I am not ready to leave today but feeling a lot of turmoil as I try to process what she said. I have reached out to my COSA members, seen my individual CSAT and am working really hard on detaching. Detaching is tough work with someone like this. I guess I just need encouragement and strategies in detaching. I know it is the only way to function around him, at this point, but it is very uncomfortable.
I gave myself a year before making any decisions. It's been 2.5 and I'm still here. Most of that first year, I can say now with 20/20 hindsight, he was not doing everything he could though in my impaired state it seemed like he was trying awfully hard. Only now do I feel like he is doing most of what it takes, and still not all.
So why do I stay?
I do take my vows seriously. I do love him. Not at the expense of myself, though.
I do want to be able to look into my children's eyes and say I have done everything possible to save the marriage.
I do want my children to have a healthy father, even if we don't stay married, and right now he has a better chance of succeeding in recovery if he stays married to me. I honestly thought for a while that maybe if I left, he could focus on himself, but that's not the case now. That could change in the future though.
Financial reasons, but not like you think. I'm stuck in this state 1000 miles from my home state with all my friends, family, support, job contacts. To leave with the kids would take thousands of dollars I don't have, and I'd have to pay for them to visit him and would compromise CS. To stay here but separated, it would be very difficult to find safe affordable housing and for me to find full time work, even minimum wage, because of where we live. Each of my kids have different expensive medical issues that are not well covered with insurance. One is special needs, and we basically lucked into the home we have to get her into basically the only district that can really accommodate her. It would be nearly impossible to stay in this district otherwise.
I myself now have medical issues I couldn't afford to pay for on my own right now. However, in this state there is some sort of weird divorce option where you are still married, but are separate legal entities for most purposes, so in the eyes of any house of worship or medical insurance provider you are still married but you are basically living apart and not responsible for each other. So I could do that too, if needed.
I still have faith he can make it in recovery. I have lost faith before, but regained it with his actions.
I am not currently being abused. Through therapy I have seen where I was being abused, and I have taken the steps to put up the boundaries so it doesn't happen again. If those boundaries were violated, though, I'd be out immediately. There were a few times early after DDay I had to spell that out for him, because he did not see how it was abuse, but he did comply.
I'm sure there are more reasons, but this is getting long.
Here's the thing. I can list why I stay all I want. But the truth is, at any time I may have to leave, or I might be forced out. That is the case with all of us. Our SAWHs can go off the deep end and force a D at any time, or worse, go off the wagon and up and leave without a trace with all the money and leave us with all the bills. So despite my best efforts to stay, I am always preparing to leave if needed.
I have my emergency funds he can't touch and completely paid off credit cards for emergency expenditures. I have my post-nup to, in theory, expedite a non contested divorce and custody. I started the part time job to establish work history in this state, and to pass the red tape to be able to be considered for a full time position later if needed. If I got a full time job with this entity, I would be able to send my kids to schools in this district for free even if I was forced out of my home. The home I'm in has equity and is in high demand, so if I had to leave, I could sell and make money.
I basically ask myself if I am better of with him or without him, daily. Most days I am better off, at least now. He sees every day I stay as a gift. I am totally amazed at the transformation in him over time. But I know will always have to have a plan B in my pocket.
That has to be hard. I don't know what to say. Take it one day at a time, I guess. Just because you may need to leave, doesn't mean you necessarily have to leave right this minute. Take your time to figure out your best exit.
I know we started out roughly - but that's the way it is. My husband has a man in his therapy group who he does not get along with because the man is in such denial and points out everyone else's flaws yet strictly decides that his flaws are nothing even though he is the only one still acting out. So, not everyone gets along perfectly.
So= please let me chime in and I hope you can read it.
I cannot believe that your therapist told you to leave.
Are you being physically harmed? Is he hitting you? Is he threatening to harm you or the children? No? Then, she should restrain herself a bit more, in my opinion.
Is he emotionally and mentally tormenting you everyday with words and attacks - I mean very very awful stuff that no one should have to hear day in and day out? NO, then she should restrain herself a lot more. If yes, then she is correct, spot on.
Is he being sexual with anyone except with you? No, then she certainly is way off her wagon. Yes, then of course she is correct.
I don't really understand your situation perfectly. What I do remember is that you mention porn and that seems to be it. What I would do to have a husband who just - yes JUST - had a porn issue. Mine was physical with strippers and prostitutes. I see porn as a problem, but it is a universal male problem and quite a few females now are joining the porn gang. I am jealous that your husband just did porn -if I am correct. To me, it's not cheating - it's wrong, but to me physical and emotional is cheating, not pictures...It's wrong and you should not put up with it if it bothers you - some women it actually doesn't.
So, what I am just trying to say is - Your therapist seems to be putting her emotions onto to you. You and her are different people. She may be married to an alcoholic that gets DUIs and kicks the dog - YOU DO NOT KNOW. She has no right, even if she is your trusted therapist, to say you should leave.
She does have the right to tell you and him that he needs further intensive therapy possibly 2 to 8 weeks and then weekly group therapy with men and then weekly individual therapy with a male therapist (if he's in that much need I'd suggest male only for now) and then a different couples therapist for you 2 only where neither of you see the therapist outside of the couples appointment. That is what she should be telling you. I cannot believe that if he does all that he would not get significantly better, especially if he uses some sort of anti depressant drug also.
I just think that she should be more demanding of that - that is so much more helpful to you and to him and to your whole family, then just saying - too bad, throw in the towel, it's not worth it.
Good luck and regards.
1. My SAWH has been in recovery for 2 years. He is back to the way he behaved just 2 months into recovery.
2. This MC CSAT has been treating us for a year. She is an extremely level headed, fair, therapist. I and everyone that I have spoken to that know her, are just floored that she said this. This is why it is devastating.
3. The way my SAWH treats me is abusive. He has no acknowledgement of my feelings or needs. He takes out his anxiety on me in an emotionally abusive way, yet sees himself as the victim.
4. My SAWH doesn't have a porn addiction. He has a drug, sex (prostitutes) and work addiction. So he is an all around addict. At the moment he is wrapped up in his work addiction.
I am still processing this info. Maybe she said this to jolt me out of complacency and to see that what is going on is extremely serious. I don't know but detaching is the most important thing for me, right now.
Hath, thank you so much! As usual, just the right words.
[This message edited by Missymomma at 12:26 PM, October 6th (Sunday)]
It's hard to know what to say. My heart breaks for you right now. You are one of the veterans on here and I'm used to taking your advice not giving it.
My life these last 7 months has been mostly turmoil and some of the most grueling, searing pain I've ever felt. I truly can't imagine the added burden of having small children at times like this. My hat is off to all of you who are still caring for and trying to nurture your children. Trying to provide them with love and security when you don't feel it yourself is a feat in itself. I don't know how or where you find the emotional and physical strength to manage that along with trying to cope with this sickness.
Missy, you are always one of the voices of reason. You have taught me so much it would be impossible for me to try to recount. You are obviously an exceptionally bright woman who knows her stuff and then some. I have every confidence that you have it in you what to do whatever it is you have to do for you and your children. I know when my H and I came close to separating a couple of months ago I was terrified and questioned every move I made. We ended up staying put and so far I don't regret that decision but, I feel much stronger and better prepared for if that situation comes up again. A lot of that is because of the things I learned from you and the wise ones here. You are a smart cookie and I listen to everything you say. it empowers me. The only advice I have is to trust your gut. If you have confidence in this CSAT then you have to trust that she is seeing something that warrants this action.
What little I know about NPD just means adding assholish behavior to the list of things you have to deal with and, who needs one more turd on top of the heap of existing shit? I admire your willingness to reach out to others to share your knowledge of something most of us never heard about before they had to deal with it. You are graceful and dignant even under the most difficult circumstances and I know whatever you do it will be the right thing for you! Would love to give you a real hug but, please know I'm sending you lots of cyber strength and many prayers!
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 1:14 PM, October 6th (Sunday)]
Outta, my SAWH isn't NPD but one step below that. He is severely damaged and this causes him to be a victim narcissist. The things you said were very touching. I usually feel stronger than this but not so much today.
Nature, I know you have been here. It is just a blow. My SAWH isn't acting out sexually, that we know of, but he is very good at finding other addictions and lying.
I hope you can just take it one day at a time. And surround yourself in real life with professionals, therapists, and lots of psychologically healthy family members and friends.
BTW, a COSA member that was in my same situation a year ago recommended a CD. It is a guided imagery and affirmation CD. I downloaded it on Itunes. It is called "Guided Imagery to Help with Heartbreak, Abandonment & Betrayal". I had done some guided imagery many years ago but this one is phenomenal. I sobbed and felt much stronger after. Plan on doing it every day, for a while. Concentrating on working my program and detaching. Thankfully, I have received a lot of support. I really appreciate all of the support you ladies have given.
I had a similar experience with a therapist over Pigfucker. I had been spending session after session talking about all the ways he was psychologically/physically and emotionally torturing me and one day she just finally sat back, looked me dead in the eyes and said, "And you want THAT back???" She was just appalled that I could actually be fighting for a marriage that was nothing but abuse. Hearing her say that shocked me to my core. I couldn't answer her.
Unfortunately, I stayed another 2 years before HE finally left ME. But I've never forgotten her words or her face. And it comes back to me now in dealing with SAWH. I am constantly reviewing his actions and asking myself if I want "that" back. And I don't. But if he is doing the work, then I do want *us* back. KWIM???
As to the list thing, mine looks like everyone else's.
I take my marriage vows very seriously.
I see this as the "in sickness and in health" part of the vows.
I can't forget how long we've been friends and that for my entire adult life I've known that he would always have my back. I can't easily let go of that feeling.
I don't want my DD to lose her family. It's bad enough that she has Pigfucker for a bio-dad. She adores SAWH and it hurts her that we aren't together.
Financially I am fine on my own. But it's scary too. He is the one I would call if I had a problem. Like a broken toilet or a flat tire. I miss that.
Here is a memory I have of when Pigfucker left me. I was driving home from a friends house in the rain and the dark. I'd never been to her house before and it was in a town I had never driven in myself. I'd always been a passenger. Well, I got lost. I couldn't find the freeway I needed to be on to get back to my town. My first thought was to call Pigfucker and ask him how to get home. And I realized that I couldn't do that. He was with OW and wouldn't answer my call. I started to cry as it hit me that I had NO ONE I could call to help me get un-lost. I pulled over and just sobbed. I was so scared and tired and alone. That's another feeling I'll never forget.
NG, I am so sorry when people hurt you. You have been such a source of strength and wisdom for me and I value your insight so much. You make me laugh and you make me cry. Please know that you are important to so many of us. I know the decision you made was not easy, and that your life is still full of crazy. You know you did what you needed to do and that is all that matters. Don't ever let anyone make you doubt that.
(((((HUGS))))) and strength to us all. We all need it.
PS. Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary and DDay antiversary is on Thursday. Sucks.
As for how to detach I am just going to toss out some ideas. I think the grieving you are doing is part of it. Also I think transferring some of those hopes and dreams for your marriage to your own life. You are a tremendously bright and capable woman. I am excited to see where your education leads you!
In the day to day, I did a few things during the dday period. They sound awful but some of them just happened naturally. First, I viewed my h like a specimen in a natural history exhibit. I would in a detached and near scientific manner observe and note all weak, whining, or pathological behavior. But I didn't interact with it, it was a dispassionate observation. Second, my default for every interaction my h had with me was a polite version of that is your problem I wish you the best in dealing with it. Even when he brought up the impact of s or d on the kids I said I know that is alot of guilt for you to deal with and I hope you and your ic can work through it. I still do this to an extent actually. But the main point is it is his problem, all of it, and you won't be sucked into it even for a protracted apology chest beating thing. Third, I sort of cocooned around myself. I got a big stack of light reading books from the library, cooked some of my favorite comfort foods and got quite a few massages. H was sleeping in a separate room which helped too.
We are here for you missy. You are one of the people here whose kindness and guidance I can never adequately repay.
[This message edited by cds22 at 10:16 AM, October 8th (Tuesday)]
Sorry for the scattered thoughts. Had to post quick since I'm at work.
[This message edited by SpaceJane at 4:07 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]
So much ground to cover.
First about a RA.
I think we all agree that the LTA was not about us or the M. Right? IMO if thats so then a RA must also not be about our WS or the M. The choice to cheat is the same whether its a affair or a revenge affair. With that in mind I am not about to cheat.
About WW having no consequences.
Some one said: Although if you go read around in the wayward forum long enough, you can kind of see the cost that this kind of transgression enacts upon the soul of those WWs who are remorseful.
The key word there is REMORSEFUL. Some are and some are not. I think the ones that are not do not last long on SI. And so we are seeing only one side of the story. Also considering the numbers difference between WS and BS on SI and similar forums. This seems anecdotal evidence that there are more WS that are NOT remorseful than those that are.
So those with remorseful WWs are in great shape compared to the rest of us. The rest of us have to either D or figure out some way to live with our selves while staying in the M.
Sorry all. This was supposed to go in the MENS forum. I posted it there and have no idea why or how it got here.
[This message edited by Razor at 6:20 PM, October 8th (Tuesday)]