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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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marji posted 5/4/2019 12:51 PM

DevastatedDee No, no, no. Those who stay are in no sense, no time, no way "better people" than you. They, we, are just those who, for whatever our personal reasons, decide that, at least at the staying time, it's better (easier, smarter, wiser, safer, more practical . . . . ).

All sorts of reasons and any of which are subject to change. Ashes tells us she stays until she is able to get medical insurance on her her own; someone else thinks it's wise to stay until the children are grown and out of the house; another; an older person I know stays because she isn't comfortable driving at night but loves getting out to socialize and go to concerts. The list goes on. Maybe there's a difference between understanding or empathizing with someone's choice that is totally antithetical to one we would make and agreeing with it? Maybe if we know a person really well we can understand their choice even while thinking it's a horrible one? Don't know. But do know there is nothing at all better about someone who stays.

demolishedinside posted 5/4/2019 22:08 PM

Eh. We are all here together , fighting this shit show. I know we are all here supporting each other. No explanation needed.

Dee, your posts help me. I am right in the middle of it and stuck in limbo until I can get a job. Your posts about life now help me have hope. Please keep posting...if nothing else, just post to me. Iíll be selfish now. Iíve had a terrible spiral tonight where I scared myself. The end of all of this is so far away and without a job, I feel so trapped and without choices. This is crazy.

May we all find some peace. Damn if we donít deserve it.

Superesse posted 5/5/2019 10:21 AM

Dee, I think it is so important to have your insights shared here where you belong, rather than join the crowd over on D/S, many (most) of whom never hung in and tried to R - like you did - with a low-life SA. When I first came to this site, almost 3 years ago - long before I finally joined - I remember your anguished posts here, and knew right away I had a sister sufferer out there. I think your recent, rhetorical question was perhaps the core fear we all have to struggle with: "Is it so bad to be alone?"

I wish we SA spouses could explore that question more often here, as many of us are only conditionally "staying," anyway. I have been in such a state for 17 long years, now! I sometimes think I just exist with him "one more screw-up away from D." Not sure that is a good way to go about "R." But it is my reality.

demolishedinside posted 5/5/2019 13:23 PM

Yes, superesse, I think it is the core question. For me, the answer is no. It is sad and hard, and I will very likely struggle financially, but I cannot police him. I canít keep wondering or checking. I canít try to understand anymore. Iím so tired. I felt like every day Iím here, someone robs a piece of my soul. Thereís a constant anxiety over money and not finding a job and and an ache for not only the marriage I had in my head pre-dday but for the 2nd loss. I mean, I had to twist myself into a pretzel to give him another chance and still he could do it again. That ache just will not leave.

On that note, Iím grieving, yes...but can people deeply grieve and not be depressed? Do they always go hand and hand? I hate how meds make me feel. However, at this point, if I need them, I should probably try to seek a doc. I gave up my insurance and primary care doc when I quit my job to move. It all feels too hard and so heavy.

DevastatedDee posted 5/5/2019 17:03 PM

Seriously, I think you are all fantastic strong women. Not ONE of your husbands deserves any of you. It breaks my heart that people do this to others. My concern is not with the perpetrators, it is with the victims of this. They did enough of a job making their problems ours that no one else gets to, IMO.

Stay or go, and I get that there are reasons to stay in some situations, I just want us all to know and understand that we are not any less because of someone else's actions.

And no, being alone isn't that bad. Sometimes it's the best thing that can ever happen to a person.

When I say that some of you are better people than I am, I mean it. I do not have the capacity for forgiveness and understanding that a lot of you do and I think those are beautiful qualities. It could be that I was already hurt enough in life before my WH that something inside me broke and said "That's IT. NO ONE ELSE GETS TO HURT ME." and that drove me hard. It made R difficult on my part. I'm not ashamed to say that I had him sobbing on the floor more than once. I as the BS was not a good candidate for R for a lot of reasons. He really and truly broke me. I had nothing left and I'm still trying to find pieces of me that were lost on DDay. He was ultimately not a good candidate either. Even if he had been, I doubt it would have worked. Once I really saw him for who he was, there was no going back. Too much is wrong with the addicted brain for me to be able to tough it out while he worked on it and he did work on it for a while.

demolishedinside posted 5/6/2019 05:06 AM

So my son looked at me and said, ďHe told me about his addiction.Ē WHAT?! Iíve been trying to prepare my 12 year old for D and heís on counseling. Heís reeling and lashing out at me. So I ask WH, ďwhat did you tell him and why did you need to bring up SA.Ē He canít remember. Seriously?! Wow. So I try to bring it up with my son and heís not really interested. All I can I think of is that he shared it because my son had questions about the D, he said it was his fault, and then brought up SA.

Please share any thoughts on how to help my son as he has questions. I know he will. Thereís no way someone tell you they have a sec addiction and that doesnít bring on questions. Heck, I have not even had a graphic detailed sex talk with him yet. I guess itís time.

Marie1793 posted 5/6/2019 06:31 AM

So sorry about your son and you having to deal with this.
I have some thoughts you can take or leave.
"you know how some people drink alcohol too much because they feel bad and it causes problems in their life? The same with people who have learned to use sex to feel good. They hide it from their wife and have sex with other people. Some how your father has developed this. It has caused problems in our marriage because when you marry someone you are supposed to be faithful. "

Marie

veryhurt2018 posted 5/6/2019 06:50 AM

demolishedinside, I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. My SAWH is going to talk to our 2 boys (16 and 14) when they are about 17 because we found out that SAWH's dad was also a SA. This means that in his family it was somewhat genetic and therefore our boys should be aware. I think at age 12, it's too young to share this, but maybe at some point you could talk about this. Marie1793, I like what you said about this. Very age appropriate. Also, maybe you could weave in the "sex talk". Just a thought.

Marie1793 posted 5/6/2019 07:07 AM

Recently a guy at my husband's work passed. Since we live close by and want to help out his mom and dad and brother that live in another city, my husband is cleaning out his place and found a whole bunch of porn. We brought it back to our house to destroy. It was all destroyed but has been a real trigger for SAH. First he said he was fine and now it is bothering him. We thought we found it all on Saturday and found a lot more on Sunday.

I saw a list of 10 most stressful events in life. Death of a spouse was first and divorce was second. My mom who has been through 2 divorces thinks that is harder.

Told my husband that I don't ever plan to have sex with him again. He seemed to take it ok and says he understands. I am so relieved to finally have told him.

Superesse posted 5/6/2019 10:24 AM

About teenage boys and appropriate discussions:

the hormonal changes of puberty happen a lot sooner than age 17, and in my family, it was when my brothers were just hitting puberty, that they learned from their school friends about "girls" and what "sex" was...whatever they learned at school, was not balanced at home by any mature discussion with our father, as he was in an advanced stage of alcoholism, and rarely came out of his room to interact with the family.

One day, my curious brothers raided our father's closet and found a pile of porn magazines, and had a look. Both boys went on to get high school girl friends pregnant, both chose "shotgun" weddings; both went on to become alcoholics/drug users, themselves, and both ended up divorced and miserable.

I suspect our father had a SA problem, although he later did stop drinking, and swore to me that he was never physically unfaithful to our mother (who divorced him anyway. I never asked her about any infidelity. She claimed it was his drinking.)

So maybe this is one example of how SA gets "passed" in families?

My SA husband said recently that neither of his parents ever discussed "morals" or "shoulds" with him at any time while he was growing up. To me, this was a huge red flag that something important was missing in his family. He remembers how his father instructed him "Don't tell your Mother" when the old man would stop at a bar for a beer on their way home from some errands, and would leave my SAWH (age 8 at the time) in their vehicle, parked outside the bar, for perhaps an hour. I believe an important message was passed father to son, right then: see, you don't want the important woman in your life to know what you really do! UGH!!

So I would conclude that much more information about sex and its role in marriage filters through to a teenage boy, than what an adult female may be comfortable imagining, but that is just my experience.


HeHadADoubleLife posted 5/6/2019 13:52 PM

My SAXH discovered porn at a very young age via his father's stash (I believe he was still in elementary school if I remember correctly).

Also, his sex education from his mother consisted of "if you have sex, you could get all of these diseases and your penis could fall off" with her showing him all sorts of gnarly pictures of STDs.

Thus began his incredibly unhealthy and shameful relationship with masturbation and sex.

I think talking about sexuality and masturbation early, and without shame, is an incredibly important part of both genders' education, especially when there is an SA parent involved.

I still worry that my step DD's relationship with sex is going to be supremely fucked up because of the way their father handles the issue. Even if they had not found the porn DVDs and the dildos like I had (which they did) just his general attitude towards sex and relationships seeped out in the way he discussed things like that - "You can't date until you're married!"; "I only had sex with your mom twice, when we had each of you!"

Many SAs have so much shame surrounding sex that they put that out in the way they handle sexual topics in general, but especially with their children. Hell, my SAXH lied to my step DDs for our entire relationship, and actually told them that we had NEVER had sex throughout our entire 7 years together.

I have had to do some serious deprogramming with them to remind them that sex in a relationship is perfectly healthy and normal, as long as it is between two loving and consenting adults.

secondtime posted 5/6/2019 20:31 PM

Demolished, I would be sure to have the sex chat, especially if you intended to give your son the HPV vaccine. (We chose to. The newest one now protects against 9 strains).

My oldest daughter, now 11, knew the mechanics from her friends on the playground around age 7. In particular, she had a friend whose mom was a nurse and explained everything when her friends' little sister arrived on the scene.

It would be a good time to clear up any misunderstandings before "dating" starts...which could be any time now.

I actually wish that my husband would disclose to the kids that he's an addict, and his lying about the relapse is why I'm crying. But, no. It's just easier for DH to make me look like I'm the one that's got issues vs accepting the full consequences of his choices.

Plus, there's more pressure on me to stay. Despite all, the kids do feel very secure and want reassurances from me that we will stay together. I'm going to be the bad guy either way. Yet another broken promise from DH.

Today, DH asked me why I married him. I think he was a little taken aback because "love" didn't register on the top of the list.

Lionne posted 5/7/2019 03:12 AM

I had very clear, very accurate discussions with my sons, at age appropriate times and with AA subject matter. It was actually quite funny at times as my youngest asked the strangest questions ("Mommy, ladies have their penis in the back, right?" He wanted an explanation for why I sat down to pee. He was an engineer at age 3)

We talked about birth control, respect for one's partner, no means no, etc.

We talked about SA and how it actually has less to do with sex than with intimacy disorders.

And we have to have a talk again. My SAWH deleted his history for two days this week. Watching "adult" movies (I didn't do anything wrong, I was watching commercial main stream movies like Basic Instinct!) Then why hide it, why delete the history. Inner circle behaviors. I started packing, he begged me to give him ONE LAST CHANCE he'll check into a residential program, not so easy to find unless you have $72000, $30000, $16000. Some take insurance but NONE take medicare even though we have an excellent supplemental policy,
I don't know what I'm actually doing, I'm cleaning out all non essentials and thinking he'll move into the spare room.
This shit sucks.

demolishedinside posted 5/7/2019 08:59 AM

No worries. We have had multiple talks based on where he is...it seems we talk a lot in the car. Yesterday, we talked about what he learned about in health class. I told him I would be sharing the mechanics of it soon but more than that, I wanted to discuss the emotions. He told me he knew about HIV and STDs, and we did talk a bit about addiction. We have already talked about NO meaning no. He has two sisters and I have been trying to be very clear about boundaries. We have talked about images and why some people view them. We probably need to talk about wet dreams soon, heck if I know much about them but I will try. He told me he really sees no reason to care at this age because these kids are ridiculous and a person can't really "date" in 7th grade. I love him. However, he did say that obviously his dad meant that he was addicted to sex...I don't know, ladies. To me, saying that to him was really a copout. An excuse for his choices. Either way, I have requested a book on age appropriate conversations from the therapist.

Lionne, I need to think harder about how to discuss intimacy issues with him. We have in the past discussed his dad's inability to deal with emotions appropriately. I know, too, that he sees that his grandpa is terrible at all of it. He told me yesterday he still can't believe grandpa did not shed a tear at his grandma's funeral. Yeah, neither did his aunt. They do not externally grieve at all and rarely discuss hurt or pain of any kind.

I know there is no porn that he can get his hands on here, but of course, he COULD access things online. We have discussed that if he sees any images, I'd like to talk with him about them. He tells me he hasn't. I also have not allowed a smartphone yet, but I am not stupid. Other kids share this stuff. I do know someone shared two pics through the PlayStation. My kid just does not care at this point. He was white as a sheet as he was telling me about them. My heart aches for these kids losing their innocence. I'm grateful that I have at least been keeping the communication open. We laugh a lot at the awkward discussions we have to have, but he is clear that his dad is a lot like a child...he gets frustrated and embarrassed by him, and I feel his pain. His awareness of it IS very good. It makes me sure that he at least knows he has to try harder to not be like that. He seems to know. I've spent years in therapy, and this boy has learned to speak about his emotions.

I'm trying my best, friends. Navigating this is crazy. I realized today that I still trigger over the park where he met her and I need to go there for work tomorrow. Sigh. Every day, I STILL am trying to make sense of it, and that is so weird to me. I'll think, "How could he meet her? How could he touch someone and only feel excitement and no worries about his wife? His KIDS?" I know. I know there are no answers but seriously, that would not give me excitement. I must be crazy because I still have those thoughts pop up.

secondtime posted 5/7/2019 13:09 PM

Hugs, Lionne.

It does suck. Take care of yourself.

sunwillshine posted 5/7/2019 18:43 PM

Lionne, hugs and more hugs. These SA behaviors suck. How did you find out? Just curious. I stopped checking up,a couple of years ago.

ashestophoenix posted 5/7/2019 19:04 PM

Oh, Lionne. How awful. It seems to me he is really struggling with relapsing. Sending you my virtual embrace.

In talking about the question of staying or going, I found the best advice I read was in Paula Hall's book for partners; and Lundy Bancroft's book "Should I stay or should I go." They have different perspectives, but they were both extremely helpful.

In my case, a good divorce attorney also gave me additional helpful advice about the pros and cons of divorcing and how it would affect my financial well being, as well as my health insurance coverage. At my age, this was critical information for me. The combination of these three resources has allowed me to stay FOR NOW.

Fortunately, my husband is working hard on recovery. He just can't connect emotionally even if he is sober. And he is just so darn immature that I can't really relate to him in an intimate way. Plus, he truly is inept in managing his life in an adult way. Today he went to his IC and, oops, didn't look at his calendar so the appointment is tomorrow. He's lost weight because he "forgets" to eat or he "can't figure out what to eat." He can't find a good book to read, a movie to watch on television, or anything to occupy his time at night (ah, so much time now that he is no longer obsessively looking at porn on his computer), and he gets bored and irritable and comes to me like a little boy asking to be entertained. Fortunately, I no longer act like his mommy and it leaves me with so much more time and energy. It leave him in his permanent little wounded victim boy role. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I really FEEL the difference in maturity from my husband. I really value my work relationships where I can have mature conversations with men. I don't have enough social relationships with mature men, and I miss that.

ashestophoenix

Lionne posted 5/7/2019 21:43 PM

Oh Ashes. How do you know your H isn't accessing porn surreptitiously? My H was doing and saying all the right things, attending meetings, being kind and thoughtful, happy and grateful. I looked ONLY because May is such a terrible triggery month, lots of d-days, lots of horrible discoveries. So, I looked. His first (and second and third) reaction was to minimize it all. But he had no real explanation for why he deleted the history.
I thought I had a plan. I'd move far away, near my son, bring my cats and very few possessions. Then came May, a month I've always loved, always cherished. The smell of fresh rain, the bright greens and pinks and blues in my garden, planting, listening to and looking for the first hummingbird, the rare sightings of grosbeak and oriole. And the BEACH. Nowhere in the word brings me the peace that the sand and waves do, along with the oystercatchers, all kinds of terns, the red knot that will come in the next few weeks to feast on the eggs of the millions and millions of horseshoe crab that come to our beaches. It makes me so, so sad to think of leaving it. But if I leave my marriage I want to also leave behind all my friends, I don't want the questions, the pitying looks, blah, blah, blah.
We are going tomorrow to his IC. He has been looking at treatment programs. It's been hard too, because our DS is here, working nearby but staying at our house. He took the day off to go to the beach with us, the beach where I spent so many hours playing with my kids, digging in the sand, teaching them to love the sea.
I'm heartbroken. But calm thanks to the intervention of pharmaceuticals.
It's all so confusing. Do I really give up the things I love because he's an immature child who chooses to view images that, in a normal person would be mostly innocent, but to him they are TNT? I've mostly integrated the resentment into my psyche, I supposed I can do that with this new info. The trouble may not be that he is a perpetual liar, but that I allow myself to buy into the hopium. Maybe I'm the problem here.
I just don't know what to do. Won't one of you tell me?

marji posted 5/7/2019 22:17 PM

O dear Lionne--you paint the loveliest picture of May--and it is the loveliest month --so your beautiful painting makes me wonder why you think you have to leave it? Are there not choices? How about his leaving--at least for a while--a trial separation. How about his staying in the house but the two of you going separate ways--at least for a while-- trial in-house separation. How about staying the month of May and allowing yourself the luxury of deciding what to do later.

Seems awful to think you'd have to leave your friends if you left your marriage--why assume you'd be looked upon with pity if your friends knew this was the choice you were making because you decided you'd be happier that way. If it is choice that is really the best one for you then if they are really good friends they will support your decision and admire you for doing the best for yourself. It's hard to pity someone who seems to feel good about her choice.

Which gets back to the question of whether leaving your M is the best choice and aren't you the only one who can know that? You are not the problem, Lionne and you shouldn't think that way. None of us are. But we have a problem nonetheless.

I know you've said you were going to leave if he had another slip--that you've made plans. I wonder if we sometimes do something because we said we would--do things out of pride instead of preference. So you ask what you should do and of course you know that only you can know what's really best for you.

There's a play showing in NYC right now that several people in my SANON group have gone to see and which they've said is amazing, healing, powerful, enlightening, inspirational. Maybe seeing it might help you feel better about whatever decision you make.

Maybe your visit with your H's IC will help. Maybe spending a day at the beach. But whatever it is that helps, whatever the combination of experiences, conversations, medications, meditations, I'm sure you'll do the best thing and what's truly best for you.

Superesse posted 5/7/2019 22:51 PM

Dear Lionne,

All the things you love about May, you should enjoy, regardless. Maybe the answer is to start implementing some serious distance from HIM, without removing yourself radically from the life you prefer to live? Why should YOU make drastic flight moves, in other words, when HE really "ought" to be the one to pack his shit?

When my SAWH relapsed after 12 years of his supposed sobriety, I'll tell you, he didn't go halfway....he got himself arrested for soliciting a young prostitute! THAT was my wake up moment! I said to myself "I had a lot to do with hanging in for 12 long years after D-Day 1; I cannot buy back that time I gave him, but I'll be darned if he is going to steal the tangible fruits of all those miserable years of my sweat and tears, with this latest example of who he REALLY IS! I just have got to find a way out of this nonsense!"

So I immediately sought a marital separation agreement, heading for an uncontested divorce in 6 months. Then my SAWH did the same as most of them seem to do, and begged me for an umpteenth chance. Not to fix the marriage, heck no, just not to end up Divorced! He didn't want to face that, and have to admit he was that F'd up.

I thought about it. Looked at the numbers...my years out of the work force, my age, went back to my lawyer, and said "Just do the real estate separation, effective within 30 days, and add in some other safeguards about credit card obligations and taxes, and let's call the document a Marital Agreement." My attorney thought I was NUTS!

But, it turned out that the real estate division can be done - at least in my state - under a Deed of Gift. Within 90 days of his arrest, he was presented with papers deeding me the place I really wanted to live! If he chose to stay here, he'd be staying only as my guest, as he had to agree to surrender all his marital rights under that property Agreement; what I did was kind of unprecedented, my attorney told me. But it was my interim solution, as by then, I knew this man needed some serious damned CONSEQUENCES! (And he willingly signed the papers!)

But, I have to wonder, why would you agree to be up for going to "his" IC as a couple, at this point? Isn't it time for him to feel the cool breeze of some separation? What other real consequences must he face? Some of them just won't change, until we do. Hope anything I have shared might be helpful. It really does suck!

Oh and I am far from all Okay about my life, 5 years later. It was just an emergency trade-off I came up with, to preserve the kind of stuff you wrote about: so as not to sacrifice my whole existence to his sickness! (Yet I still have frequent nightmares about being trapped in some huge underground city that has no windows to the outside world, and I go down one corridor or another, trying to get OUT!)

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