" or the SA "respecting the spouse" are very important at all given the nature of the disease. A lot of spouses of SAs are opposed to the behaviors you mentioned but the nature of the addiction means the SA sneaks and lies. And if you can't control another human being that goes double for an addict!
I also don't think your H thought about it as disrespect to you. My H holds me in tremendous respect, he always has. But his SA spiraled out of his control and he began to distort his thinking so that part of respecting me became fulfilling certain things outside of our marital relationship.
On "allowing" I see only one possible application. They hurt us because we allow them to. All of our questioning and handwringing and in my mind it comes down to that. Because we stay when they aren't in active recovery and when we aren't in or moving toward a healthy marital relationship.
[This message edited by cds22 at 3:43 PM, September 16th (Monday)]