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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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SI Staff posted 1/26/2019 13:39 PM

For BS's who have been or are in a relationship with a Sex Addict.

dontsaylovely posted 1/26/2019 15:21 PM

“Welcome" to 19. No one wants to be here. But there is help, kindness and common cause in these pages. Please feel free to express your needs. The resources on this page are specifically for people in the unique situation you’ve found yourself in. This information comes from the real-world experiences of spouses of Sex Addicts. We are not professionals and are only sharing what has worked (or hasn’t) in our lives. There are members here who have been dealing with this a long time and know people who have been in active recovery for 10, 15, 20 years. Read other’s stories and share your own.

It is possible to have a viable marriage after exposure. It’s hard work but possible. It’s also possible to have that same kind of happiness and fulfillment if you separate. For some people this is a deal breaker. Both outcomes are okay and a personal decision based on your own circumstances. Take your time to learn as much as possible and explore your options before making a decision – there is no need to rush.

List of resources for Spouses/Partners of SA:

This is the advice and list of resources compiled from past and current posters on this thread dealing with a possible or confirmed SA partner. Educate yourself about SA and codependency. (More on codependency in the second post.) Focusing on yourself and your own recovery will strengthen you to deal with the SA and the impact on your life, whether you choose to stay with your SA or not.

The SA must (generally accepted advice) seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). The SA must work their recovery on their own. Even if the SA doesn’t get help, the spouse needs to get counseling to recover from the trauma of being married to a sex addict. Be sure that the therapists are CSATs and/or trained in sex addiction and trauma. If you are in a remote area, many CSATs will skype their sessions. Contact some through online searches. Post here if you see someone you like. Maybe you can get recommendations through private messaging.

12 step meetings should be considered mandatory for SAs. They are also highly recommended for spouses. The IRL support of others going through the same process is invaluable. They are also a great resource for finding CSATS to work with. There are other avenues to recovery but 12 step programs are the most accessible and typically recommended. Real recovery work is HARD and isn't an excuse. An addict working the steps is digging deep into their own self.

Podcast Recommendations for partners of SA:
Marnie Breecker really gets it and was a spotlight in the dark for some of our members:
Part 1 (25 min): http://theaddictedmind.com/episode-21-relational-betrayal-trauma-marnie-breecker/
Part 2 (42 min): http://theaddictedmind.com/episode-22-relational-betrayal-trauma-marnie-breecker-part-2/
Another good podcast: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betrayalrecoveryradio

Book recommendations compiled over time and suggested by members:

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal, by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. (An essential read regarding trauma of spouses.)
2. Hope and Freedom For Sexual Addicts and Their Partners, by Milton Magness. (Primer for SA education for both SA and spouse. Great first book.)
3. Stop Sex Addiction, by Milton Magness. (Nice explanation of how the process of recovery ideally works with practical advice)
4. Silently Seduced, Kenneth M. Adams, deals with Covert Incest – when parents make their children partners. Excellent insight into childhood issues resulting in SA adult.
4. Facing Heartbreak, by Stefanie Carnes and Anthony Rodriguez. This is a workbook for partners of SAs. (workbook)
5. Intimate Treason, Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction, by Claudia Black and Cara Tripodi. (workbook)
6. The Betrayal Bond, by Patrick Carnes. (Very good book for anyone in a dysfunctional relationship.)
7. Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts, by Stefanie Carnes. This could be considered the "bible." It has some info that may not be pertinent to your situation but each chapter is stand alone, so to speak.
8. 
Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets, by Claudia Black PhD.
9. Intimacy Anorexia, by Douglas Weiss. (Just the book for both SAs and spouses suffering from Intimacy and Sexual Anorexia.)
10. Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction, by Patrick Carnes.
11. The Storm of Sex Addiction by Connie Lofgreen- a newer book but highly recommended by recent members
12. Sex Addiction by Robert Weiss. Is recommended as a book for clinicians but comes highly recommended by a spouse here.
13. Real Hope, True Freedom, by Milton Magness and Marsha, primarily for partners. While there really isn't any "new" information, it is extremely useful, much of the format is Q&A. They cover many of the questions we all have and ask here. Comes strongly recommended.
14. The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel Van Kolk, this details the trauma your body has been through.
15. Sex Addiction: The Partner's Perspective, by Paula Hall
16. Treating Trauma from Sexual Betrayal: The Essential Tools for Healing, by Dr. Kevin B. Skinner
17. The Porn Addicts Wife: Surviving Betrayal and Taking Your Life Back, by Sandy Brown
18. After a Good Man Cheats: How to Rebuild Trust and Intimacy with your Wife, by Caroline Madden
19. The Porn Pandemic: A Simple Guide to Understanding and Ending Pornography Addiction- Andrew Ferebee

Online Resources for Spouses/Partners (meetings online or in person):
S-Anon (for the spouses/partners of SAs): http://www.sanon.org
Link for meetings in AUS. http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetingsaustralia.html
Link for meetings in the UK
http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetingsuk.html
Link for meetings in the US (by state)
http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetingsus.html
All other areas
http://www.sanon.org/meetings/meetinglocations.html
SANON isn't for everyone, they aren't perfect, but at least there is the company of others who have BTDT. And they are often an excellent resource for information about CSATs in your area, those who are good, those who accept insurance, etc. 12 step work is just good common sense and a way to interact with people in a healthy way. Especially for spouses.

COSA (spouses/partners/children of SAs) http://www.cosa-recovery.org
It's likely that you will not immediately find a meeting date and location online. You have to make a phone call which will be returned by a volunteer who will provide you with information. This is for security, to weed out crazies who want to come to meetings.

Omar Minwalla's Thirteen Dimensions of Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma (SAIT) Among Partners and Spouses Impacted by Sex Addiction©. It will come up in a web search. This is also highly recommended.


The websites of Dr. Milton Magness and Marsha Means are very helpful. Dr. Magness has YouTube videos, also. He is very clear on the need to alleviate the trauma of the spouses. Marsha Means has a whole online support program.

Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center - POSARC
www.posarc.com. This site is up to date on new findings, research and current events.

A website with good info on boundaries for dealing with an SA is: 
http://joy2meu.com/Personal_Boundaries.htm

Finding a Counselor or Therapist:
Look for one that is CSAT certified or specializes in trauma. Recognize that a poor therapist can actually hinder your healing if they do not have these qualifications. (some without may be good for you but many are not and you do not need to add therapy trauma to your issues).

To find a CSAT (Certified Sex Addict Therapist), look for one that specializes in dealing with spouses and trauma. http://www.sexhelp.com/sex-addiction-help/sex-addiction-therapists
www.sexhelp.com (Patrick Carnes main site, the founding expert of SA, there are many resources and info on SA)
- APSATS: The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists, advocates for the ethical care and relational healing for all those impacted by sexual addiction and betrayal trauma. Lists of providers that are CCPS (Certified Clinical Partner Specialists) and CPC (Certified Partner Coaches) who subscribe to a developing treatment model that acknowledges and responds to the traumatic stress found in partners affected by sex addiction.

Websites/Articles:
Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center - POSARC
www.posarc.com. This site is up to date on new findings, research and current events.
The websites of Dr. Milton Magness and Marsha Means are very helpful. Dr. Magness has YouTube videos, also. He is very clear on the need to alleviate the trauma of the spouses. Marsha Means has a whole online support program.
http://www.recoverynation.com: An online community with online recovery workshops for both the SA and the spouse. (This should not replace seeing a CSAT and going to SA meetings for the sex addict but is a great addition to those things.)
Omar Minwalla's Thirteen Dimensions of Sex Addiction-Induced Trauma (SAIT) Among Partners and Spouses Impacted by Sex Addictionhttps://theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/thirteen-dimensions-of-sex-addiction-induced-trauma-sait-among-partners-and-spouses-impacted-by-sex-addiction/

12 steps for S-Anon: (COSA is very similar)
1. We admitted we were powerless over sexaholism - that our lives had become unmanageable. 

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Humanist version for AA, can be modified for SA:
http://realisticrecovery.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/12-steps-humanist-version/
Not everyone is a believer in a higher power. This version works for them.

For SAs:
The SA must seek treatment with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist]
12 step meetings are mandatory for SAs as generally recommended by CSATS.

Online resources for SAs:
Find a CSAT: http://www.sexhelp.com/sex-addiction-help/sex-addiction-therapists

Sexaholics Anonymous: (Recommended by most CSATS, more stringent definition of healthy sexual behavior) At this site there is information for the SA and spouse that may be helpful. http://www.sa.org/
SAA: 
 http://saa-recovery.org/
SLAA: http://www.slaafws.org/ (for sex and love addicts)
Recovery Nation is an online community with online recovery workshops for both the SA and the spouse. (This should not replace seeing a CSAT (see below) and going to SA meetings (see above) for the sex addict but is a great addition to those things.) http://www.recoverynation.com
http://www.candeocan.com This is an excellent source of information. They focus on the porn aspect of SA.

There is often mental illness associated with SA. Consider that a psychiatric evaluation be a part of the diagnosis, NOT to excuse the behavior but to facilitate recovery. Bipolar disorder and its similar counterpart bipolar 2 often have a hypersexuality component that drive an addiction. This link is a broad overview. It has links for further investigation.
http://bipolar.about.com/cs/hypersex/a/aa_hypersex.htm
We spouses have been betrayed in the worst way possible. Repeatedly. This is TRAUMA. Seek help from an IC who can help with this. (See recommended book, The Body Keeps Score by Dr. Bessel Van Kolk).

Many people will tell you that there is no such thing as sex addiction. They cite the omission of SA in the DSM-4. This is the same publication that claimed autism was caused by the mother being unable to bond with their child. The label serves to direct the TREATMENT, and whether this is a “disease” or compulsivity. If the label enables the extinction of the behavior, go for it. Just don't allow yourself to make excuses for a spouse who is “sick.” No truly recovered addict will ever tell you they don't own the behavior. There is “hope and freedom” from SA. Whether you stay in the relationship or not.
These recommendations lean heavily toward 12 step work because it’s been seen to work. Other paths may have equal success. But 12 steps have the benefit of being free and widely available, if only online or by phone.

dontsaylovely posted 1/26/2019 15:23 PM

Here we are. 18 x 999. 17,982 posts since its’ beginning, not sure when this forum was added.
Here are some thoughts on Codependency as it relates to sex addiction. (Used him as the SA but could just as easily be her. Choice of gender based on the majority posting here).

As a way of explanation let’s address the term "codependent." It's a hot button! It seems to be widely misunderstood. Codependent does not mean that you have any role in the addict's choices and behavior. You did not CHOOSE him because of some unmet needs or because your inner child needs to right the wrongs of the past. One long member was told this was the very thing back in 2008. Sure got her knickers in a knot.

Now, SA therapists and researchers use this term to describe the damage and trauma to one's soul when living with an active addict, EVEN IF YOU HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE BEHAVIOR. MOST of us know what it's like to live with a cranky, secretive person as the addict deals with the mechanism of addiction. The addict is constantly tap dancing to remember his lies and figuring out how to explain discrepancies in his story. Most of us knew SOMETHING was wrong in our marriage and we began our own dance, trying to fix things about ourselves that weren't broken in the first place, trying to figure out what would make our partners happy, general appeasement, all at the price of our peace of mind. That has elements of codependency.

Or maybe not. Where is the line between codependency and being a responsive, empathetic and attentive spouse? This isn't clear to many of us.

In the words of Lionne, member since 2009: “But I KNOW I exhibited codependent behavior and, unbeknownst to me, I enabled it. I made excuses for late hours, grouchiness, and my lack of a normal sex life. I did it for tons of reasons, many of which have roots in my FOO, a messed-up group for certain. 12 step work helped me identify this and stop it. I never really "worked" the steps, and don't attend meetings any more although we socialize with some of the couples we've met through SANON and SA. IMO, 12 steps are a good, mindful way to live one's life and interact with others.

All this to say, I think codependency is terribly unhealthy pattern in relationships. It may not apply to you. But I believe it's worth considering it because it is so very dysfunctional. Think about it, take what you need and leave the rest.”

BTW, if you acknowledge that some people ARE codependent in a relationship with an addict, there's compelling evidence that this disappears once the addictive behavior is extinguished.

Be well!

Shocked123 posted 1/27/2019 14:13 PM

Lionne,
How are you doing? Thinking of you and hoping you are getting some sleep and are well surrounded.
We’re here when you need us.

Lionne posted 1/27/2019 18:14 PM

Several pages in, a poster by the name of Somber created a list of things I classify as "self Care." It the best thing you'll do for yourself. You can't control the addict, the addiction, you can take steps to regain yourself and heal against this trauma.
Here's her list:

1. Think about what makes you happy.
This won’t be our WH’s but something just for us. Perhaps gardening which is a great spring activity. Baths, walking, reading, favourite snack Or spending time with a best friend or child. Think about one thing and be sure to do it often.

2. Stop telling lies about yourself
I think we all have started to believe the lies about ourselves. We have been emotionally abused and led to think so much less of ourselves. None of it is true, we have value and amazing things about each of us. We have all lied about our feelings, I am sure about that one! We lie that we are fine to others but truthfully we are all struggling. The more we tell the truth to ourselves (even an IC, a friend, a SI thread) the more truth we live.

3. Keep a journal
This helps unload those heavy truths and feelings. It can also help locate our problem areas that need to be worked on and show us patterns in our behaviour. Set aside free time, 15 minutes, and write down everything you are feeling without censoring!! Frequently thought and feelings that we have suppressed will come up. If your worried that someone will find it, shred it then! The point is to get those thoughts and feelings out. Keeping it is optional.

4. Be aware of your own feelings
It’s become easy to worry about everyone else’s feelings and ignore our own. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of our life and focus on doing but not being. Ask yourself many times throughout the day: How am I feeling? Identify the emotion and score that feeling on a scale of 0-5. It helps us identify and get back in touch with our inner selves.

5. Try doing what you fear
Step outside of that comfort zone, even if it is a small step. Do it more and more and you will build more and more confidence in yourself. We will never fully discover ourselves and the amazing abilities we have if we don’t take risks...big or small. We will learn that failure won’t break us!

[This message edited by Lionne at 7:51 PM, April 13th (Saturday)]

delilah2016 posted 1/27/2019 20:38 PM

Lionne - we are just over 3 years out and those are the exact issues I'm dealing with. Mine is very remorseful and has come a long way, but still lies about stupid stuff. I just read the book "should I stay or should I go" by Dr Ramani "something". There are two books by that name, the one by Dr Ramani is about staying or leaving a narcissist. My husband was sexually abused and has a narc mother, so I feel sorry for him a lot. For myself, I want out. More and More every day, I want out. But we have two children and have worked hard for 31 years to be financially stable. If I leave, I fear what will happen to him as the father of my kids and also I will struggle financially. My husband is a covert narc, so he is generally a good guy, but is still very selfish and manipulative. I've studied narcissism a lot, so I don't fall for the manipulation anymore, but Dr. Ramani says "undoing" a narcissist is next to impossible, so being married to one is a life sentence. I am working hard now to set and KEEP my boundaries and I'm taking it one day at a time. I am also a recovery codependent, something that comes from my FOO issues, not his SA, but it causes me more boundary issues for me.

The other issue we have is sex. Mine is taking Prozac and Busbar and is having trouble with ED. After dealing with sexual anorexia for a large portion of our marriage due to his porn use, his ED is a HUGE trigger for me. We don't have sex due to my triggers with his ED and I constantly fear that he will return to his porn use.

That was a long post to say that I feel sorry for my husband because I know he's trying and doing his best. He had a lot of trauma as a young child and I have empathy for that. The question is, should I have to deal with the consequences of his trauma for the rest of my life? If he hadn't caused me trauma, I think I could easily feel sorry and have compassion. The fact that the way he has dealt with his trauma causes me trauma is the dilemma for me.

DestroyedWife80 posted 1/27/2019 23:16 PM

I am not sure how your H is, but for mine the porn is the gateway That is where I have an issue with it.

IMO- it's like alcohol. Some people are ok using small quantities of it on occasion. But addicts (alcoholics) cannot use it at all because it leads them down a rabbit hole.

So sorry you are even having to deal with this issue!!!

Superesse posted 1/27/2019 23:46 PM

Lionne, sending SI sisterly hugs!!!

You asked why you are tending to feel sorry for him?

I have a thought: maybe it has to do with that old "dance of intimacy," where we respond in the only way we feel we can choose to help us feel more closeness, more cohesiveness (which we desire), or to help us cope in the middle of our own disappointment, by focusing on "our partner's pain," rather than our own pain? Maybe doing that mirroring step, temporarily blunts the real impact of their behavior on us?

I just offer these thoughts, as I've done the same....for years.

I mean, clearly he chose to take (another) step away from marital intimacy, and this behavior, coming at an already difficult transition time in your lives, just totally sucks!

It is exactly the opposite of the response he needed to be offering you, to heal the marital wounds for which he was responsible.

As you eloquently stated the other day, it gets down to what do you want to do, going forward. Do you think you can continue to mentally and emotionally compensate for these kinds of distancing behaviors? Do you think considering his behavior from a perspective which seems not to hurt so much - empathizing with him more - helps you feel better in the long run? Does listening to him as he tries to fix his "issues" again, serve your deepest needs?

Of course, I have no answers, but am thinking what a different dance step on your part might do for Lionne! Now, as to what that step may be, only you can envision. But no matter what, please know that many SI sisters' arms are outstretched right now to you!!

ashestophoenix posted 1/28/2019 07:35 AM

Lionne, for me, I can get confused about compassion, empathy and duty. Compassion is a good thing! I want to have it for me and others. Empathy is a good thing...unless it becomes overwhelming and without limits. And, if I see someone else suffering, what do I have to do? It's not like our partners got hit by a car and we need to call 911. They make poor decisions, lie to us, create distance and conflict, and destroy intimacy. Why should we have to fix that? Or take care of them? We don't.

I think my problem was a compassion trap: I worked so hard to understand and forgive my husband I forgot about me.

I agree that porn isn't as severe a violation as a real person, but I agree, it's a gateway to more severe acting out. And, you pointed out he's gotten more abusive than usual. And, he lied. Again. And we all know its the secrets and lies that are the most damaging to us.

So I feel compassion for my husband's suffering. I feel compassion for my suffering due to his stuff. I also feel hatred and rage for my husband...sometimes at the same time. My compassion reduces that hatred and rage, but what really reduces it is focusing on me and what I need.

Take time for yourself. Be gentle with yourself. You don't have to make big decisions right away. You can enact some boundaries and change your mind. Give yourself the gift of some time to figure out what you want to do. If we leave our partners because we MUST take care of ourselves, we can still feel compassion towards them.

We shouldn't have to suffer a life sentence because of our partner's trauma. It is their responsibility to address and heal from their trauma and to change. It's our responsibility to take care of ourselves.

ashestophoenix

secondtime posted 1/28/2019 07:47 AM

Lionne-

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

When I happened on my husband's relapse (his addiction is limited thus far to porn and masturbation), I shifted into feeling badly for him pretty quickly.

But, I'm a fairly compassionate person. I hurt when others around me are hurting. I don't wake up every day saying "My husband is feeling profound shame and embarrassment. Wooo hooo! He feels like utter crap. Yes!!!"

But, typical for me, anger sets in at the start of year two.

And, in the past 4ish months or so, it's been clear, again, that my husband is a dry drunk.

This time, it's different, though. Unfortunately, I can't leave..until we get out under from daycare costs...the financial consequences to me are too dire. But, I'm far more willing to call my husband out on his crap, now.

He's told me he's repeatedly lied to me to spare my feelings. I'm like..No. You lied to me to protect your addiction? Why?

Personally, I didn't really prepare myself for what I'd do if I had a husband living in purgatory, so to speak. Not completely recovered, but not getting high, either. I'm a black and white thinker. This grey never occurred to me, which is quite silly.

As for the rest. I actually believe my husband on everything else BUT anything related to his addiction. I've just moved on to accept I'll never be able to trust him with regards to his addiction.

Besides, I really don't have the time or energy to focus on monitoring him (four kids, two jobs, and grad school). And if my husband is hellbent on getting high...he'll figure out a new way to hide it from me. I'd rather focus on myself and try to get some self care in then spend that limited time trying to stay one step ahead of my husband and figure out new ways he can get high undetected that he hasn't thought about before..before he does. I can't quit my job to stay with him 24/7. I bring in 75% of my family's income. We'd lose our house and the kids couldn't eat. Being assured that he's telling the truth isn't worth that for me.

[This message edited by secondtime at 7:48 AM, January 28th (Monday)]

Lionne posted 1/28/2019 08:57 AM

This grey never occurred to me, which is quite silly.

That's me, too. He says he wasn't using it to masturbate. IDK and don't care much.

Super, good points and food for thought.

My counselor, long time ago, said I could never trust 100% what he said, I'd be able to trust that I would find out (years too late) and know what to do. Turns out it isn't that simple.

Second, I think you should cultivate some sort of exit plan even if you can't implement it for a while. That's the thing that is helping me, knowing I could walk away and still be financially secure.

I hate porn and he knows it. I don't care if it's white bread or extreme, it victimizes women and children. I have never heard a convincing argument that it doesn't, even from die-hard porn supporters. It's a conveniently ignored question.

Lionne posted 1/28/2019 09:57 AM

We were having a conversation about a certain author and her wife, a woman whose book I read and found helpful. Trouble is, she promoted honestly and integrity, overcame Addiction, dealt with a cheating husband, then went on to cheat on that same husband with this woman. I commented that I had no respect for her and discounted the content of her book.
His reply, "well, he cheated on her first so she's entitled."

SMH.

sami1234 posted 1/28/2019 13:46 PM

Haven't been on for a while. Doing ok. Just reading through this thread I'm three years out...dealing a LOT with what you all are dealing with. Lying, yeah, it's a thing. I now realize mine masturbates a lot. He's very private, especially about sex etc. and we really have never discussed this...even in therapy. There were other big issues at the time. Is he using porn? I dunno. I have told him I think it was the "gateway" to his other IRL issues for sure. DUH. So now I see he has taken a small hand sanitizer bottle and hidden lubricant in it for his own use. He doesn't know I know. I see it, I see how often he takes it with him, on travels, on trips, on outings, or I see it gets moved simply when I leave the house. This is a real trigger for me. I found him doing this before with a travel bottle and confronted him so now he's hiding it in this?? Really freaks me out. I talked to my IC about it. Talked about confronting him with it...I guess I need to understand what outcome I want because it's so easy for him just to hide it in something else. I just don't feel like I even know him. Messed up. Just wishing for honesty.

I think I want to see an MC to do this. I just think it's a can of worms right now and I am dealing with other family issues. My IC say he likely thinks about sex all the time. This little bottle activity is such a turn off for me that even if I wanted to have sex I wouldn't want to...gross. Just lies and deception.

Other than that? Hey, he's been great. Very attentive, kind, supportive in other ways. So it's all about sex. All the deception is about sex. Honestly, I have only been seriously deceived by three people in my life...every single one over sex. I could feel like there is something wrong with me, but I know that's not truth.

whoami62 posted 1/28/2019 16:25 PM

Did I stumble upon a condensed version of this thread ?
I too have a sex addicted H. His porn use was his dirty little secret for years until I discovered it in 2014. I was devastated ...at least I thought so at the time. He quit for awhile, but managed to slide backwards

I learned that it never really stopped and it led to an A with one of the chatroom / porn participants.

So I have been dealing with the double whammy since 11/18
We are trying to reconcile, but it hasn't been withoutups and downs.
He has been seeing an IC since October, one who specializes in SA.
I have met him since I was included in a session. I have mixed feelings about the guy.

Sometimes I think he is observing more than treating. I just found out today that as of 4/19 , he will not longer be accepting our insurance.
I haven't told my husband this yet..
Last week, I went to a meeting for wives of SA.It was a first time meeting for all of us ( 5 total )
I felt sort of relieved to be able to vent and discuss with other women dealing with this.
The group will only meet monthly.

It's scary to know that relapse is inevitable.
I am not sure I can handle it when it happens , even though there was an instance of H slipping in a non-sexual way.

I just can't seal with the lying and deception

secondtime posted 1/28/2019 16:30 PM

Second, I think you should cultivate some sort of exit plan even if you can't implement it for a while. That's the thing that is helping me, knowing I could walk away and still be financially secure.

Actually, I'm content with just having my husband move out.

He works part time. We can't afford to pay for dacyare and have him work full time, actually. After 20+ years of marriage, he's entitled to alimony and half of my pension. I'll still need to carry everyone on my health insurance.

So. I've told him. In 6 years, I can afford to help set him up in an apartment somewhere and pay rent. He needs to prepare for that reality. And, he'll be able to work full time..one kiddo will be out of the house, etc.

So...I'd rather stay married on paper or be legally separated and keep what I have vs. divorcing and losing half of everything.

I'm not interested in another relationship. I'm not afraid of spending the rest of my life without a partner. I'm Ok traveling by myself. I have hobbies waiting for me.

I don't feel right telling DH to sign a post nup that essentially puts him living in poverty for 30 years. He's still contributing to the household in ways that I value. He still does all the cooking, all the laundry, some of the errand running, and dealing with home maintenance. He does the mowing ad shoveling. When we don't have a baby at home, he does more of the volunteering in the school. He does homework with the kids, gets them to practices, changes 80% of the diapers..

I'm still getting convenience and ease out of our relationship..I always have. I think that's worth something, too.

marji posted 1/28/2019 17:04 PM

Lionne, dont know if the question of your feeling sorry for him is still active but my two cents worth is that it's not at all unusual for those of us betrayed by betrayers indulging in emotionless sex, either because they are SAs or just plain habitual users to feel sorry for them; their choice of betrayal is pathetic; it screams of low self esteem and unhappiness; it's seems clearly the choice of an unhappy, immature and disturbed individual dealing with life issues and stress in a most disgusting, unhealthy and depraved way. It also suggests a person who has had a very unfortunate family history of either abuse or neglect.

And so those of us who are compassionate, who do feel sorry for "people like that," those of us who sense the unhappiness behind the depraved behavior that's so typically chosen to deal with stress, feel sorry for the the drugee if you will, will often feel sorry for that person even if it's our H.

I did. Not all the time but at times. I spoke about movies that were made about affairs (Cary Grant Debra Kerr kinda thing) but no movies with nice music in the background about guys going off to massage parlors twice a week from work; looking around to make sure no one noticed them; no movies about guys spending hours secretly watching porn instead of using time for intimacy with their wives or other SOs. A movie like that would just show a pathetic, sorry ass guy. In effect a looser that the audience would just feel sorry for. A Tennessee Williams kind of pervert.

But your feeling sorry for your H surely does not have to dictate your choice in regard to him. So maybe the question to ask is not why you feel sorry but does feeling sorry have to translate into any specific type of behavior; any particular type of choice. And as so many have said here on SI, the anwser is no.

So bottom line is, you feel sorry for him because you are a caring and compassionate person and you've been dealing with this stuff long enough to know their bad choices and the lies that go along with them are symptomatic of a troubled mind and soul though hopefully that compassion,that feeling of sorrow for the betrayer doesn't have to dictate your choice of reaction. You're a wise woman, Lionne. You'll do the right thing; you'll make the right decision, the one that's right for you.

ashestophoenix posted 1/28/2019 17:15 PM

It's scary to know that relapse is inevitable.

WhoamI, relapse is NOT inevitable. They have a high rate of slips, especially at the start, and a high rate of relapse, but it's not inevitable. If they sincerely commit to recovery, not just sobriety, and commit to addressing the underlying trauma, they don't have to relapse.

ashestophoenix

secondtime posted 1/28/2019 18:24 PM

So much what Ashes said.

My husband relapsed because he wasn't in real recovery. That's the bottom line.

And he still really isn't in recovery. But, at least this time...

1. He's not willing to lie to me as much to protect his addiction..

and 2

He's willing to see a therapist that will help him, along with going to the 12 steps. At least my husband now sees that there's a disconnect.

We'll see what he does about it.

Lionne posted 1/28/2019 19:29 PM

Thanks for the affirmative, all. I really love you guys.

I agree, relapse isn't inevitable. It's often part of recovery but it's not guaranteed.

My husband relapsed(?) because he never took the program seriously. He never have up the ego centric part of himself that didn't feel that he had to be vulnerable and so, honest with his fellowship. He held on to the idea that he knew better than all the successful recovering people in the program. He was lying to himself and to everyone else.

And we(me) still have no control over whether or not they are sober. We can control only ourselves.

Second, I didn't mean to undermine your position. Your reasons for staying are your own and not very different from my original reasons. We make choices that are practical for our situations and try to make the best of it. It's not fair, we deserve healthy and fully functional relationships.

Love and LIGHT. L

secondtime posted 1/28/2019 23:46 PM

Lionne-
No worries. My exit plan will keep evolving as life does..Always good to be really thinking through things...

I hope you are able to rest better tonight, and just take care of you.

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