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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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Lionne posted 4/13/2019 09:27 AM

I have lots of friends but none have my back like you guys. I can't be as honest with them since they wouldn't understand. I've tried, gingerly.
Regardless of level of recovery, I'm dealing with an aspect of this addiction that will most likely NEVER go away. Bigshotitis. Even in our earlier marriage it's reared its ugly head. He will "be happy when..." Fill in the blanks, he gets a boat, and advanced degree, a prestigious job, gets rich, blah blah blah. I facilitated all of that buying him stuff to support his interest du jour, some of it was used once or twice. Some of it more often. He had an invention. We went to a bunch of meetings where he was told it wasn't a marketable idea. Those experts were all wrong of course, he pursued it in all kinds of ways including $12000 spent on a document that was basically boilerplate with a few personalized pages interspersed. He was furious at me when I pointed that out. (It was pretty obvious) I believe the female hunting was similar, always looking for the perfect woman. I suspect he believed that of me until real life appeared.
He spends hours everyday updating our financial portfolio. His conclusions of how well they are doing is distorted by his lack of knowledge. We have a financial advisor, I trust him, maybe some changes need to be made, but who's to say those changes will be positive!? No crystal ball here. Financially we are doing very well. We have significant savings in various places, and live off SS and two pensions. We still make more than we spend. Our net worth is higher than I'd ever imagine, yet we still spend carefully, while doing fun stuff.
So why does he make an appointment to meet with a different financial group? He thinks they'll do better? We don't NEED better, and someone new could be far worse.
He has to feed the endorphin rush.
I don't think that will ever change.

marji posted 4/13/2019 10:34 AM

O Goodness, gracious --everyone thank you for your caring but I was quoting whoami. Her words of never being happy again had moved me so as well. I've since edited her words properly into quotation mode but Somber, Ashes your words are so wise and important for all of us to digest it really doesn't matter to which individual they are addressed-- so thank you for sharing so much.

Somber--you asked what helped--what's helped me is my SANON group, being with people I enjoy and who enjoy me, walking each day in as interesting and/or beautiful place I can find; listening to music that is calming and helpful; yoga/mindfulness program;reading and of course SI.

Somber posted 4/13/2019 11:32 AM

Lionne,
You can certainly edit and use the suggestions I posted anywhere you like.

Marji, Im glad you are in a better place than I thought. You have been such a support with excellent advice. You are like a mentor here! So certainly if you are ever down on yourself or your happiness we are all here for you!

Thank you to those who posted what helps their healing. I think I need all the help I can get! I just recently heard of recovery nation so was checking that out too. I found a local sanon group that meets Saturday mornings. I couldnt go this morning as that is my kiddies swimming lesson time. I will try to arrange things so that I can go.

Question though: if you end up separating from your WH, is sanon still a group for me? Or is it people struggling to heal while staying in the relationship? Second question, if it is advertised as a closed group, do I need to call first to ask if I can join?

Thanks

Somber posted 4/13/2019 11:40 AM

Marji,

I now see that you were quoting whoami. I guess I read it as your words then responded. Whoami and all of us, it really doesnt matter, we can all use the same advice. We are all suffering and struggling at different stages and are not alone.
And we have all felt this way at one point...that our happiness is gone forever. I hope and believe if we shift our perspective even just a little, we will see that we can find happiness in other things and in ourselves.

Try to have a happy Saturday everyone. Do something nice for yourself 💗 and say something nice to yourself. We are more than just spouses of sex addicts...I for one have been suffocated and all consumed by my WH SA. But for today, I am putting it aside and going to enjoy the sun and time with my kids.

secondtime posted 4/13/2019 12:24 PM

Re Happiness:

A long time ago, I read a book "Authentic Happiness" by Martin Seligman. Unfortunately, I don't remember much from it. It's been a long time.

While looking him up, I noticed he as a new book out "Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being."

There's a chapter on PTSD, and turning trauma into growth that peaked my interest.

I tend to be a bloom where you are planted sort of girl.

And also, in order to get to acceptance of what is, rather than being stuck because I never got what I wanted/envisioned..I had to do a lot of grieving and understanding that I think it's more common than not that people end up with a life they never wanted.

You also might try giving mindfulness a whirl. Lots of apps for that. Yoga and needlework usually do it for me.

And gratitude journals. Sounds trite and overdone. But, the book Simple Abundance also was very helpful for me after DDay1.

marji posted 4/13/2019 13:20 PM

Somber SANON is open to anyone who has been harmed by the sexual behavior of another--the "quantifier" (the one who has caused the harm by his/her behavior) need not have been diagnosed an SA.

The quantifier need not be a partner/spouse with whom one is living; the person could be dead; the person could be another relative--the quantifier of one of our members is a father--the member is a man in his thirties who has been attending our meeting for nearly 10 years.

The quantifier could be a bf or exif--we have members like that. It's all about whether you will benefit and I think that depends on the SANON group you find. The one I am now in is fantastic but two others I tried did not suit me well. Kind of like any other group--it depends on the fit.

A "closed" meeting is one in which only those affecting and needing help should be attending. So no, there is no need to call ahead or prove yourself in any way. Just go and see if it's a group you think will be of help. If you're not sure if the one you visit feels right, I'd try going at least once or twice more to recheck; if still not feeling good then try another.

In my view a "good" group is one that makes you feel comfortable-one that is welcoming and friendly. There is a SANON pamphlet for newcomers--a well organized group should be offering you the pamphlet and introducing you to at least one or two people you can call. Someone should also be asking if they can give you a call. It's all about support.

whoami62 posted 4/13/2019 16:50 PM

I have had a difficult time finding meetings in my area , although I would likely go slightly away from my area since I don't want any fallout for our small business...yeah , again protecting SAWH. Everyone in our community thinks he is the most wonderful man

When I had a phone consultation with the director of the center I am scheduled for IC , he told me the meetings are everywhere , so I am hoping that they can provide me a list.

SAWH has yet to attend a meeting other than a small group of 3 men that was organized by his IC...and I am confused why he got put in with these men. I know who their wives are since they are both in my support group and I sort of view them as * run , don't walk away * from their SA husbands.

I picked up on it as soon as my WH described them since the wives were hands down , the most needy and damaged by their SAWH behaviors.

I realize that I shouldn't know , but I do and I am worried even more ...hoping that they are put together due to age, amount of time in therapy or something else.

marji posted 4/13/2019 17:05 PM

whoami Im a little confused by what you are describing so help me out here. Is the support group that you are now in something other than an SANON group? Is the group your H in something other than an SA group?

My confusion is in part because Im reading your post to mean you have not yet joined an SANON group so the one you are in is something other--something that maybe your or your H's IC organized?

In the SANON group I go to, many of the women and one of the men have qualifiers in the SA group. There are also couples meetings. There is nothing inherently wrong with this arrangement where many of us know the other people's relatives, spouses, partners, etc. So not sure why you think you "shouldn't know."

You also describe the women in your group as most needy and damaged but aren't most of us that way after discovery and shouldn't we all be trying to help each other to heal?

I'm sure there are all sorts of reasons groups are organized as they are but one of the things I've so appreciated about SANON is that the only criteria for inclusion is having been hurt by the sexual behavior of relative, friend, SO, etc. Members are of all ages, all backgrounds, all sorts of experience--what's shared is the hurt; what gets us to join is the damage and the hurt. Maybe whoever organized the group you are in was modeling the SANON way?

HeHadADoubleLife posted 4/13/2019 19:12 PM

I've noticed that a common theme whether incest or abuse is present or not is that we get turned into their mothers once married/seriously committed and then they start dating and sneaking around as if they were our teenage sons.

Wow can I relate to this. My IC keeps pointing out to me the times when I was filling the mom role, and how unfair that was.

And Lionne, your diagnosis of Bigshotitis is spot on. My SAXH was always chasing something, could never be happy with what he had. We would plan a trip to Hawaii, he would be looking forward to it for months, then we would get there and nothing was good enough. The chickens woke him up, the mattress was uncomfortable, the hike through the gorgeous scenery with a 180 degree view of the sparkling blue ocean was just too hard.

He also wanted the world but then never really seemed to want to do anything to make any of these things happen. He would talk about the Hawaii trip, but the actual planning only happened because I took it upon myself. Otherwise he would have just spent months complaining about "why aren't we going to Hawaii?!"

He would be happy when we bought a house, but he never saved any money, and when I would save some money, he would find excuses for why he needed to "borrow" it, then never pay it back. He would be happy when he had a new job, but he would go for months talking about needing to update his resume and not do anything.

He would be happy when he had more money, but he would constantly spend all of his money on hobbies like guitar, surfing, painting etc. Then he would complain about how he was terrible at all of those things. He would come home every night and paint, then one day he would be upset that it didn't look the way he wanted it to and would rip the canvas in half. Got upset he wasn't getting better at guitar, he smashed it on the ground.

He was also constantly trying to introduce new things into our sex life. Always saying something like "oh I researched this and it's supposed to be the most pleasurable thing for you." I would tell him all the time that all I needed was him, but no, he always had to go out and find the next big thing. And I would say okay I'm open to trying it, but then if I ever said I didn't want to try/use that thing again, he would feel like I was shooting HIM down. How did he not understand that he was all I needed?

Huge self esteem issues, just overall feelings of inadequacy. My IC says she thinks that not only was he treating me like his mom, he also was in a silent competition with me. Only I was just doing my own thing, and was completely unaware we were in competition, because to me we were a team working towards the same goals. I got a bonus from work, he felt inadequate. I got an award for my career, he felt inadequate. Instead of being happy that my step DDs and I have a close relationship, he felt inadequate as a father.

It's so sad to see the dysfunction they are living in.

S13new posted 4/13/2019 22:04 PM

Wow, I just stumbled across this topic and it about slapped me in the face. Im 40, wh is 43. Married 6 years. A month before we got married, hed left himself logged into fb messenger on my computer. Of course I read them all and let me tell you, they were awful. Full of sexts and innuendos. I confronted him, he apologized and we got married. Immediately after our wedding day, I realized Id made a huge mistake. He rebuffed all my advances and we didnt even consummate the marriage for three weeks. When up until that day we had sex every day. It was the craziest thing. The past six years has been full of meetme, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Kik, porn, a pa with a 20 year old, sooo many texts. All the while we had sex infrequently. 3 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, nine months. He hardly ever initiated, it was almost always me nagging him. And yall lets just say it was NOT the best sex of my life. Hes very basic in bed, and it just feels like hes doing a duty to get me off his back. *warning* tmi ahead.
Hes never once given me oral sex and it almost seems like he doesnt know what hes doing. If I tried to touch him, hed roll over on his stomach to deny me access. And pretend to be asleep. He doesnt look at me when Im naked, or dressed up. HOWEVER, in the messages he send to other women, hes all about crazy sex acts. Tells them his sup favorite positions (which we have never done). Thing is, even his sexts sound stilted. Kind of like a 13 year old boy. Def not a smooth talker. I just cant figure home out, but I seriously believe after reading your posts, that hes def a SA. His wanderings arenever emotional, aside from that one pa. Theyre just him, trolling for someone to talk/sext with. If anybody ever took him
Up on his offers Im not sure hed know what to do. I also saw where hed been going to this woman, who has an ad so maybe legit, for massages. For a year. Up to 2 hour massages that he never once told me about.
Were seperated but living together now of that makes sense. He says he wants to reconcile, but is showing zero effort. He just hopes Ill sweep it all under the rug like I always do. But after this last time of me finding him messaging other women looking for a connection, Im not sure I love him anymore. Let alone like him.
So, long story short, I see a lot of his behaviors fit in this topic. Ill keep reading. Thank you!

[This message edited by S13new at 10:07 PM, April 13th (Saturday)]

secondtime posted 4/14/2019 09:19 AM

Who-
Do you really think there will be fall out from your business?

I'm pretty protective of DH because we have young kids, and at that, mostly girls. I don't want my kids to be ostracized because of DH. I have too much on my plate to add "educate other adults about sex addiction" to the list.

I don't live in small town, but do you absolutely know who all the recovering alcoholics, drug addicts, gambling addicts, and over eaters are? If so, how does it fare for them?

When my husband was unwilling to accept, he told me he couldn't find a 12 step group, basically because all the men acted out "worse" than he did. Some had been arrested, etc.

My husband "only" gets high by viewing porn and compulsively masturbating. He's not yet escalated to physical cheating.

He's still an addict, the shades don't really matter. My husband is not a better addict or less of an addict than everyone else's partner here.

Addict is addict. After DDay2, my husband seemed to really get that and accept it.

(And I would venture to say, dysfunction is dysfunction. I grew up in a codependent relationship with my parents. My mom has untreated mental illness. When you look at both of our behaviors, I'm not all that different than my husband. He chose sex addiction; I chose self-harm. Both poor coping mechanisms. We both are awesome at avoiding emotional intimacy.)

whoami62 posted 4/14/2019 09:39 AM

@marji
Let me be more specific regarding the meetings that I attend. We are a small group of women that attend meetings that are organized by a colleague of my H's therapist. The leader works with sex addicts and sex offenders and does this on a volunteer basis...she is wonderful , supportive and dedicated to helping us with our issues. This is not a 12 step program
When I described the two women I mentioned as being the most damaged , I base that on the facts they state about their husbands being particularly abusive and also that they aren't doing anything to try to save their marriages or be treated for their sex addictions...we are all damaged , but these two husbands refuse to get help where all of the rest of us have husbands that ARE being treated and ARE trying to repair their marriages ( although not without failures along the path )

We all have our horror stories ...I guess these two were the most difficult to grasp

whoami62 posted 4/14/2019 09:42 AM

@secondtime, yes I do feel that our business could be impacted if people were aware of WH's issues

I have felt for a long time that if some people even knew about his A , that they would cut ties with him because of how they feel about me.

We live in a small town and we are pretty known

marji posted 4/14/2019 15:27 PM

Thank you for explaining, whoam-Sounds like you will have two groups-this one and the SANON if that works out for you.

Your group leader sounds very good and helpful. Perhaps the two women you spoke of will be able to find their boundaries and benefit by her help.

There is no leader in an SANON group; it's all volunteer and free of charge though a good group will have members who have come to a place of basic serenity and give guidance.

whoami62 posted 4/14/2019 16:15 PM

While I eagerly await my appointment with new IC, I have set up a couple of rules, so to speak...one thing that makes me insane is the amount of selfies my WH has taken over the years. I have his new ipad and combed through all of his photos ...many were sent to me, but there are many that weren't , along with a couple of videos that he shared with his online mistress ( who has been playing him like a fiddle for a few years )

It turns my stomach. So I told him that I want to delete them all...not him, me. There were also photos /videos from her as well.
His PA partner was also there in photos , so they all got dumped , along with photos from a trip he took 3 years ago to Italy , where the two of them met up

It was painful , but I needed to get rid of them.
In doing so, I stumbled upon a screenshot of a conversation that he and his online chat room EA had...nothing particularly sexual in nature , but I decided to google her porn name....and there were photos of her in a sadistic pose with a child involved...child was not nude , but clearly the intent was there
I am furious...and sent him the photo...now I am in no way defending my porn addicted WH , but I don't think that he had any idea that she did anything like this. I know the nature of their conversations and contact and it wasn't really sexual as much as sneaky...she came into the picture when he stopped looking at the sexual acts and wanted to " help " those poor women on the back pages that no one was tipping...she was only there because she couldn't find work in her home country..a real saint

I really do believe that he wasn't viewing her naked or exchanging sexual , that's not the point...but I do want him to understand that these women on the porn sites are NOT innocent and they don't give a shit who gets hurt in their pursuit of money...not even children.

And also hoping to strike fear into him that he can potentially be dragged into illegal activities

Somber posted 4/18/2019 10:02 AM

A rough few days but also one's of new founded strength. I have lost my voice so many times in this marriage and with IC and SI, I have found it again. I am calm by nature and conflict avoidant. In my own way though, I have come to the breaking point and expressed myself clearly. That is, that I have stated that I am done, that I can no longer continue living life this way. I explained that in order to be healthy mentally and a good Mom to my Kids, I can no longer stay in this marriage.

This led to many of the same expected manipulation tactics, all which I shut down quickly by calling them what they are. I have learned names for the abuse through IC. For example, the denial, projection, emotional manipulation (claiming to be suicidal) etc. I quickly stopped him mid tactic addressing that I will no longer subject myself to his lies or manipulation. That it is unfair to hurt me further like this.

Phew it hurts. I don't feel better but maybe a little more in control of our situation.

Now I am reminded of the childhood abuse and the reasons he is the way he is. This pulls so deeply on my heart strings I can barely stand it.
He has realized the depths of the pain he has inflicted and has initiated a rehab program and waiting a date of admission. However, this is more for addictions and PTSD. The root cause (abuse) is creating all his addictions so they will deal with that. I will support him as my children deserve a sober father they can rely on. That is what is best for them.

But that puts me on the back burner again! I need help. I am realizing more and more the negative effects this has had on me as a partner of SA/poly substance abuser. This has been a painful experience to say the least. The PTSD, denial, shame, anger, depression, fear, low self-esteem, resentment, loneliness, emotional numbness and worrying about my children's emotional health is destroying me. I am broken, tired of making excuses, tired of pretending everything is fine as most people have no idea what I am going through. I am sure many of you can relate.
My life has become unmanageable. That is the first step to sanon right...I do have my first meeting this Saturday.

[This message edited by Somber at 10:25 AM, April 18th (Thursday)]

Lionne posted 4/18/2019 11:11 AM

Somber, it sounds like you are really accessing information that will give you strength! Well done!

First step, right. And lean on people in SANON who have btdt. A few meetings will give you time to see who is a good fit.

As to step work, well, it's truly a "take what you need and leave the rest." While addicts just have to follow the process, we aren't usually that sick. Much of our sickness is situational, when we get out of the relationship, if only mentally, we often have enough grounded sense to stop any self destructive behavior we learned in the dysfunctional marriage. I've only met one SANON member who was dogmatic in their pursuit of SANON goals but she was tough. Most people see that everyone has their own path.

Somber posted 4/18/2019 11:27 AM

Thanks Lionne,

It is so helpful to hear that much of our sickness is situational. That is true and so easily forgotten when in the midst of the toxicity of it all.

I thought I needed antidepressants. Last week, I took them for 2 days and I awoke in the middle of the night with a panic attack and suicidal thoughts. I felt so out of my own skin and scared to be alone. I actually woke my husband up to help me through it. It lasted 40 minutes. I think him seeing me like this, direct cause of his actions on me, was a wake up call as well. I also think that the antidepressants perhaps changed chemicals in my brain that did not need to be altered. That it truly is just situational depression.

Lionne posted 4/19/2019 08:59 AM

Antidepressants do alter the brain. I was on Celexa for about three years. It certainly helped but the side effects weren't pleasant.
PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MEDICINE COLD TURKEY. It can be dangerous. Taper with your doctor's advice. It took me three weeks to get off a relatively low dose.
I started taking St. John's Wort. It helps. It has fewer side effects but is still a serious drug with scary interactions.

Somber posted 4/19/2019 09:22 AM

I only took them twice, 2 days in a row then stopped after that episode. So I wasnt on them long enough to wean off but know that is what is expected when you take them for a while. Thanks for your concern. It was Celexa but that side effect made me feel much worse. I feel level headed enough and okay most days so will stick with therapy and exercise for now.

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