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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 18

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Rugbychick posted 8/2/2018 12:01 PM

Thank you all for weighing in on my question. I appreciate it. I think my WH had a hard time expressing emotion period. He's also avoids talking about serious things as well. He is getting better through this process, thankfully.

I have yet to attend a support group meeting, although it has been recommended by my counselor and our marriage counselor. I want to attend, I just haven't figured out quite where to look for when they are. I know that SI is likely not a replacement for attending meetings, but for now it has been helpful. My WH is now attending SA meetings, and is trying to do as much of the 90 by 90 as possible, but some nights when he has attended a meeting there has been no one there. (I know this because I am his ride since he broke his leg). Eventually he will attend group therapy meeting at his counselor's office, but his counselor wanted to get him going to the SA meetings for a while before he starts the group therapy.

Thank you for the book suggestions. I am currently reading Moving Beyond the Affair and After the Affair. My WH's counselor suggested another book I think is called Your Sexually Addicted Spouse or something like that.

JadeC posted 8/2/2018 14:30 PM

Interesting Dr. Oz show today about sex rehab and sex addiction. I usually turn the channel when he comes on, but since I was interested in the topic.
Dr. David Ley, I think is full of crap and wonder if he has his own issues he's trying to excuse...

marji posted 8/2/2018 15:15 PM

Rugby you can find a list of meetings for SANON by Googling their International site. You can also PM me and I might be able to help you find a meeting. There are many if you live in the US. It's advised to attend several to find the one where you feel most comfortable. They are not all the same. There are also BAN meetings; they are not for SA issues as such but some of the members are dealing with SA type situations. I attend a weekly SANON meeting and find it very helpful in all sorts of ways. Some of the members of my group have been attending for well over ten years with only intermittent breaks for vacations and other family or social events. A good group can make a huge difference.

The Robert Weiss book Sex Addiction 101 is very good but again, SAs vary greatly in their habit of choice and their basic personalities. The only SA that really matters is the one your living with and the basic advice that's given to the spouse or partner of any SA is the same: we're to focus on ourselves and not our partners; we're to work on finding our balance and normal in life--we're to work on finding our joy and satisfaction in life again. That may involve setting boundaries for what we need to feel safe and whole and decent again.

Many of us work with an IC as well as attending meetings or attending a counseling session together with our partner/spouse.

Sounds like your H's IC is experienced working with SAs and feels your H will benefit from SA work even though he's strictly not an SA as such. Sounds like you're both on the right track to a healthier life and getting good guidance.

[This message edited by marji at 6:50 PM, August 2nd (Thursday)]

DogsnBooks posted 8/2/2018 16:58 PM

Has anyone here done a temporary/therapeutic separation? Can you walk me through it a bit?

I know that generally speaking, 90 days minimum is recommended. But where the heck is WH supposed to live for 90 days?! I would hate to burden a friend for that long and we canít afford a hotel/AirBnB for that long either.

orchid2424 posted 8/2/2018 22:08 PM

So here I am again . . .

I took a bit of a break away from SI (a few months). I was focusing on enjoying the summer months with my kids. I wish I wasn't back.

A quick recap, my WH had hidden 21+ years of betrayal including 5 ONS's (a couple before we were even married). Never a repeat visit with any of his APs. He insists all of his needs were met in our marriage -- claims he is an SA (diagnosed) with FOO issues being his rationale. Isn't the sex he desires -- its the "connection" and the build up.

After DD#1, we went through almost a year of false reconciliation, where I kept it to myself, we worked on it together (counselling, etc) and he continued his manipulation ("you and the kids can't survive on your own", "you dont deserve to struggle to provide", "I'll be good if I can live vicariously through you", etc). No one knew - we didn't tell our kids and family. It was a secret we were facing on our own together. Then came DD#2, he re-offended with two fast and furious EA/PAs (one lasting 6 weeks). I discovered it -- he severed ties with her instantly. I told him to move out and told him I was filing for divorce. He was, of course, devastated. Begged and promised to turn his life around. I insisted we tell our kids and family. I needed the support. I contacted a lawyer, secured primary residence of our home and the papers were drawn up (never filed). He believed he was NOW facing reality and consequences. His new reality was living under a different roof, seeing the kids whenever he wanted, seeing me every day, bi-weekly counselling, CODA/SA-anon, C-SAT counselling). I offered him some companionship and an ear when needed - we were amicable - he had free passage to the house whenever he wanted (since he worked from home). He attempted many times at physical contact. We NEVER had sex -- I simply could not trust him. I told him he owned his actions moving forward. I refused to let him move back in (after repeated pleading). I told him I didn't feel he was safe and I couldn't trust him. We had ups and downs but it seemed to be a slow climb upward. I didn't feel safe enough to let him home. His effort waned at times; I knew he could be doing more -- checking in with me, seeing how I felt about work road trips, assuring me off his whereabouts, etc.

So here we are today -- I could see the signs. Even though he had tracking on his phone and I could see his whereabouts, he was quick to scoff if I questioned. During one of his "work meetings" I called him. No answer. He responded two hours later with a text. Not enough. I knew something was up.

After a confrontation, there was trickle truth at first, but after I called him a liar over and over, he fessed up. He has made himself a profile on a dating app. Has met with three women for a "date". He claims the dates lasted only an hour or two -- I can verify as I was aware of his location with phone tracking. He hid them by saying they were work meetings. He never met them again after the initial meet because he says ďhe got what he neededĒ. What is the most alarming is that all of this happened RIGHT under my nose. I HAVE free passage to his electronics; I have all passwords. I can look on his phone/computer at any time. He chose to do all his "browsing" on his phone and then delete all trace of it. He even had the balls to leave "Infidelity" and "Building Trust" articles in his browsing history, but erase everything else. All the while, he claimed "I want only you. You are the only adult that I love and I want our life back."

So here I am again. Broken and betrayed.

He has begged and pleaded (hard for him as he is a very proud, arrogant type guy). Closed the profile on the dating site. Closed his secret email account. I told him to quit being torn between desire and obligations -- I suggested he just give in and go. Go live the life he desires -- fuck around -- be free. I told him I am tired of the pain; tired of living like a detective; I refuse to be second choice. He is scared; holding on for dear life; promising to be different; to try harder. Says he won't be a good Dad -- he will live the single life -- if I "cut him loose". Blah, blah. I've heard it before. He promises he will do more and try harder. I can see his defence though -- he is hungry for affection and connection. We have been living apart for a year. He argues that it is difficult to BUILD anything when we are not under the same roof. I know what he means -- I am lonely too. He says he wants our family to be together; claims that if he wanted that life then he would have left a year ago.

Sadly, I love this man. I don't want to see him 'fall off the edge'. I know its a form of manipulation on his part -- but I also believe there is truth to it. I have built a life with him; raised wonderful children; but I know I deserve better.

I've always told him - "I am waiting to see consistent signs of change." The first nine months looked promising. He was working at it and I'm sure he was living "clean". I didn't demand certain things. I let him chart his course forward. I believed he had to own his recovery. I watched to see what he was willing to give me for reassurance and mindfulness. He was definitely more attentive and aware. But over time he became slightly bitter and impatient -- "can't I come back already -- I'm ready". I didn't want to play a motherly role telling him what to do and how to do it. I figured it was pretty obvious he had a lot of work to do building trust. He repeatedly claimed "I'm doing all I know how to do.' I needed him to prove he wasnít just going to be good for a year. I wanted him to be good forever.

Now I am questioning our method at attempting "reconciliation". Did we do it right by having him live under a different roof?? After all, how can you maintain and rebuild a connection when you aren't sleeping together and sharing intimate moments?

He had asked to seek counselling together. I refused because I thought we should each work on our own. He claims he has told his C-SAT everything, but how will I know?

I've been told by a cognitive therapist that "he's never gonna give it up". I've got to be able to look back and say "I did everything I could". I'm questioning my actions moving forward. How many chances does a guy get??

My emotions are all over the place. I told myself that if there was one more infraction, it would be the nail in his coffin. But now I waiver. I'm stuck in "painful pause" as I assess my actions moving forward. I want to file but I know that would be the point of no return. Could send this ďgood Daddy for the most partĒ running. Feedback would be gratefully appreciated as I feel Iím in a bit of a an emotional fog.

secondtime posted 8/2/2018 23:10 PM

Orchid-I'm sorry

. What is the most alarming is that all of this happened RIGHT under my nose. I HAVE free passage to his electronics; I have all passwords. I can look on his phone/computer at any time. He chose to do all his "browsing" on his phone and then delete all trace of it.

My husband did this too, with his relapse. I now have a love/hate relationship with transparency. I need it, but at the same time, I know it also is a false sense of security.

After all, how can you maintain and rebuild a connection when you aren't sleeping together and sharing intimate moments?

Emotional intimacy isn't about sex, or even physical touching. My husband and I are emotionally connected when he's sober...even when we aren't physically connected due to work and parenting.

My emotions are all over the place. I told myself that if there was one more infraction, it would be the nail in his coffin. But now I waiver. I'm stuck in "painful pause" as I assess my actions moving forward.

I was very hard and fast about my boundaries with my husband relapsing. And then I got pregnant with an oops. I now have 4 years left to figure out what I'm going to do. And I've told my husband as much. He doesn't seem to hold me softening my boundaries against me. He knows I'm serious with what I live with and what I can't.

He also knows that our children play heavily into this. I'm the primary breadwinner. I figure child support and alimony would take half my net pay. My husband's behavior isn't egregious enough for me to make the choice to have my kids go from a middle class lifestyle to one of extreme poverty where choices have to be made between either having food, or having clothing..but not both at any one time.

My husband was sober for 3-4 years, and then relapsed for 4 years and lied about it.

He's now put together another 15 months of sobriety/recovery.

My husband has shit boundaries when it comes to his addiction. I mean. He's working his steps with a sponsor, goes to his meetings and is fairly vigilant about the big behaviors. (Ex: I will not look at porn again.) What he doesn't get is the smaller decision. He puts himself in situations where he could be in a position to act out. He's like a recovering alcoholic that will go to a bar, not drink, but not consider that he's putting his sobriety at risk because he hasn't drank at a bar in 5 years. (I don't do that anymore. Therefore, a bar is now safe for me, even though I'm a recovering alcoholic.)

So there's a level at which DH doesn't "get it" yet.

There are two other things that could be his undoing: his selfishness (DH's fear/shame being more important than having an intact family) and his complacency.

Now, in the past 15 months, DH is really addressing his complacency. He says he isn't feeling shameful anymore..but..considering my husband doesn't tell the truth much about his addiction (he has a track record of 18 years of lies), I don't know how much I can count on that. It's also not the sort of question one can ask on a polygraph.

I'm not sure how to assess his boundaries/attitudes/beliefs. I don't find out about them, until much later. It takes me a year to process. I just hit the angry stage within the past few months. And now, things are coming to me..So I ask, and then I discover.

I'm starting with a therapist on Monday that hopefully help me work through some of this.

ashestophoenix posted 8/3/2018 09:18 AM

Orchid, I'm sorry. How painful. So now you know he is an active addict who does not want to give up his addiction. He doesn't want to give up you, either, and he selfishly wants both. But what about you? What is good for you?

Gently, and with great compassion, these men learn to laugh off our attempts at boundaries if we don't enforce them. It took me years to get to the point to realize, yes, I would leave my husband under certain conditions. Now I plan to leave him when the timing is optimal for me, but he could violate a value or boundary of mine and I would leave him before it's the best time for me. This awareness and conviction took me years of work in therapy. I don't recommend CBT therapy for us, I recommend trauma therapy.

Painfully, we really do learn we have NO control over our partners' addiction. None whatsoever. Can you live with that? Can you live with him based on what he does give you?

Only you can answer these questions, and with great empathy, I know how hard they are. I've learned we must focus on ourselves. We must gather our strength and figure out what is in our best interest. It takes time. We need as much support as possible. Be gentle with yourself.

I want you to love you more than you love him. I want you to protect and value your life more than his. Our partners, they always put themselves first with no thought about our well being. They tell lies and stories about how "what we know won't hurt us" or "we deserve this because....".

It's not hopeful, your husband. He's not being honest with anyone. He is skillfully lying to you. When I see my husband do this, it's a huge red flag.

Take some time for yourself, if you can. Get away for a weekend or a week. See how you feel if you can be free of him and his addiction.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 9:19 AM, August 3rd (Friday)]

JadeC posted 8/5/2018 11:28 AM

My husband is being particularly ass-y today. He was wearing a shirt that I had asked him a long time ago to get rid of. (It's an event we went to the same night he picked up one of those women, and is a trigger for me. I've explained this to him.) I was talking to him and when I finished what I said, I added, "you really need to stop wearing that shirt.". I thought he'd forgotten that it bothered me.
He yanked his hat off his head and threw it on the bed, yanked the shirt off and threw it in the trash.
So then I realized that he hadn't forgotten and asked why he was wearing it if he knew it bothered me. Thought maybe he was purposely trying to poke at me...
"I was looking for a gray shirt to wear. I didn't think this was still an issue with you. YOU'LL NEVER SEE IT AGAIN."
Do they ever understand the depth of pain they've caused and that it doesn't go away?
It bothers me a lot that he wore this and was aware that I'd asked him not to...it wasn't just an oversight...

Smjsome1 posted 8/5/2018 14:30 PM

Ok- have been thru the ringer this month.

So, Iíve got a new one.

A week ago this nagging gut feeling just was too much. Iíve beenasking the names of two of the women he had affairs with, one a PA, one he met not far from our home, that he canít remember their names upset me. He remembers other names.
I just decided something wasnít right 6 months ago, it was a breaking point for me - and spent 4 hours on the phone saying ďtell me the truthĒ. Over and over. He yelled cried, etc
Then he said, ďit wasnít real!Ē I didnít really have sex with her she and I filirted, planned, played for weeks but when it was time she decided not to come back to my room!Ē It was just an EA ďBut I wanted it to be real and I wanted you to think I had sex with a real person!Ē
The one he met near our house ... she was someone he met online, he said ďI didnít want to just be an online weirdo, I wanted to you to think I was able to get real women.

He said over the course of 24 hours, the above
Also
If you could forgive me for 2 PAs you really love me
He didnít want the DD AP to seem special
He was afraid once he lied and was ďprotecting himself and maintaining controlĒ
He WANTED it to be true
Etc.

So Iím filing paperwork for divorce, it can take a while, so I have time, having him rewrite his timeline and a lie list. He told me all this during affair anniversary week.
His Ic was shocked.

He watched me trigger every time we went by her ďeorkplaceĒ and was too much of a selfish coward to tell me

So mind movies and this. And how did he pass the poly? Reviewed it and when asked if he was truthful on numbers of affairs he hesitated for a bit the first time so poly guy asked 3 more times different ways and he didnít hesitate. Because the question wasnít types of affairs, but how many. He even told me he hesitated on the question ďto review in his mindĒ. Covering his ass I guess.

So the polygraph is being redone, with specific questions.

Iím mad at my SA for having less PAs then he said

DogsnBooks posted 8/5/2018 15:11 PM

I am in need f some advice.

WH and I have been looking for a LONG TIME for a new house to rent, so I can get pets.

Just did a walk through of a house. It is a good size, landlords seem nice, has a yard, and allows dogs! 😮 Literally the only house in TWO YEARS of searching that checks those boxes.

But ...

With everything going on with WH lately and the false recovery, Iím really not sure that we should be signing a new lease together. I donít know if thatís what I want. I donít want to leave him ... but this feels like such a concrete step forward and Iím so conflicted. On one hand, a new home might be helpful because our current apartment gives me so much anxiety every time I walk through the door. On the other hand ... well, Iím still in limbo.

Wtf2014 posted 8/5/2018 15:22 PM

Dday was about a month ago for me. WH had a one night BJ in another country about a year in a half ago. It has crushed my world. A few days ago I decided to commit to reconcile and try to move past it. He has been going to IC since DDay and has done everything he can do for the situation he has put me and us in. He has opened up more than ever and with this came the news that he believes he may struggle with SA. He admitted to me his frequent use of porn over being intimate with me and how this began to manifest into fantasies. He never wanted to believe that he could have an issue and once he acted, cheated, he says he was so ashamed and couldn't believe what he had done. He compartmentalized all this time. But through IC and all attempts of transparency he said he finally needed to admit he has a problem and wants to get help in hopes to face he demons and really do the work to be better. I never in my wild dreams could have imagined this. This news has me really struggling. I don't know if I can see a life being with someone with SA.
I really need to hear if someone with SA can be faithful and get help. Or am I stupid to even think that we can make this work. I'm heartbroken all over again from DDay.

secondtime posted 8/5/2018 15:48 PM

Just a quick drive by.

Jade
Sorry your husband is being an ass.

SMJ

I'm sorry. My husband lied about his virginity of all things. That was one thing that never sat quite well with me. He concocted a story that didn't make much sense, ending with him losing his virginity at 13.

Turns out, I'm his only.

Which sometimes I feel badly about. I was sobering up (it was my 21st). That's a sucky way to lose your virginity.

Dogs
I would do my homework before signing a lease. Can you stay there, and have your husband move out if you divorce? Do you completely understand what you are responsible for if you break a lease? Can you cover the apt, financially if he moves out and you can't find a roommate?

Awesome you can have pets. If you need to separate and need to move, will being a pet owner limit your options? Is that something you can live with?

All we can do is take calculated risks. You know best what you can live with, and what you can't..and what stressors are worse for you and what aren't. I learned for me, the only stress worse than dealing with DH's addiction is financial stress. Financial stress literally keeps me up at night. So, in your situation, I'd want to make sure I have a way to handle the financial stress if you separate/divorce.

DH and I bought a house together when he was about 2 years sober. It's not something I've regretted.

WTF
I'm sorry you are here. Have you checked out the resources on page 1 of this thread? That would be a good place for you to start.


JadeC posted 8/5/2018 15:50 PM

Maybe there's something in the atmosphere for all of us to be posting today!
I came back to add an addendum and see three more people have posted.
Wish I had answers for all of us.
I've been obsessing all day about that damn shirt and came to the realization that it was two years ago TODAY that he actually went to pick up "smokin' hot Samantha".( yes, he made a point of telling me when he disclosed about how smokin' hot she was) and paid her $50 (that he borrowed from his brother so I wouldn't know) and wanted to have sex with her.
So if he hadn't had to wear that stupid shirt today, I might've gotten through today without remembering that!

[This message edited by JadeC at 3:51 PM, August 5th (Sunday)]

DogsnBooks posted 8/5/2018 16:01 PM

Secondtime

No, neither of us could afford the new house if the other moved out. But that is also true of our current apartment. And Iíve done the math, and I also couldnít afford even a studio apartment on my own. Basically, Iím screwed/trapped no matter which way you dice it, until I am able to get a new job that pays a lot more (and not currently looking, because the health insurance at my current job is WAY too good to give up). Itís not like weíre living above our means - both current and new house are reasonably priced, we donít have any debt aside from small car payments, and we do have some put away in savings - itís just that a single salary doesnít take you very far. Especially since Iím in an entry level position still currently.

As far as pets ... pretty much anywhere around here will let you have cats, so that wonít limit too much. For dogs, yes that could limit my options. But we have already discussed that we are not looking to get a dog right when we move in (if we do) and I would definitely wait until I felt more secure about the state of our marriage before doing that.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 4:03 PM, August 5th (Sunday)]

marji posted 8/5/2018 16:43 PM

Jade Yes, they can be very ass holey but Jade if they didn't have a great ability to be ass holes they would not have done what they did. At least that's the thought I've come to over these three awful years. I came to think I was being very unrealistic to expect my H to turn into a really good, sensitive, thoughtful, empathetic and unselfish, unself centered guy because I had discovered what a creepy, selfish, exploitative, unthoughtful, insensitive and unhealthy person he was.

So over the past three years there have been moments that were very painful--not the same details as you describe and not involving any betrayal but insensitive. It takes time for them to change but it's possible. Here's hoping.

JadeC posted 8/5/2018 16:49 PM

Thank you, Marji-Also quite flabbergasted that he had the nerve to be mad at me for asking him not to wear that shirt!

marji posted 8/5/2018 17:04 PM

Dogs Why do you both have to sign the lease? Why don't you sign yourself and if you decide to separate he leaves and you decide what you want to do but you've got a place to live.

If the place you're living in now is triggering and if you cannot afford the present one on your own and this new place is about the same cost then Im not sure I understand your dilemma unless it's a psychological matter-as in your concern that taking something new on is indicating you've decided to stay and you actually haven't.

But Dogs, you're talking about renting and not purchasing a new home. Part of the reason people rent is that it doesn't involve great commitment. Rental leases are usually for one or two years. Also wondering if you have ever given any thought to taking a roommate to help with rent if you decide to live on your own? Where I live that is a very common solution to rent costs and if you have your own place then you can pick and choose. As we keep saying here to you, you are very young and you deserve to be with someone who is enhancing your life--not giving you a burden. And surely you need not continue to live with this person for purely financial reasons notwithstanding that we all understand that issue.

marji posted 8/5/2018 17:12 PM

Sorry, Jade but these past three years have me surprised by very little-My H would get angry over things too--things that he had no right to be angry about--things that gave him an opportunity to show his care, his remorse, his love and his empathy--he very often failed the test. He now works a 12 step program for SAs--not to deal with urges and fantasies as such but to deal with very inappropriate and destructive anger that's rooted in self centeredness.

Don't know if your H is working an SA program but the focus is really on underlying character issues--they feel resentment a lot; they get angry; they feel this and that--and what they need to feel is care for others. Guess at its simplest, it's their developing sensitivity and empathy and taking every opportunity--such as hearing that something is upsetting us, triggering us, whatever--to show care about us and not themselves.

Over the past years I've often said to my H and to our C that H's feelings "always seem to trump mine" and Im the injured party; he's the one with the self-pity that lies behind the angry--but he's not been injured--he's injured himself and the relationship.

But again, if your H is working with a good program, if he's working with good counseling, if he wants to become worthy of you, then there is hope--he's just to keep working at being right.

marji posted 8/5/2018 17:19 PM

Wtf SAs can recover; they can work very hard to stay sober but it can be a life long process. My H attends a group that some have been attending for over 20 years. And some more than once a week. Some women in my SANON group have been dealing with SA issues, trauma, struggles for over 15 years.

You are very young. You have choices. If your H is truly SA--and a ONS does not an SA prove--he should be making every effort to really learn whether he is or not and that can take months and many visit to SA meetings --then yes, it's a major hurdle that many would not have chosen to accept had they known. If you have not already, I would attend as many SANON meetings as possible--you might get a better idea of what you want to do after speaking and listening to SANON survivors.

Wtf2014 posted 8/5/2018 19:09 PM

Marji: I appreciate your insight. At the moment I feel very detached to WH. I know I am young, and this can be an opportunity to get out now rather than later. I have been reading all I can find on SA. And I know there are many different cases of it. WH only took a test and scored 8, showing that he shows signs of SA. And he has opened up to me about his struggles, which I have been clueless about and definitely think are not normal or that I'm ok with. We're in a rural area, so not sure if many SA resources will be nearby. For the mean time, I'm not ready to work on the marriage. I need to heal from all this and mourn my past H and marriage. And I need to get strong. I realized I cannot help WH or "fix" us. Only he can do that for himself.

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