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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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veryhurt2018 posted 3/27/2019 16:14 PM

Thanks for letting us know about the show. If anyone wants to see it, you can google it on YouTube. I just watched it. Although I am not dealing with child porn, I COMPLETELY relate to what she went through and staying with my spouse. I never ever thought I would stay with my spouse if I found out he cheated, much less as many times as he did. They are sick and need help, it's not like they don't love you. I don't know how I would feel if it was child porn though. I think it's different when you're living it, and I'm not living that. I feel for her though.

DogsnBooks posted 3/27/2019 16:36 PM

Catching up on several pages here - ďwelcomeĒ to all newbies and sorry you have to be here. I am now over a year past DDay 1 and everyone has been very helpful to me. Stick around, and youíre sure to get good support.

Hereís my question of the day: How do I advocate for myself in therapy and get what I really need? How do I know if my therapist isnít able to be ďthe oneĒ that I need?

Iíve posted about my struggles in IC before and it hasnít really improved. I think part of it is that my therapist has ADHD (she told me so herself) and so sometimes something I say will make her think of something else and sheíll go on a tangent about her beach vacation or something random ... or sometimes sheíll completely forget stuff from session to session and ask me the same things all over again.

I feel like we waste our sessions talking about day-to-day stuff when what I really need is a deep dive into trauma processing. And she is supposed to be a trauma specialist. And she said we would start with the processing, but then we didnít. And she mentioned that sheís worried I may not have the stability and coping skills to do a deep dive (which is true, I probably donít) but then gave no advice or direction as far as what skills I should develop or try.

Basically, weíre at a standstill.

marchmadness posted 3/27/2019 19:56 PM

Watched the interview and it was exceedingly difficult, both watching her and the visible reactions from the panel. I have been through it and I still had a hard time reserving judgement at times. I kept wondering 1) how she could keep putting those emotions out there and 2) who was benefitting from this both emotionally and financially. I was so torn between sorrow, empathy, pity, and disappointment.

Lionne posted 3/28/2019 08:34 AM

Hi guys. I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment, dealing with the new discovery and a BIL who was hit by a car (he's out of ICU and in a step down unit) He's 79 lives with my niece, a raging alcoholic, his house is about to be foreclosed, no property taxes paid for YEARS, she is trying to negotiate to get some time to get anything of value out. I don't think he'll ever come home, especially if he has no home to come to.
Keep calling SANON. In this area, different groups are in charge of answering the phones, our phone line is very inefficient. You can also PM me with your general geographic area and I'll try to make contact.
Child porn? Yuch. Porn in general abuses and takes advantage of people, child porn is worse. My husband had (innocent) pictures of some teenagers, he still says it was completely benign, he was using them for a project, I DON'T think he crossed the line, using them as a masturbatory fix, but it still is a slippery slope.
"the best predictor" I agree completely. Staying with an addict of any kind predicts that you will forever be "standing on a postage stamp" as a thread in general talks about. If I were a young woman, I'd leave and start again. But my younger self wasn't secure enough to contemplate being alone. And I had young kids. My new IC, not the best fit for me, but she has some good insights, said that there are 3 paths this could take: 1) he completely reforms and becomes the ideal mate 2) I leave, feeling life is too short and I don't want this drama in my life anymore 3) I stay and practice extreme self care, enjoy whatever there is to enjoy in this marriage, and live the best way I can without major emphasis on his addiction. That's what I'm doing for now.
He IS digging into his dysfunction. I'm insisting on being kept apprised of his recovery work, in a general sense. He is trying to "bring it up" but he "doesn't want to start a whole thing," meaning have me get angry or sad or whatever. Tough toenails, buddy, YOU did this, these are the consequences.
I'm so sorry we are all in this position. It is truly torturous.

ashestophoenix posted 3/28/2019 08:38 AM

Years ago I would have been so certain that I would leave my husband in a heartbeat if he was unfaithful. Fast forward to today when I'm older, financially entangled, and have an incurable, chronic illness and am dependent on his employer's health insurance. And some of us have young or disabled children. I regret my lack of sensitivity and awareness in my younger days.

I didn't watch the View but I read her story in the Times and saw the letters in response. Child porn is such an extreme crime. Yet much of porn feels like degradation to me, and definitely can be violent against women. Let alone the sexualization and objectification of teenage girls is everywhere in our culture. I thought she was unwise to publicize this. The fear, anger and revulsion to child porn is understandable. I have it. But I also have fear, anger and revulsion of much of what my husband thought, felt and did. We suffer from this awareness. And we suffer from being associated with it even though we are innocent.

I don't think there is a broad understanding of this addiction. We're not safe speaking about it in many circumstances. Yet to recover from our trauma, we need to speak about it. The silence is more suffering for us. I think we have to be very, very careful who we talk to. Even my IC, who is very compassionate, was horrified by some of what I told her and a bit judgmental of me. We worked it out, but it stung.

I'm so grateful for SI for this forum and for the partners here. We must be able to talk about our experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

None of us asked for this. None of us knew what was in store and I doubt any of us would have said, 'Yep, sign me on! I'm looking forward to this adventure with an SA.' We were lied to, manipulated, and gaslighted. In my case, therapists believed my husband's lies and denied my truth and they gaslighted me about my "perfect husband" and what was my problem not appreciating all that I had? It stuns me to this day.

Dogs, you already answered your question about your therapist. You are feeling stuck and not making progress. It's time for a new one. One therapist I tried was losing her memory and was unable to admit it (she would take copious notes) but really, she didn't remember who I was when I came in. I dropped her and subsequently learned that she had to stop working due to memory loss.

ashestophoenix

ashestophoenix posted 3/28/2019 08:46 AM

I subscribe to a bunch of blogs for partners of SA's. Honestly, I wish it was gardening blogs, but this is my life. I read an interview by a partner with the man who is an addiction specialist who did "Your Brain on Porn". Mostly he focuses on internet porn addiction, and not the broader categories of SA that we know. I believe that all SA's are addicted to internet porn where some stay and others add in all the crud we know about.

He said that he doesn't believe shame causes the addiction. But the addiction causes shame. He also said he doesn't believe that attachment disorder/intimacy disorder causes the addiction. But he does believe the addiction causes intimacy disorder and makes the addict incapable of love.

He also said, in answer to the partner's question, that these addicts get "dumber" since they weaken their prefrontal cortex. The partner said over time her (now ex) husband got more stupid. I saw that as well with my husband.

It reminded me of Lundy Bancroft's book where he talked about what we were facing with our partners: addiction, immaturity, mental illness, abuse or a combination of these problems. In my case, it is all the above. They amplify each other and make treatment/recovery very, very difficult.

Wish I had never gotten involved with any of this. And, as I have so sadly said before, I now don't love my husband at all and struggle to respect him. I have emotionally divorced him and that's not an optimal way to live. I think about divorce every day.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 3:05 PM, March 28th (Thursday)]

Lionne posted 3/28/2019 09:09 AM

I don't think there is a broad understanding of this addiction. We're not safe speaking about it in many circumstances. Yet to recover from our trauma, we need to speak about it. The silence is more suffering for us. I think we have to be very, very careful who we talk to. Even my IC, who is very compassionate, was horrified by some of what I told her and a bit judgmental of me. We worked it out, but it stung.

As usual, I second everything you say, Ashes. I do have affection for my husband, even respect for the hard work he is doing and yes, for the core person he is. I am still disgusted by the things he did and said, but I feel very sorry for the damaged little boy, who carries his hurt into his 60s. I'm staying, for now, I'm indulging myself, very fortunate that I can afford to do just about everything I want.

Stupid. Yep. It's as though they have no connection between what they did, what the consequences are and what their own morality told them was bad. It's as though they are fighting themselves.

veryhurt2018 posted 3/28/2019 09:45 AM

Lionne - I'm so sorry to hear about your BIL and niece. That's horrible, and I hope with time, your BIL can get out of the hospital. Getting old is very hard. I'm dealing with my father right now so I completely understand. They are financially secure though, so I'm very thankful for that. I pray that things work out for you and your family. I hope you're not the only one that is dealing with us and you can lean on someone to give you support. Hugs!!

marji posted 3/28/2019 09:53 AM

Dogs Generally if after working with an IC for a considerably long time--let's say weekly for about 4-6 months--we have doubts that they whether that IC is the right one for us then that IC is not the right one for us.

Therapists have all different ways and styles and practice all types of methods; they have all types of experience, knowledge, training and degrees. But generally, a therapist should not be using your time, your money and your problems to talk about their vacation or anything random. An IC might mention something personal but if they are acting professionally it would normally be something related to you and the issue you are dealing with.

Also, one of the aspects of a good IC, something that many of us can be amazed by and find very helpful if not crucial to the therapeutic experience is his or her good, if not amazing memory. My therapist can remind me of something I mentioned many many sessions ago-I've often expressed amazement and I hear the same from friends--I would be very uncomfortable with someone I had to keep reminding.

Dogs, you are describing someone here who does not seem at all helpful. You say this person is a trauma specialist--did you check out her background: education, professional associations, possible publications, references, etc before engaging her services? If she thinks it's not wise to be delving deep with you in sessions then it seems you should be seeking another therapist who does feel like helping you do that work. You're right--if she thinks you need different skills to do a different level of work then she should be helping you develop those--

So bottom line, if you feel you are wasting time with this IC then you need find another.

DogsnBooks posted 3/28/2019 13:18 PM

Marji I didnít verify my ICís qualifications because my good friend actually somewhat knew her from being in that circle (friend is currently in grad school to become a therapist) and backed her.

I have a session tonight so Iím going to do my best to be frank with her about what I need and that if she canít help me with that, that I need to move on.

It really sucks that I may have to dive back into the search again. When I called all the dozens (I mean I seriously called like 20) of therapists before, NONE of them had any experience with partners of SA. And to have to rip that bandaid off of all the disgusting, disturbing things my WH has done all over again ... Iím ready to, and NEED to dive into this head-on, and now I may have to go through all the preliminary getting-to-know you, trust-building stuff all over again first. UGH.

[This message edited by DogsnBooks at 1:19 PM, March 28th (Thursday)]

secondtime posted 3/28/2019 13:48 PM

Dogs-
Do you think you need a CBT?

The therapist I'm seeing is more talk therapy. I don't get as much out of it, TBH.

If you can't find someone that knows about sa, can you at least find someone that knows how to deal with spouses of addicts?

On some level, I personally think that the different flavors of addiction really don't matter.

[This message edited by secondtime at 4:56 AM, March 29th (Friday)]

whoami62 posted 3/28/2019 18:52 PM

I posted in the general forum today , but I just wanted to put it out there that today was another Dday for me...
Found out my SAWH has been sending money to a woman that I was aware of , but didn't realize that he was involved in an online-EA
He has been sending her money to * help * her
She is living in Venezuela and all the news out of there is bad...I am just a mess

We had an issue with her 4 months ago too when I caught him sending and receiving photos , which he has done on and off since 2016

So a fucking terrible day and I am without an IC at the moment

marji posted 3/28/2019 20:03 PM

Dogs If you are in an SANON group you can ask for therapists who specialize I helping people dealing with SA partners; if you are not in a group I would urge you to find one because they can be of help in many ways including referrals. If there is no group within a reasonable distance you can join one by phone or Skype and again, ask for referrals in your area. You can also call SANON International and explain that you are looking for a therapist for a SA related problem-they may be able to guide you to an experienced professional.

Not sure what you mean by preliminary trust building stuff--a therapist that is really good for you will know how to guide you in a way that feels comfortable for you. You should not have to be guiding your therapist; it's your money and your time--I hope this person you are seeing is not a graduate student and you her practice. You deserve a truly competent professional.

So yes, it does suck that you have dive back into the search again but it will be well worth it to find someone who knows how to help you. Again, call SANON for referrals.

marji posted 3/28/2019 20:09 PM

Dogs You can also call IITP-that is the Carnes institute that issues certificates to therapists who have taken their SA course-call and explain you are looking for a therapist who can help a partner of an SA. Even if there is not one In a reasonable distance from where you live you might be able to do telephone or Skype sessions.

Superesse posted 3/28/2019 20:34 PM

whoamI62, there aren't words to express how much this kind of discovery sets you back. I want you to know that it hurts me too, even reading this, how much shock it brings you. So I just want to send you my support right now, when you JFO, AGAIN!

Take ANOTHER deep breath, and ask yourself what you want to DO about this...that is within YOUR control to do? Because you cannot "wish" them into being healthy. That would usually be our first response, right? As in: "What I want to DO, is show him why this isn't working for me..." But for that exchange to work, we have a rational partner, which it doesn't seem these SA are. So, considering the circumstances of our reality, we HAVE to look at what is best for our own survival first, and plan accordingly, right? (Sorry if this offends anyone. It isn't selfishness, it is survival! They tell airplane passengers to put their own oxygen mask on, first, before helping their infant. Similar situation, IMHO.)

(((WhoamI))))

Somber posted 3/28/2019 21:07 PM

Lionne,I too hope you have someone IRL to support you through this additional stress and heartache. Your poor niece...I imagine he is going through withdrawls in hospital as well which creates delusions in the elderly. It is all so tough to take in, hang in there and take care of yourself.

I am going to keep trying to get a hold of SANON, fingers crossed there is a group in my area.

Dogs, I hope your session went well tonight and you addressed your concerns. I also agree that there may be a better therapist out there for you. There is certainly some great advice and suggestion from the wise thread members here.

whoami62 posted 3/28/2019 21:27 PM

One component that i am dealing with is that the last time his addiction reared it's ugly head is that it was discovered just before my daughter from a previous marriage came to visit for Thanksgiving
Like a day or two before her and her partner arrived...

Now we are about to travel to be with them for a concert in Boston and now I am feeling forced , once again to pretend that all is well and we are the perfect parent/step parent dynamic

Not only the two of them , but my sister and her SO, my childhood BF ( who is one of the few people that I confided in about WH's affair and also my sister and her SO are all supposed to come to the apartment I rented and have dinner that I will make , since I am the chef of the fam...it's all on me, to make a fabulous meal on the night of our 22nd anniversary
I am a big fat fraud

Somber posted 3/28/2019 21:32 PM

Whoami, I am so sorry to hear that you have another DDay, one is enough to overcome! Your WH is still acting out and that is very hurtful. Listen to the great advice on here and take care of yourself. It is time for us to put ourselves first. That is what I am trying to do right now but it is very difficult.
I understand how you feel, I hate pretending. It gets harder and harder to do. I became a pro at it but have a harder time years later putting on a show. Good luck, focus on your connections with other people and put his SA on pause and try to enjoy yourself.

I too have another DDay, sadly my DDAy's have been endless. I am obsessively searching for more and have no idea why I need more proof. I think it is to use against him when he tries to minimize and gaslight me. This has been how he responds to everything I address. I feel like such a fool. I have been quietly collecting messages and saving them for a couple months. I have been noting how normal he acts while acting out through messaging other women . I notice how he tries to have sex with me within 24 hours of sexting other women (most recent one is a school mom friend ~ clearly not a friend). I feel like me sitting back and watching has helped me put in perspective the level of sickness my WH has or the narcissistic traits he possesses. I feel numb and in shock and am unsure of how to address it with him. I will never trust him and have learned that there is no "good times" to try to get back to. The "good times" was just an act and he was cheating on me then too. All beautiful moments in my life ruined by his cheating...when we were engaged, newly weds, while pregnant (sex clubs), with first birth (pictures of another woman noted when I took our first picture of our son on his cell) and right after our second child (dating sites). I stopped searching and rugswept as I so badly wanted our family to work out and he was damn good at living a double life, I allowed him to convince me he was faithful. Then my instincts grew and I found he met an old girlfriend and comfortably lied to me. We went to MC and while I thought we were working on our marriage he started a 2 year long affair which I found out about last April. Since then, we did IC and MC and he lied to me and the MC, he has made no changes or efforts to work on his SA or substance abuse. All the while he is still messaging other women...I addressed it months ago and he seems to screw with my mind and give me crumbs of hope. The past few months I have been silent and his true colours couldn't be more clear! I am so hurt and although I am coming up on one year of the affair that really destroyed my marriage, I am realizing that the continued affair attempts are destroying me more.
I need out but don't know how to leave...I need help...I want to address it all one last time and separate but I am afraid of the high conflict separation that he will create. Plus him playing victim and if that doesn't work the blame shifting, emotional abuse and power struggle he will create. I've seen it all before with him when I have addressed anything and threatened to leave. I expect it. I fear it because this time I really want out!!!

Thanks for letting me vent, didn't realize how much I needed too until I started typing..

we HAVE to look at what is best for our own survival first, and plan accordingly, right?
I don't see this as offensive, I think for some of us this is necessary!

[This message edited by Somber at 9:41 PM, March 28th (Thursday)]

secondtime posted 3/29/2019 04:56 AM

Whoami-

What would happen if you didn't go and pretend that you are all a happy family?

Can you imagine the absolute worst thing? How does it play out? Can you handle it, if in the remote chance it does happen? How can you prepare for that?

While not quite the same, a few weeks back, I was hugely triggered by going to my kids' school for lunch duty. I was pretty sure minimally I'd start crying or have another panic attack.

So, know what? I said..screw it. I'm not going in. I also was "bad" and didn't give the school notice. I looked at my husband and told him taking care of myself was worth more than the financial losses, etc of not doing what I "should" have been doing.

Honoring myself, once, in that moment was super empowering for me.

I'm more willing to speak my truth with my husband. I know its somewhat wasted because he's still a dry drunk and a few things have happened where I question his sobriety..recently. But, it does help me move along and refocus on what I need to, rather than spinning over DH's behavior.

Somber posted 3/29/2019 05:31 AM

Whoami, I agree with secondtime...try to think of and prepare yourself for if you donít go and cancel. Time to put yourself first!
I am not good at advice right now, much too traumatized! But I did find when I had to attend things I just ignored my WH and tried hard to focus on other guests as a distraction. I am suppose to host Easter and I think I may screw that too! Pretending for the sake of everyone else to enjoy themselves isnít necessary. Choose you and do what you need to do to heal.
(((Whoami))) (((everyone on here)))

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