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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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marji posted 4/30/2019 20:46 PM

Thank you for sharing the Robcast info. The fact that it was child porn rather than some other form of betrayal probably generated many more negative comments than might have other types of stories. But people can judge all types of situations.

I remember two of my friends immediately asking if I was going to divorce my H--and child porn was not involved. I remember explaining it wasn't easy to just walk out on 35 years of marriage; I said that calmly but found it incredible that they could judge so quickly and with such confidence and that I had to explain or justify not immediately leaving. One is still a friend; the other chose to have nothing more to do with me. I think she lost respect.

Along with the extreme pain we experience upon discovery and then the very difficult days we go through , being judged, misunderstood and disrespected by people who we thought were good friends, seriously adds to the wounds our spouses's behavior created. Thank goodness for SI and all the support groups that help us.

Marie1793 posted 5/1/2019 08:41 AM

Thanks for the welcome. Finally back to tell the story but have been reading all your posts. They are so helpful to me. I tried counseling and COSA but they didn't help much.

Telling the story is hard. How much to put in, how much to leave out?

Married over 30 years ago to a man in the military. We have 2 children about 30 years old. He acted out a lot on deployments which he went on more than was required. There is more but I think most of his acting out was at porn theaters abroad as well as at home. I found out about all this recently when he shared his step one with me.

About 6 years ago I started an IHS because I found out he was having sex with men. I thought he was gay. He was left to do what he wanted and I never asked where he was. During that time a woman showed interest in him and he started having a relationship with her. (Recently I found out that she thought he was not having sex with anyone else but he was still acting out with men. She did know he was attracted to men.)

Last year I decided it was about time we ended it and he broke down and told me "everything" (TT) said he wanted to be with me. I still want a divorce but am giving this some time. He ended his relationship with her and started counseling and SAA.

I have gotten tested but I will be scheduling a pap today. He has not. He says he does not think he has an STD and says if he did, he is scared I will leave him. We are not having sex anymore but did when we first got back together. I have learned more about the depth of this and now realize I shouldn't have.

I didn't feel betrayed about the OW because I felt our relationship was over anyway. It bothers me that he felt he cheated on me. Actually I was hoping he would have gone with her. He says he was just using her. If he can do that I am thinking he is probably just using me too.

Thanks for listening.
Marie

[This message edited by Marie1793 at 8:54 AM, May 1st (Wednesday)]

sami1234 posted 5/1/2019 18:49 PM

I saw the Maddie Corman thing about a month ago. Wow, what a brave woman. Well, that's what I thought. I'm not going to judge her. But, I have to say my former self would've probably judged my current self harshly. Meaning, any of my friends had confided the type of betrayal from their WH that I've been through I would've thought they were nuts for staying. But hey folks, here we are!! So you just never know how you'll react to things.

Marie sorry to find you here. How can so many of us be married for decades and find out we are married to strangers??

Still dealing with my pos high risk HPV result. I feel so violated. At least WH is being supportive but...Good news is biopsy showed no change. Still, it's icky. I'm not sure how to go forward now. How can things ever be normal and how can I even let him touch me. I've asked him to be patient...that sounds ridiculous even as I type it!! But seriously. I don't know if I can be touched by him again. I trust him probably 80% right now. What woman in their right mind would put their health at risk when they feel there is a 20% chance that something might happen and they've already paid that price once?? I don't know how to go forward with him, or if I can.

marji posted 5/1/2019 22:25 PM

Sami do you mean you saw the Maddie Corman play? Wow--I think going to a show like that is a very brave thing to do. And again, I think it's interesting and amazing that those of us here on SI can feel so positive toward her and her story-her choice--while others can be so condemning. We admire her courage, her strength, her spirit while others can see only bad.

sami I was fortunate to receive no STD from my H but learning how he had been living his life for over a decade, his secret life of twice weekly visits to the parlors and then coming home to me and having relations with me, eating my dinners, wearing the clothes that I'd launder each week, using me for normalcy, companionship, support, respectability --it's nauseating.

We continue to live together but I feel no affection--I can accept a hug or a kiss but that's about it-all romantic feelings are gone-I even dress in a different room and I doubt that that will ever change. All that's changed in almost 4 years later is that Im not wondering if I'll ever feel different and it no longer matters.

Could be that he's just not doing enough, just hasn't done enough but that's the reality. So it's really just about moving on, finding enjoyment irrespective of him and trying to get as much fun out of life as possible. It's what some of my friends have done who lost husbands to illness and death.


sami1234 posted 5/2/2019 07:20 AM

Marji I should've been more specific. I haven't seen the play I just meant that I heard about her interview on the view and spent some time investigating her and her story. Yes,I agree we DO understand all the nuances involved in her decision. Actors are called upon to use real life circumstances and emotion in their art...she chose to do this in a stunning way. It's an interesting choice. Since I'm sure news of his arrest spread rapidly, rather than cover it over, in time, she decided to shine a spotlight on it all. I hope it helps people and yes I'd love to see it sometime.

Does your WH ask for or want more affection in your relationship? Doe he understand why you don't feel anything anymore? I really think mine just thinks I should be hypnotized to get over the trauma and "move past" it all, then everything will be perfect. I don't think it's possible. Of course he says his acting out (at least physically) was just a short period of time like 1.5 yrs. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop as I've read time and time again that it happens. I suspect there's more than I know about.

whoami62 posted 5/2/2019 07:33 AM

I have been seeing a new therapist at a practice that specializes in addiction...in particular , SA.
Very different approach to anything I have experienced , but so far , so good
The founder of the practice has taken us on for MC and we were in for a two our eval...holy moly !
This guy is intense , but I have to say he honed in on my SAWH and most of the session was focused on him and his SA. I have to say, he had more of an impact on my H in that time period than in the 7 months of therapy with my H IC.
Stay tuned

Marie1793 posted 5/2/2019 08:08 AM

I know I will never have sex with SAH again.
I recently got him to understand why I don't want him to kiss me. If I am mad at him or triggered, I definitely did not want him to kiss me. He was mad for a few days. I feel so much better now that he stopped and is respecting my boundaries. This is new to me.
He would kiss me with total disregard for my feelings and I would let him because I knew he would be mad.
I think he definitely has narcissistic traits. How far that goes, I am not sure.
Is a part of me just wanting control?

marji I also dress in a separate room.

Marie

marji posted 5/2/2019 09:46 AM

Hi sami thank you for explaining re MC's play; I live in NYC so it would be easy to attend but I think Im just not ready for what Im sure is very profound and moving. Didn't watch the View but I do know her story and yes, it was all very public though I have heard that some women experience a kind of relief when their H's awful habits have been made public--usually through an arrest. Some say they benefit from learning who their true friends are. Don't have any idea how I would feel about that-just think all our stories are terrible.

Samino, my H does not ask for more affection though he says he hopes one day I will feel differently and that he's grateful for any type of closeness at all.

Sami just because sometime the other shoe drops doesn't mean there's always more. Of course we can't really "know"--we weren't there--there's no time record, no videos; we can't know in any absolute way, but that doesn't mean we need to assume there was more than what they say.

You've been with this new reality for "only" 2 and a halfish years-maybe five years from now, if you stay together, and your H gives you no reason to doubt his decency, his love, his integrity you will come to feel love and affection and desire again. You're young, sami and there's lots of time.

marji posted 5/2/2019 09:51 AM

wow, whoami this therapist sounds great. Wish we could all go. Maybe he can offer referrals for other places.

We went for three years to a therapist who is very SA savy; he counseled Social Workers and other counselors who work with SAs in a very heavy SA community. He also focused mainly on my H--I attended the sessions but mostly as backup-it was about my H not our marriage.

But your experience sounds even better. Great that you have found such good support.

marji posted 5/2/2019 09:59 AM

Thanks for that little share, Marie. Guess we should be glad we have a separate room to dress in. For the first two years or so I couldn't stand hand holding when we walked--we had always walked hand in hand before; then I could stand it if my hand wasn't open--only his around my closed one--a bit weird but that's how I felt comfortable; now, at times I can walk hand in hand normal.

But the weirdest thing--I'm a "god bless you" whenever anyone sneezes; I'll even say that to strangers in the supermarket--just a habit--but in the years since discovery, August 2015, I've never said it to my H. And he sneezes at least once almost every day.

DevastatedDee posted 5/2/2019 10:41 AM

The Maddie Corman thing...you know, sometimes I think someone can do something so awful that you just shouldn't anymore. Child porn, guys? I mean, this is kids. Contributing to the sexual abuse of children. And his kids having to know this and have their lives affected by it.

I mean...I feel for her, but I DO NOT understand at all how to stay with someone after that. I don't. Seriously. I don't know how she looks at him, much less stays married. Just the rage on my childrens' behalf I'd have against him...I don't get it. Is being alone THAT BAD?

demolishedinside posted 5/2/2019 11:35 AM

Dee,
I know I personally couldnít. I was bringing it up more because she is open about SA in such a way that at least people perhaps become slightly more educated. And honestly, I donít judge her. Itís her life to live. I do feel very sad for her kids. None of us can really know her reasons for staying.

[This message edited by demolishedinside at 11:35 AM, May 2nd (Thursday)]

Perchy posted 5/2/2019 18:07 PM

Is it crazy for me to be going to SAnon meetings and not letting WH/SA know? Right now Iíve been to one (planning on returning to more), and I hid my whereabouts from him. Reason is because he hasnít accepted SA ďlabelĒ and I know it would result in conflict. I donít think he is ready to hear that I am participating in a support group and I think he is going to be really threatened by it.
But as I type I realize I am lying to him after Iíve demanded complete honesty and transparency from him.

sami1234 posted 5/2/2019 19:14 PM

sometimes I think someone can do something so awful that you just shouldn't anymore

Devastated: I would've said exactly this about my own situation just five years ago. I can't throw stones. One thing she did say that was very poignant; she gave a sick person the chance to get well. So I can only wish them the best.

marji: my reality has been for four years, profile is incorrect. I'm almost 60 so I don't feel as if I have that much time. I do like your optimism though, thank you.

Perchy: My WH doesn't accept the label either as mine thinks he has "tendencies" but isn't actually there. In my opinion you've asked for him to be transparent because he has betrayed you and your M. I think you have every right to work toward things that may help the relationship and healing and not throw them in his face. The difference is his secrecy was hurting the relationship and yours is in an effort to help. And you may want to tell him at some point anyway. This is just my gut reaction I'm curious to see another viewpoint.

DevastatedDee posted 5/2/2019 19:33 PM

Devastated: I would've said exactly this about my own situation just five years ago. I can't throw stones. One thing she did say that was very poignant; she gave a sick person the chance to get well. So I can only wish them the best.

I just think of the kids being abused in those videos and cannot fathom how fucked up someone has to be to get off on that. I can say that that is a level of sick that is WAY above my ability to be with while they try to get well. I couldn't risk that sickness being around my kids. He could get well from a distance. I wouldn't be required for that.

He contributed to kids being sexually abused. That's pure evil.

I do feel for the horror that she has been through over this.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 7:41 PM, May 2nd (Thursday)]

ashestophoenix posted 5/2/2019 20:45 PM

We continue to live together but I feel no affection--I can accept a hug or a kiss but that's about it-all romantic feelings are gone-I even dress in a different room and I doubt that that will ever change. All that's changed in almost 4 years later is that Im not wondering if I'll ever feel different and it no longer matters
.

Marji, that is exactly my situation. Very sad, but I have accepted it. I will be 62 this year and then I will be eligible for COBRA health benefits which would cover me until Medicare. I'm hostage to health insurance coverage! I'm here for the health insurance which I will lose upon divorce. I know I would be better off emotionally if I were divorced, but much worse financially. And that is hard at this age.

And my husband is doing all the right recovery work. He is faithfully attending 12-step. He is active in individual therapy and working very hard to address his underlying trauma. He's just deeply screwed up. Stunningly screwed up. I still don't think he has the time to become a healthy adult.

And even if he did, I have lost all love, desire and affection. I have lost most respect. And I just can not forgive him for the past. And I'm okay with that.

Now I am aware of his addiction and aware of his abuse of me over the years, and see it clearly. I wasn't aware of it before. I know something was wrong, I was unhappy, but I tried so hard in MC to make things better. My MCs completely missed the boat on what were the issues. I'm so sad about all of that.

But, this detachment gives me time to focus on me and how I want to live my life. I was so angry about being used by my husband that I stopped doing a lot of work for him. I don't cook for him, I don't buy his clothes, I don't help him with his calendar, I don't figure out entertainment. I still pay the bills but that is about it. It's so liberating to have the time. He didn't deserve that effort from me.

My husband says he wants more physical affection but given how withholding he was from me over the years, I don't believe him. I, though, have no interest in any physical interaction with him whatsoever.

It's not really a marriage, this kind of arrangement. But the financial entanglement and the health insurance issues loom large the older we get.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 8:46 PM, May 2nd (Thursday)]

Shocked123 posted 5/3/2019 15:14 PM

Perchy,
I also held back from SANON meetings for a few months because of the title. As soon as my husband heard Sexaholic from his CSAT he was enraged.
Natually, telling him I was going to a support group for those affected by sexaholism wasn't going to be an easy task.
A much younger member reached out to me on a meeting day and asked if I'd like to join her. I was honest and explained that I was uncomfortable telling my H about the meeting because he is in denial about his possible sex addiction problem.
She is over 20 years younger than me but so much wiser.
This is what she wrote:
"Girl, you tell him that you are going to a meeting for people who have been hurt by someone that has acted out sexually. They had to give the group a name but that doesn't mean that everyone there is linked to an "official" sexaholic.
You tell him that he never asked permission to go out and screw up your marriage and break your heart, you really don't need permission to go out and try to mend it in the company of warm and inviting like minded people.
If he bucks you say, well, it's unfotunate you don't want me to go. I guess every action has a consequence and this happens to be yours. I deserve to feel better and I am trying this.
And just go.
Marji had been encouraging me for months to attend a meeting but I wanted to do it with honesty and without guilt. It took me time but it's been great.
When I told my H that I was going he responded with
"I think that's a great idea. Do whatever you need to do to feel better." (I also think he likes the price tag vs IC, lol).
NEVER would I have expected that response.
My H knows deep down he has a serious issue. He is just not ready to deal with it. He does understand what he has put me through and wishes that I feel better so he's all in on the meeting and my group therapy.
Make this about you. Stop walking on egghsells and tip toeing around the obvious. I did that for too many years and now feel I have more control over my life. It's a good feeling to break through that invisible wall.
Good luck. I hope you find it in yourself to make your life a priority and not worry about him so much.
YOLO so make it a good one.

marji posted 5/3/2019 18:39 PM

don't get it. Is being alone THAT BAD?

Devastated Sometimes It's really hard for us to understand why someone stays with a spouse who seems so sick. But maybe if we actually saw her play we'd get some better understanding of how she could make such a choice.

From what minimum understanding I do have based on what I heard and read, her choice had (has) nothing to do with any fear of being alone.

She does not seem like someone who would be alone; she's extremely well liked and respected by many; she's an attractive and accomplished person.

I know some of us, including myself, do choose to stay rather than being alone but I don't think that concern played a part for MC; I haven't seen the play but know some who have and I think what she conveys is that she viewed her H as a person who was willing and able to do everything possible to become well; that she felt her children would be harmed even more deeply if she separated especially if she did so without trying her utmost to find another way; because despite knowing what he had done, she continued to love and in a way respect him; because she believed that he would work so hard toward being the good person she thought she had married that he would genuinely become that person. I think she is someone who sees people as very complex; that someone who does something horrible and monsterous is not necessarily a monster but a very flawed human being capable of redemption.

Of course that's all her perspective, her vision, her relationship, her life. She speaks just for herself. My H's sick habit has not driven me away completely but has rendered me totally disinterested in any type of intimacy with him. I know others whose H indulged In the same activity and they are able to be intimate. We have our different reactions. Different stomachs. But let's hope that our differences don't hinder our ability to support one another; that our judgments of a partner or spouse's behavior don't prevent us from helping each other to gain strength and balance and a good life again.

DevastatedDee posted 5/3/2019 23:26 PM

But let's hope that our differences don't hinder our ability to support one another; that our judgments of a partner or spouse's behavior don't prevent us from helping each other to gain strength and balance and a good life again.

I certainly don't want it to hinder that. I avoided posting in this thread for a long time because although I belong here, I know that I'm sometimes profoundly unhelpful for those who stay. And you know, it isn't coming from a place of not wanting to be supportive. It's coming from a place of love for all of you because I know the pain of this. I know how it feels to have been betrayed this way. All infidelity is incredibly traumatic, but there's an extra something when it's part of an addiction.

And I'm pissed, dammit. I'm pissed off that these people have hurt you guys and me so much and it was for absolutely nothing. Part of why I post here is that when I went through this, so much of the IC stuff was about the poor addict and all his trauma that led to him wrecking me. I wanted to raise my hand and say "Pardon me, but can it be about me for a moment?" The times it was about me were the times when it was important for him to develop empathy, so still all about the addict and the victims are just collateral damage.

We are all more than just some sick person's collateral damage and we need to remember it. Staying with an addict is a HUGE gift to them and it is rare that someone with the psychological makeup to be an addict can comprehend how very hard that is.

I do get staying, I really do. Well, I don't in all circumstances, no. The child porn thing is well beyond my personal limit of what I can move beyond and interviews and play aside, I doubt I will ever understand how she found it in herself to stay. If I'm being honest, cheating in general was a dealbreaker for me, but I admire those who are able to move forward in a healthy way in R. I would say that those who can are often better people than I am in a sense.

Stay or leave, either way, we just cannot never allow ourselves to be defined as someone's collateral damage. We're so very much more than that.

Shocked123 posted 5/4/2019 12:05 PM

DevastatedDee,
I admire you for leaving; almost envy you in a way. It takes a lot of courage to give up your life as you always knew it.
I have stayed so far for many reasons but in the back of my mind, I know I still have options. For me, staying doesn't come with any guarantee that I will stay forever. For the past year I allowed myself time to learn about who I am at this point in my life and have closely observed my H's remorseful actions and attempts at recovery. If at any point in the future I start to feel that my situation is no longer right for me, I will ask him to leave.
Since D day, my plan has always been to not make any decisions until we are two healthier people.
If and when that happens, the decisions we make will be sound ones and hopefully, the separation will be easier for the kids to handle if we are on decent terms.
And I'm with you on cheating being a deal breaker. It is for me as well BUT he broke the deal on the old marriage. I'm watching him crawl up the hole of remorse and letting him show me the person I thought he was and letting him create a new and improved marriage for us.
He messed it all up, I'm letting him fix it. In the meantime, the rest is all about the kids and my sanity.
DevastedDee, I know there is a chance that my H will go back to his old habits and the marriage would then be over..
I understand that you didn't want to take that chance.

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