AFM, feeling better. Have had a few heart to heart sessions with some COSA sisters, which really helps. Especially speaking to someone that has the same scenario that I am going through but her husband is in recovery for his narcissism as well. My SAWH and I had a very good discussion last night, after going to a function by a local CSAT, and he says he is willing to work on his narcissism and victimhood. We shall see what happens. I have been doing my meditation every day and that has been really helpful. Going to go and workout. Hope everyone is having a peaceful day. One day at a time!
Missymomma, so glad you are feeling better. I was really struck by what you said in a previous post about your H doing just enough to keep you hooked in. I hope he makes very sincere efforts and reak progress -- you deserve it! It might be helpful to work with your IC to develop some sort of strict deadline for progress and some measures of what that progress will be. I truly hope he is able to return full force to recovery, for both of you. But, I am mindful of you (and all of us) throwing endless more months and years into these relationships. I hope I am not being too frank here. :( I just want you to protect yourself.
As for me, I am having some blues. I think it is mostly hormonal and stress. Feeling very lonely maritally and stunningly unproductive at work. I feel uncomfortable saying this because I have what many people hope for -- H is fully in recovery, great progress, total commitment, much stronger person and infinitely better spouse. But I never see him anymore. He is at meetings/therapy 3 nights per week, work one night per week, and the other nights because I am dealing with this hormonal problem I have fallen asleep at 8 or 9pm for weeks now. We had a date night last week and I felt like we didn't have alot to say to each other. We mainly go out and eat and say several times during the meal how sad we are our marriage is in this state and look sadly at our soups. I guess the disappointment is sinking in about the infidelity for me and I feel more and more distant from him. Even if recovers and stays recovered and our marriage is far more healthy than it was before, we have this ugly thing between us now and always. And we also have a history of years of neglect of me as a wife. It really stings when I think about it and I am not sure how much longer I can go on without intensive marital therapy.
Everyone keeps on telling me one year for individual treatment but then surely it is going to take a year or two for marital therapy to work or not work. How much longer am I supposed to be lonely for? It has been years prior to d-day and now this . . .
[This message edited by cds22 at 10:46 AM, October 9th (Wednesday)]
My lists were similar to all of yours. We were GOOD wives, made to feel inadequate, ugly and stupid by sick, addicted men. Whether we are staying, divorcing or undecided, we are here to support one another in the journey. NO ONE understands this better than another wife of an SA. NO ONE.
NG, CD, SJ, SJ, Outta, Missy, Hath,Choosing, and all of my sisters who I can't remember, or who stopped posting, but may still read, please know that I value you and your input, and the fact that I know that somewhere in the world, someone gets me...thanks.
Also to previous poster who posted about that horrible feeling when driving, lost, couldn't call former spouse, let me say an excellent GPS works better and causes less heartache than a sex addict spouse! I know you know that, I am just bitter today over here!
What are you doing for yourself? Are you going to any meetings or joining a women's group? I have been looking for a women's group for a few months, to do a workbook together, and think I finally found one. I love my COSA group, really couldn't have handled this recent crisis without them.
I have been going to acupuncture for stress relief (it does actually work quite well but only for 1-2 days). I can't exercise right now for medical reasons, which has been hard. Also hard: I need to find a new IC -- unfortunately my IC told me something about her personal life that intersects with one of my anxieties/issues and it now feels really crass to discuss that fear with her since it is her reality. No women's group. I do know of one in my area but it is the same night as H's second SA meeting and even without that, it is very hard for my kids not to see me for a full day and overnight. I work all day and they go to bed at 8pm. So I have very mixed feelings about being apart from them more given the iffy odds of a group being the right fit.
At its heart, my feeling is that I am OK with being separated or divorced. I would love to be in a real marriage where we had time for each other and were able to heal the worst of the wounds. But this situation of living with my husband but not having time for a real marital relationship is not tenable for me in the long term - - it is like dieting and being surrounded by cake or being lonely in a crowd or whatever analogy. It is a worse feeling for me than being on my own (with majority custody of my kids which I must say is not a given in my case). :(
Anyway, I am not making any decisions until my hormones even out.
The Weds night meeting I really should try out. It has just been so rough with the kids crying multiple times per week about missing their dad. To make that work we would need to have a sitter relive the nanny. :( I just hate to knock out another night with them unless I was confident it is going to be extremely high yield. Maybe I can go once and try to get a sense.
Otherwise, things are going well with me healthwise, which is a positive!
He gave me a card. It said:
On our anniversary,
I want you to know
how much you mean to me.
I don't ever want
to take you for granted.
I don't ever want to forget
what it was like before you
or how it would be without you.
I don't ever want to forget
our first kiss
or our last touch,
or let a day go by
without telling you
how much I care...
I don't ever want you to doubt
the way I feel
or how much happier
my life is
because of you.
I love you.
His handwritten note said:
Happy Ocho! I miss you when I am not with you, and I am so glad we are still together! Thank you for all the love and support you give me. I love you beyond just being my wife. I appreciate everything you do. I hope this year is our best year ever and we grow closer every day.
Such sweet words. Words. I am starting to hate words. A few days before our anniversary he said, "We should do something special for our anniversary." I said that I would like that. So, what did we do? He made me grilled spam & cheese sandwich with canned peaches and we watched an episode of "Foyle's War." Some kind of special, huh?!
Still no AA meetings, still no IC or CSAT via skype. Not even reading anymore. Just words. Blah, blah, blah.
My SAWH is acting out, big time. He's been "nice" to me (he's behaving kindly, outwardly) which usually means we're okay. I guess what it really means is that he loves me at this moment in spite of his huge issues. When he's not being nice while acting out, he's blaming me. So that's about the only good news I have.
He was supposed to have his first CSAT ('cept it's with Kaiser, so neither of us knows if it's really a sex addiction therapist) 10/4 but had to go out of town for a one-day meeting. So he cancelled it and couldn't get one for another month. Then, because of the gov't shutdown, the trip didn't even happen. I was SO looking forward to something happening there.
In the meantime, his dad is in the hospital, dying slowly. We'll be having a family meeting Sunday morning, after his sister's son marries on Saturday night. Our whole family will be driving 12 hours, each way, to get to that celebration and that "plug-pulling" discussion.
In the meantime, Friday is his last day at work. Paid. He has about a week of vacation that he can intersperse with unpaid leave (to hold on to benefits longer). But, of course, he's not unemployed, so there's no unemployment check to fall back on. Yet our mortgage alone is more than I make. So we're both SICK with fear. My youngest asked if he should stop eating lunch. :(
So I've touched his precious, off-limits phone from work. It's classified, so I'm not supposed to. I know. But I didn't even pick it up. I just typed in the passcode and looked at who he's texting. Me. And her. The OW. They had a recent business trip together. He said he was at "no risk" from her which I actually now believe. I saw him text her 4 times--once each day--before she responded to one. Friend stuff--if I'd been typing it to any man I know. Then he texted her 3 or 4 more times with no answer again. Plus, after the trip, the OW's BH met her in Hawaii for a reconnection. The difference between the two? She's a WW; he's a SA. Sigh.
Anyway, I'd seen this but kept it to myself--wanting to see where it went. Yesterday, he e-mailed me from work saying he wasn't having the greatest day but that distractions and meds were helping. After he got home, while I was cleaning up from dinner, I noticed him on his non-gov't-issued notebook. I went over to ask him something and he kind of pulled it away. So I asked to see it. Instead, he closed it. So I told him he lost an opportunity to build trust (even if it had been something bad--which it undoubtedly was--showing me would've been a step in the right direction) and that we needed to talk. He didn't want to, naturally. I said I'd given everything to healing this marriage and it was time he did something for me and all I wanted to do was discuss. So he said after the game. I went upstairs and finished reading "Mending a Shattered Heart."
He left. For an hour. When he'd been home 20 minutes or so and hadn't come up to talk to me, I decided to go down to him. Plus, his dog was barking and it was after 11:00, so I went down to let him in. Again, he said he didn't want to talk, and I said, "Well, neither do I! But how do we move forward from here?" So he agreed.
Basically, he'd withdrawn $300 from an ATM to go hook up with someone. Also bought condoms. Didn't do it. Drove around instead. No new addresses in GPS--except a deleted one from that day that was far enough away that he'd not have been able to get there and back in an hour. He gave me the receipt, the money, and the condoms (unopened).
We talked about some other stuff. Don't know how much was true or not. Asked him why he isn't trying harder. He said it wasn't his fault he couldn't get into a therapist sooner. I said that I knew that. But had he been to a 12-step meeting? Or even looked up one for atheists (I have but didn't offer the info--just wanted to know if they existed in our area)? Or called his old sponsor? Or read any books? No.
I also asked why he hadn't gone NC with the OW again. He said all he'd done was send group e-mails (with photos of the group) to everyone on the trip. Nothing else. I pressed. No. No other contact. I said I knew the truth or I wouldn't be repeating myself. He still didn't confess. Asked why I thought that.
So, of course, he deleted the messages from his phone (but didn't change the passcode). I told him I wanted his notebook gone. He'd trolled with it before and it had bad memories. I said there was nothing useful about it except as an addiction aid.
When I came downstairs this morn, it was still charging. So I unplugged it and took it away. Maybe someday, in disclosure (if we get that far), I'll get the passwords and can check the history. He said he was looking at porn; I think he might have been trolling. Who knows?
We slept in the same bed but didn't touch--very unusual for us. We have a double and usually sleep entwined. I just couldn't stand to be touched and he didn't ask. He did say that he loved me. I told him I loved him, too.
And he does. He has a really sh---y way of showing me, but I know he's broken and is in a very bad place.
Of course, I am, too, right? I have no questions for you. I don't know how to deal with this, though. I'm not willing to give up until he's REFUSED to work on himself (instead of just procrastinate it), but I have to protect myself. And I want him to be honest with me. I want him to tell me about the texts to the OW. I've never flown into hysterics about any of this. I wasn't going to be anything but disappointed. Nothing in them was horrible. It wasn't sexting. His little heart just went pitter-patter faster when he was around her for 10 days and he needed to defog again. But . . . I'm rambling. And I need to pick up a son from practice. And I have nothing to add but sadness. So sorry! Hugs.
I am so sorry RS but you didn't cause it, can't cure it and can't control it. Are you going to any meetings? COSA or S-Annon.
[This message edited by Missymomma at 10:50 PM, October 9th (Wednesday)]
Please ladies, help me out here. So he went to see this therapist yesterday, and today he told me all about it. Turns out this therapist doesn't believe in sex addiction, and he said that in only one hour of talking to her it was like she knew everything that was going on with him. She told him that even though she can't diagnose him yet, she is willing to bet that he has border personality disorder and impulse control disorder. Impulse control is where the sexual addiction would fall into. She said that the sexual acting out is not the real issue but it's the core issues which have to be treated, and I read somewhere else that is also the case. I don't disagree with that.
He said he really likes her method and she told him she has a high success rate of treating this disorder in about 20 or so weeks. So now I don't even know if he is sex addict. He fits the profile, but who knows.
He says that since sexual addiction is not even recognized as a disease he rather get treated for something that is medically proven.
He says that CSATs will shame him and control all his sexuality (masturbation, fantasies, make him feel bad about watching a movie that has a sex scene, etc) and he doesn't think that's healthy or productive. Whatever.
I told him CSATs will treat the core issue too, but they are better at treating this messed up sexual behavior he had. I have to do some reading about this, but can you recommend anywhere I can find that a CSAT is better at treating this over a regular therapist?
I'm so mad, because I feel that with these regular therapist I would never get disclosure or things we would need to help us move forward, as it would only be concentrated on him.
He says now that maybe he isn't a sex addict after all, and who knows maybe he lied to her about the extent of his acting out. He says he told her everything, and a part of me does believe he did. I don't know if I'm overthinking this, and now I think, ok so if he isn't a sex addict he is just a huge asshole who can't control his impulse to walk into massage parlors and call escorts and prostitues on Craigslist.
In some weird way the "addiction" gave me some kind of reason for his behavior, and I felt he was helpless.. But if he is not an addict then he could always help himself by not acting out and yet he didn't.. I'm so confused and angry! Im in such a foul mood over this.
He hasn't refused seeing a CSAT completely but he said he wants to be evaluated by a psychiatrist first to see if he/she diagnoses him as a sex addict. Do they even diagnose that given that it's not a recognized disorder? Or is it recognized??
I don't know how else to approach this, I am glad he went to therapy but now I feel like it's backfiring on me, I don't know. I don't know how else to bring this to him. I don't want to waste time and money in therapies that won't work
What should i do?
SA and personality disorders have all been downgraded in the new DSM-V. So really, it's a crapshoot about what type of treatment will best help someone who has a personality disorder plus acts like a SA.
I can only tell you that my STBX is NPD. He might also be histrionic and/or borderline. These things all overlap. And yes, many people who are SAs have overlapping personality disorders. They are well represented here, but even better represented on the divorce thread. Because it is VERY difficult to remain married to someone with NPD or BPD, even if they're not a SA too.
I want to like and trust your new therapist - her views are refreshing - but I think her claims to cure your husband seem a little overly ambitious.
I agree with Missy that a CSAT would be a better start for him. But then again, the problem with CSATs is that they're not really trained in personality disorders. Ideally he would probably start with a CSAT and then maybe work with a psychiatrist who can prescribe meds. This is what was ultimately suggested for my STBX.
I'm sorry. It's going to be a long road ahead for him.