I had a difficult night last night. SAWH wanted to talk. Told me he wants to take some steps to move us forward, and that he's the most sexually frustrated he's ever been in his life right now. He said he's not planning on doing anything (about the sexual frustration) but wanted to tell me how he felt. I dont know if I'm being overly sensitive, but when he said this I felt extremely mad. I didn't know how to respond other than to say that he couldn't force forward progress and that maybe I just didn't feel ready to move forward right now. I'm mad because he has the nerve to talk about sexual frustration after not having any kind of sex for just one month. What about the years of sexual frustration I have had to endure while never thinking of going outside the marriage to get my needs met. Ugh. I hate this.
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?
My X didn't have remorse either. He thought as long as I didn't know, it didn't matter. He exposed me to germs from the countless people that he had unprotected sex with and it wasn't supposed to matter! I dunno if it is the difference in addict and womanizer....in my case I think it was more that he could be a sociopath.
My IC is not CSAT. She has been seeing me for free ever since the new year. We changed insurance plans to save money and pay for our DS's braces; we didn't know Kaiser didn't do MC. And when we made the decision (October), I didn't know that he was having an affair or had been with prostitutes/escorts. When she found out, she couldn't--in good conscience--drop me. So I keep paying the co-pay, and she keeps seeing me out of the goodness of her heart. Ironically, in the IC session before I discovered my SAWH was trolling on hook-up sites, I told her I was no longer in crisis mode. Ha!
Hath, I spent the day at home today, reading the sixteen pages you posted on another forum. Unfortunately (for both of us), many of our WH's traits sound alike. I don't believe my husband has acted out in as many ways, but he's been acting out our entire married life (22 years) and for years before that. He's brilliant, his work is classified, he travels constantly, our children are also extremely intelligent, etc. I guess I'll find out when disclosure happens--if it happens. We have Kaiser here in CA. They're sending him to someone who specializes in addictive behavior, but I'm not sure if it's specifically sex addiction. Right now, I'm just happy to see him making the effort to get help--any help.
You're such a wonderful inspiration! Considering what you're dealing with, that may not give you warm fuzzies, but know I truly mean it. It is nice to know that other mothers out there are making decisions that may not be in their best interests but that are in their children's best interests and trying to not be martyrs in the process. I adore my husband--even after all the hurt--but if we didn't have children, I'd have left him long ago. And, no, I don't expect I could ever love anyone else.
Good luck with this poly. If it gives you comfort, you will be in my prayers. All of us are. We, collectively, have so much strength and backbone. It's too bad we're looked at with such derision and pity by the uninitiated.
[This message edited by RippedSoul at 10:33 PM, September 16th (Monday)]
My WH is starting his 12 step meetings today. However I wanted to ask you what you thought about SA meetings and SAA meetings. I read some things online about them and their differences and some times it depends on the area, but I wanted to see if you have any recommendations or why your WS would prefer one over the other. My H is going to SAA because they are the only ones who got back to him and had more information readily available. Thank you all.
I'm at the beginning of recovery and get that I can't control and need to back off from investigative/hyper vigilant type behaviors. My understanding is that you let go and leave it up to your HP to show you the truth.
So...when do you know - is this is paranoia or some thing is up? My SAWH is attending a mens group and SAA mtgs, he doesn't have a sponsor. He's acting more calm - not like the abusive guy I was posting about last fall. But last week some weird stuff happened and I just don't know how to trust myself...I feel like my "lie-dar" is broken.
This is what scares me more than anything! Is it too private to ask what you mean that things got worse after you did an in house separation and what exactly is an in house separation to you? Sorry, if too personal I understand, just answer if you don’t mind about what is separation in house, if you can.
Woman: “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.”
That is what I mean. It is NOT in man’s nature to be monogamous. HOWEVER because I requested monogamy and he agreed to it (VOWS for godsake) – it should have been there – no lies about it. So we agree entirely. Men’s nature is not monogamy, however because culturally when land and ownership of things became more important (thousands and thousands of years ago) men wanted to know exactly who their children were – only women ever knew until very very recently. So – women’s monogamy became IMPORTANT only and was restricted to women - generally. Then certain religions and further cultural values and more land ownership pushed for men to become monogamous during the marriage (even though culturally it was still “ok” for men to go to prostitutes – but it was hushed up and not spoken of – just accepted.) NOW women demand 100% monogamy – THIS IS ALL NEW stuff. With women’s rights we want equality (it’s been going on for 100’s of years, women fighting for equality) we then want 100% truth and marriage is only worth it now if it comes with monogamy and it is the truth. Not every couple thinks this – this is culturally. Men have been culturally allowed monogamy for generations. Women have demanded it only recently.
So I have always demanded it. Period. If you cannot go against your nature, please pass.
Missy: Trappe – “What I meant by my post was that by accepting this belief that all men cheat, you are displaying unhealthy thinking that goes along quite well with an SA. You stated that your SAWH thought this way, also. So was this your original thinking or did you adopt it because it was your SAWH's thinking? It isn't unusual for a spouse of an SA to change themselves and their thinking to match the addicts. Please don't take offense to the perfect spouse for an SA comment. We have all been perfect for an addict in some way or the other. For me, it was not expecting enough from my addict. I bought into the being too autonomous and caretaking of him. Are you in IC? Do you go to Sanon or COSA? It is by examining ourselves that we can change our lives!”
Missy – don’t know how much more to go into this. But I will try.
I DO ACCEPT THIS – THAT MEN CHEAT. How can I not? All my male friends and male co workers in the past cheated…all of them. And I was a confidant to them. So, because I knew all this I warned my H to never cheat on me. I also said to him that it was not in man’s nature (because that is the excuse all cheaters use) to cheat and it is selfish and wrong and lying and all that. I can’t keep trying to convince you that I’m pro-SA / perfect SA wife– just can’t. We will agree to disagree. You agree that because I understand biology and history and psychology and am very well read and understand humans, especially men (more so than women I’m beginning to see) that I am a perfect SA wife. I will agree that you will see me that way.
I have gone to IC with all sex addiction therapists (CSAT) and have been very disappointed with all of them – I think 3 now? The first one was just so weak- believed my husband’s lies and didn’t think I needed to know everything. The second one was too abusive TO ME because I hit my Fing husband – oh poor boy, got hit a few times and I’m the one who got hurt but the female IC attacked me – thanks so much sweetheart. The 3rd one thought I was taking this all too personally and wanted me to start healing sooner – this after only 6 months post D day. These all CSATS that have great names and 1 even owns his own clinic for sex addiction. Like I’ve said at least for me – I believe that CSATs are really really good for the sex addict. Not so much for me.
Hath: “Trappe, WIF and others new to the thread, I forget not everyone here knows my story. Cuz you know it's only been almost 2.5 years. There is a 16 page long old thread in JFO that outlines my sordid tale:”
Hath – I will read up. I actually have been reading this forum for over a year now. Am not new to this. I have read a lot of your posts – but have to find probably the 40% that I missed along the way. Thanks again – love your posts – very insightful always.
Cd: “I also don't think your H thought about it as disrespect to you. My H holds me in tremendous respect, he always has.”
Thank you. I love this – truly. I see the love for your H – and I wish I had that in me. My H says the same thing. Never felt it was about disrespect and he never felt he was disrespecting me and it was never about me. I just can’t feel it. To me – to cheat is disrespectful. But my H truly holds this also. And his CSATs believe it – as his SAA and group and …. I don’t think any of his co-workers who think he is a saint would think so though…
Compartmented: “My X didn't have remorse either. He thought as long as I didn't know, it didn't matter. He exposed me to germs from the countless people that he had unprotected sex with and it wasn't supposed to matter! I dunno if it is the difference in addict and womanizer....in my case I think it was more that he could be a sociopath.”
Compartmented: This rings true with me. I’ve said from the get go that my H is a sociopath. Only thing is – he truly was a sociopath with me.
I didn’t think you were divorced until recently when you keep writing X. My H compartmentalized everything. He kissed me good bye and went to work and in between went to strip joints and then came home and kissed me hello…then strippers just weren’t enough and he felt kinda guilty cuz he knew I didn’t want him going to strip joints – so he started getting massaged, cuz after D day, like I told him, “Oh, I didn’t tell you not to go to massage parlors, so I guess I shouldn’t be mad about that. I only warned you about strip joints...."
What men do behind our backs – SA and otherwise. But I know, most men don’t cheat. And hey, women cheat too.
[This message edited by trappe25 at 4:09 PM, September 17th (Tuesday)]
My SA prefers SAA because he feels that they were more open to him and friendly and caring. He went to one SA only and didn't feel welcomed like SAA. So to me whichever he likes is best - even though I prefer SA.
In SA - you are not allowed to masterbate or have sex unless you are married, I think? That's what H said. There are not circles - inner outer etc.
SAA is more relaxed in all those departments - which is why I like SA. If anything I believe the more restraints the better for these addicts or womanizers...haven't they been indulging their "needs" enough?
But again - he has to decide and it's his "recovery" from sex addiction (cheating on wives if they are married/partnered) and they are both 12 steps and are very pro-recovery, so both are great in that way.
OMG - I really cannot stand so many therapists. This statement irks me so bad. You NEED your therapist now more than ever and SHE can't handle your husband because SHE feels too close...blah, blah, blah. It's so nice that it's all about her. I'm not so glad you are so nice about it, by the way. However, I'm here for you. I will be thinking about you and hoping you can handle this horrific 2 weeks!
Have you thought about asking him to quit his job and get a new one? Only because you said the OW will be there?? Is that correct? What happened to no contact?
Have you thought about a poly for the future? Now, I haven't done that, so you don't have to, ok? It's just the whole on line thing and him having this hobby for so long - cheating is a hobby, in my opinion. Some men golf and cheat but mainly golf for a hobby. Some men collect stamps (and cheat) but mainly collect stamps. Some men have cars (and cheat) but mainly have cars. What I have found with a lot of the SAs that wives have told me about was that their husbands did not have hobbies - as was my husband. His hobby or outlet was cheating with sex workers. He was not interested in having one OW as his hobby was sex with sex workers - different women. That is what was so good about sex workers - wham bam thank you mam here's your hundred, don't need to see you again. So your H has OW and sex workers and on line stuff. Mine had porn but not online hook ups cuz then that could lead into more of a relationship, I guess. My H wanted only 1 time ever per woman even though he does say that if the same prostitute was at the same massage parlor it would be fine - he just didn't look for one woman in particular like some men do. I was his wife and he was not looking for a replacement wife, just some chic to rub his little ducky or so...
I'm just so worried about your mental state for these 2 weeks. There is no way to go with him? Is that too much to ask? I'm just worried about your emotional state of health during these 2 weeks. Can you see another therapist every other day or call someone who understands this? A best friend may be great, but this is 2 weeks, girl - to me it sounds like a lifetime.
Our immediate agreement was that my H would not be traveling out of town period and if he did I would be going with - the whole family. Why? Because he was never going to do this sh*t to me again under my nose and if he does do it - he will not be doing it out of town where as one of my CSAT said to me, "Traveling out of town for a sex addict is like going to disney land!"
I don't pray, but I will be thinking of you a lot! Please write and tell us how you are dong.
Even when the SA wasn't anywhere close to being in recovery, they seem to get plenty of visitation. There is an attitude that men will be men. Sucks, I know! Divorcing spouses chime in. NG, how is it going for you?
I am divorcing a SA who hasn't been allowed an overnight in two years with his children. He is fighting this, but my best guess is that he'll get every other weekend, tops. And in the meantime, my children have had two years living with me, fulltime. He visits them often, at least twice a week, and spends a lot of time with them, which I encourage. But no overnights.
I live in a place that has the most liberal court system in the country, too.
But time will tell. Things aren't over yet.
Choosing - That is great info! How did you manage the no overnights? Did he agree to it or was it court ordered? Might be helpful info for others in the same spot.
Trappe - I am really not sure what to say to you, except I wish you well on your journey in recovery.
SJ - My SAWH goes to SA, that is what his CSAT recommends. He just feels that it is the best guidelines for SAs. Once they try several meetings, they will find a "home group". Just like I have a home group for COSA. You get very close to the people in your group.
I can't keep up with all the posts right now, but I can tell you the gut instinct comes back with time, that it's more important to find a support/12 step group that speaks to YOU as opposed to a specific organization or format (for both the spouse AND the addict), and I how grateful I am to have found the right CSAT for me.
From what I have gathered here, in support groups, and in group therapy, CSATs have to be the right fit too and can be detrimental if not. Mine is female, was married to an SA decades ago before anyone knew what SA was, and later in life became a substance abuse addict herself but has been clean and sober 20 years. She is a tough broad and knows her shit, keeps up with all the latest on the SA front. She is one of the very few I feel can really IC an addict or a spouse of an addict. Most I've met, or heard about second hand, are really only good for one or the other. I really feel the reason I have come so far is due largely in part to her. I wish my SAWH had a therapist like her. But I got her first and I'm not sharing.
Because of her, I didn't really have to shop for a 12 step. Because of her, neither did SAWH, she already knew exactly which ones would work for him - which is more than I can say for the two CSATs he has had. While I think your IC has to be supportive and caring, I also think in the case of SA/spouse of SA they also have to be willing to be a hard ass when needed, demand some stuff from you that you don't want to do, say some things you may not want to hear, etc. If they aren't, it's just going to take you that much longer to make progress. IMHO, of course.
Mine is female, was married to an SA decades ago before anyone knew what SA was, and later in life became a substance abuse addict herself but has been clean and sober 20 years. She is a tough broad and knows her shit, keeps up with all the latest on the SA front.
Hath, if we lived in the same place I would swear we had the same CSAT! Love mine too.
I think it's sad and terrifying, and if you visit the Separation and Divorce thread often enough, you'll see stories there that will make your heart break. Dads who don't feel their children, dads who leave kids with strange OW, dads who stick their children's faces into toilet bowls as a joke. These dads never lose custody. It's not just SA. It's neglect, etc.
I got lucky. My SA was so distracted by SA/OW that he agreed to an informal parenting plan that didn't allow overnights. We never got temporary orders put into place because we knew that virtually any judge would give him more time than this. And now the D has dragged out for two years, and he hasn't had an overnight in that time. This is important because judges don't like to change anything that's working -
I'm also undergoing a long, stressful and expensive psychological custody evaluation that I requested and the judge granted. I am hopeful it will be worth it in the end.
When it's all over, I'll report back.
I don't believe that most SA divorces are like mine. My STBX is an insane NPD. Also, if I had given him half custody, it would have been over with a year ago. But I'm fighting for my kids.
Anyhow, it's all something to consider when dating a SA, marrying a SA, having children with a SA, and considering divorcing a SA.
It is just not easy to protect your children. I do have faith that things will work out in my case - so far the court system has been good to me - but I've paid a huge price for everything.
My bff can't, either. She's said all the right things, and she still loves the both of us, but she's not able to give advice. It's past her comfort- and advice-level. In fact, my husband no longer feels comfortable around her. He stressed that he would never, ever ask me NOT to spend time with her and emphasized that he KNOWS I need her support, but he feels he'll say something to her (he's flirtatious and sometimes more) that she or I will take the wrong way. So whenever she comes over (he said this a week ago), he'll be polite, but will no longer stick around to chat with us. For 7 years, I never told her about his SA diagnosis--I didn't know how. HE is the one who encouraged me to tell her so that I'd have someone to support me. Even then, I never did it until 3 1/2 weeks (the 3 1/2 longest weeks of my life) after I found out he'd been with the prostitute.
So people not being comfortable around SAs is not surprising. My husband is ashamed of who he is. He does NOT want anyone else to know about it. He'd die if his family found out about it--which only feeds the monster, huh?
Gotta run to a youth group meeting with my boys. Will respond to the rest later this eve. Again, thanks!
[This message edited by RippedSoul at 10:01 PM, September 17th (Tuesday)]
That said, his company and the OW's company only work hand-in-hand on a few projects. He met her last year on a business trip, they connected, established a texting/e-mailing/phone-calling relationship, then managed to go to some of the same conferences.
This'll be the first time he's seen her since the beginning of Jan. My hope is that she's still intent on saving her M and isn't planning to reignite anything. Last time they took this trip, there were only 3 folks. This time, there are a dozen and several from his work. I think it'd be harder to go undetected. Yet, in frustration, he could go to his new modus operandi and call an escort. That's what I worry about most.
Right now, because of where he is, I could handle his viewing porn or flirting. But another illicit encounter that endangers me? No. That's a dealbreaker. Except that I may never know about it so it's hard to draw a line. It's hard to draw any sort of a line or erect any boundaries for him for the trip with her. What would I say? Don't talk to her one-on-one? How would I know if he followed through? Part of me wants to set the boundaries; part of me feels it would be futile. As broken and vulnerable as he is right now, he's a big boy and I'm not his mommy.
It'd be nice to go with, but I don't have the required security clearances. :( So . . . On the plus side, he invited me to two work dinners last week with smallish groups of people. It felt like he was publicly making a commitment to me. The first was with a new group of people on a project he now heads up; the second was for the retirement of the man he's taking over for. Seems like it would be much easier--if he were planning to leave/divorce me for her or anyone else--to keep me nameless and faceless. KWIM? Hopefully, that's the course he's planning to take on this trip.
Of course, I won't sleep much while he's gone. I'll stay up late watching TV (I only watch TV when he's gone because I'm only capable of vegging once my kids are in bed and I don't have to pretend anymore that I'm a capable person). And I'll wake up in the middle of the night to read (have always been a good sleeper until this past year). But at least that's constructive. And I've got some real goals set for this trip (recaulk the shower, clean the garage), but, honestly, don't know how motivated I'll be able to be. That requires more mental stamina than I have when he's gone. Still, it could be very therapeutic--which is why I've planned it at all.
And I've arranged carpools for my kids so that I can attend my first S-Anon meeting. It's 70 minutes away, one-way, but . . . We'll see if life interferes with that. Again, it's a goal. But I'm not beating myself up if I don't make it there while he's away.
Poly? That's so out there right now. Seems like a TV show. And with all the problems that have cropped up for Hath, I just dunno. Not even sure what to expect, yet, in his therapy with Kaiser. It's a whole different world. We may hate it; we may love it.
But I'll definitely post often--especially if I'm "wigging" out! I'm pretty strong and have--aside from the hatred for the OW that I've used to bolster everything positive that I've done for myself these past eight months--been remarkably calm. I won't pretend I haven't cried and ranted and raved, but I've done it in private. And there are quiet times at work when I'll start to get teary--out of nowhere. That bothers me. Once upon a time, before I met him, I was considered extremely "self-sufficient." That's so not me anymore. My world has revolved around him. Pulling away to protect myself has been soul-ripping. But I'll be stronger. I have to be. And until I can do it for myself, I have to do it for my children.
so that I can attend my first S-Anon meeting. It's 70 minutes away, one-way,
S-Anon meetings were a long drive for me, too. I definitely recommend you try a few face-to-face meetings in the beginning, but there is another option. There's a yahoo group for COSA, which has online meetings and telephone meetings. The online ones go slowly as the sharing is typed out. The phone meetings go as quickly as a face-to-face meeting, so you get a lot more sharing. The ones I "attended" were excellent. Some people stayed on the phone line after the meeting to chat for another hour. I'm not sure how many they have per week, but it's a great add-on to the meetings you drive to, time-wise!
You sound good - I would be a frantic mess in your situation!!! Hang in there!
I'm so glad to see you back on the site. You've been on my mind, and definitely in my prayers. None of this is easy!! I hope that you are doing okay, and able to take care of yourself. Any idea how much longer until the divorce is final?