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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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ashestophoenix posted 6/3/2019 18:42 PM

Cally, I think your husband is making real progress. My husband is five years into this and can't do most of what you describe. This is all good news.

Demolished, I got the suicide stuff as well. It really pissed me off. Never imagined I would reach a point I was angry that my husband was suicidal, but here I am. It's manipulative and coercive, and frankly, it's abuse. I asked my husband if it was a threat or a plea, and he was honest enough to say..."um, a threat." So I took him to MC, told the therapist, asked if my husband should be put in a locked ward for his safety, the therapist agreed, and lo and behold, that was the last time I heard about suicide. He now says it was an immature way to control me.

I have so much anger and resentment but don’t say to much as I don’t want to be he cause of any relapse..

Somber, you can't cause a relapse. You can't cure him either. No matter what you do, he is responsible for his behavior. I agree we shouldn't be abusive, but much of my work is learning NOT to walk on eggshells. I did that for way, way too long. And the reality is at this point my husband is nicer to me than I am to him. He still has a long way to go to be an adult, but he has become more decent. I'm just angry and disgusted with him most of the time. I'll see if this changes, and if it doesn't, that means I am ready to divorce. I'd just have to figure everything out.

Our marriages were supposed to be safe. They were supposed to be a shelter from the storm. My husband was the storm. It's sad to me about the struggle and I really hear what other partners say about what a relief it is when they separate or divorce.

I've been planting flowers and enjoying that as well as playing with my dogs. I'm starting to get out more and am taking better care of myself. Wishing us all peace and joy,
ashestophoenix

DevastatedDee posted 6/3/2019 21:26 PM

You are such beautiful empathetic people. Just don't forget yourselves on this ride of figuring out what's wrong with them.

And never ever be afraid of causing a relapse. It didn't require a single action from you to make him do a damned thing. Be true to yourselves and never make yourself less important than the addict in your own minds. You are far more beautiful inside and out than they can ever comprehend. Never hide your light for fear of someone else's darkness.

Lifeexploded posted 6/4/2019 08:25 AM

Just curious, for those of you who are at least 5 years past the diagnoses of sa and the beginning of recovery work, is there anyone here who feels optimistic about the relationship amd progress made? Anyone who is glad they stayed and are not just staying for financial, health, or children raising reasons?

I have a lot to update with, I just need to get on my laptop to do it, but in a nutshell, another failed attempt at mc and a small slip, in addition to many small interactiond that druve home the fact he is so so broken in ways he is not even trying to fix in the slightest. Truly a child.

Superesse posted 6/4/2019 11:01 AM

LifeExploded, I am so sorry about the latest, how utterly discouraging it is for you. So, I understand why you hope for some kind of an end to all this, at some future point, to help you keep hanging in there. But at what cost? There's always going to be a cost, you know. I'm coming from a place where I'm not thinking we should keep gambling with the only life we have to live...

From what I've learned on this forum, I think I may be the BS who is about the longest post-SA diagnosis member here regularly, at almost 17 years out. But I am not in R, just doing endless IHS. I don't even consider us to be "married," having lived celibate since 2002 and in a legal property separation/financial division since 2014, after he was busted by the police for soliciting a prostitute. (Another prostitute....after 12 years work on his SA?) I now see that I "smoked way too much of that Hopium" over the years...it kept me hanging in, I'll give it that...

Anyway, so I'm not speaking for all others here, but it is simply my overall impression from participating a couple years on this forum, that the number of "truly happy 5 years later" people would be "few and far between" versus "a good number of us." JMHO.

If your question came from hearing about the "five year test," well, I've read that one too, several times; it's become popular to use as a statistic by MCs - unsurprisingly, when you think about why MCs want to quote that statistic! I think probably the study of couples who "chose to stay together after crisis, didn't divorce, and reported better marriages 5 years later," came from cases where there were all kinds of marital problems, not just infidelity. I may be mistaken, but I bet that even if they were all infidelity-after-marriage, they weren't all due to a sex addiction. I seriously doubt all infidelity is associated with sex addiction, even though all infidelity is wounding and damaging in the extreme. That's why I have a hunch they studied a much larger general population of married couples than what we are dealing with here, on this SA forum. (Maybe it would be useful to look that study up, and see if they even addressed this sex addiction issue!)

For us though, I think it is important to accept that this insanity has now become part of our history, and sadly, we cannot easily eradicate it from our life record, but we do have life left to live. So we must make our life the healthiest it can be, going forward under the circumstances, because we each have to choose at some point how our life story will look to us, in the rear view mirror, when we are old....like me.

Lifeexploded posted 6/4/2019 12:05 PM

I picked the 5 year timeframe because of the 3 to 5 years that we hear from counselors and reading online. I would expect after 4 years you would have some feeling of where the marriage was headed. We are 3 years in and to be honest I am sick of it. I mentioned before about my husband giving me an ultimatum because hes tired of going without sex. He wanted to try counseling again so we signed up with regain. It is an online counseling. Our insurance does not pay for marriage counseling. The 1st counselor wanted us to read the book love and respect. I looked up reviews on it and discovered that it is a chauvinistic and sexist book that actually blames women for men's affairs and lusting after other women. So I obviously fired that counselor. the next counselor wanted to start pushing me into forgiveness immediately in our 1st session. I personally believe that forgiveness is a personal choice. And I also believe that it is abusive and damaging to someone who is not ready for it. I told my husband i am not ready to forgivr and might not ever. My husband acted like a little baby and sent the counselor a message that said "counselor name, she said she won't forgive me what do I do?". In the session we had also talked about His childhood abuse and the importance of his forgiveness of his parents. I told him that in our next session we could discuss him forgiving his parents because that's important to him but that I would not discuss me forgiving him because at this point I am not interested in pursuing that at all and I probably won't ever forgive him and that's fine because that's my choice. He responded to that by completely canceling the counseling. One of the things I had brought up in the counseling session is that he has not been doing his weekly check ins. Every time I mention it to him that hes not doing them he will do 1 and then he stops. He "forgets" . 2 weeks ago we had this discussion, he did 1 check in. he forgot the next week. When I brought it up he said oh I forgot it was a busy weekend etc. He still didn't do the check in. then last weekend he forgot again so I guess hes just not interested in doing that part of his recovery work.

Also he insisted on getting Facebook again. He had previously used Facebook to look at womens sexy pictures and friend women that he didn't know who had sexy pictures and he finally said that he was tired of not having it so I said fine you can have it because at this point I just kind of don't really care anymore. Sure enough I checked his list of watched videos and he watched a video of a woman wearing a thong bikini running on a treadmill. I think he was testing the waters to see if I could see what he was watching and I told him that I saw it. He tried to lie and say he didnt, but videos only show up on your watched video list of you watch a significant part of them. Honestly, I shouldn't have said anything. I should have just let it go and waited to see what else he would do.

Last weekend we were going to garage sales out of town. First, i was planning to go by myself. I am an ebay seller so garage sales are work for me. But he "didnt want to stay at home with the kids". I do that all week - stay at home with the kids while he works!! Anuway, he came and I was doing the navigating and he was driving. I said go across this bridge and turn right at the 1st street. There was a garage sale sign on that street. we were getting closer and again I said OK you're going to turn right here. And he turned left. I said in a nice voice why did you turn left I said to turn right twice. He got mad at me! He told me that I said it in the wrong way and I said the wrong thing and I should have said it a different way and that it was accusatory. Give me a freaking break.

Last week he made a list of the traits he would like his wife to have. One was financially independent. Which i have never been in our 18 year marriage. He titled it "my woman". i was pretty offended. I made one titled "my husband" and made him throw his away. That was pretty immature but oh well.

I have also noticed that if I get my feelings hurt over something that he said he will not apologize. Instead he gets mad at me for taking it the wrong way or not getting the joke. I just don't see how he is going to recover from these deep seated foo issues if hes not going to therapy for them. Hes not doing any work to recover from them. So how is his behavior ever going to change?

I am sure there are many more examples but those come to my mind right now.

secondtime posted 6/4/2019 14:53 PM

Life-

After DDay1, I stayed with DH because I wanted to.
We had one kid and I was pregnant. Minimal expenses, decent enough salary. Time was still on my side.

All in all, actually, that would be been the perfect time to divorce.

About the 18 month/2 year mark..I was feeling very optimistic. DH was communicating. I felt like a team, he was present all that jazz.

Five years out from DDay1 DH was starting to slip. Not often. Once or twice a year.

We are almost 2.5 years out from DDay2. (12 years from DDay1 and a firm diagnosis). It's different this time, because, I didn't expect as much the first time around. Really. I expected him to work his recovery and be honest when he was struggling. I set the bar too low. I saw the changes in the big behaviors (presence, communication, etc) and blew off the little things.

Now. Everything matters.

I was so mad at DH today, I told DH to either fix the computer or leave the house. Two months, now, he's been farting around with NetNanny on our new laptop. Still doesn't work. We went through this last month..I even told DH "Perhaps I could give it a test run after you've fixed it so we don't go through this again."

Well, he tried fixing, without telling me, and it didn't work. Which I discovered again.

Now. I know NetNanny won't do jack squat...he can find a away around it with a simple google search. Or just remembering.

But, he keeps half-assing things related to his addiction that he could be doing to make me feel safe. While I appreciate DH is giving me blessings to go to some retreats to refill my well...it means little if he doesn't even care to show he's trying to keep me safe by keeping his browser on the strictest level of safe search. I don't understand why DH would even want to give appearances that he's leaving the door open for a possibility of temptation.

IMVHO, it's easier for the behavior to change. But that's completely separate from having a change of hear (for lack of a better word).

marji posted 6/4/2019 15:30 PM

Super Your post is awesome; realistic but also very reassuring.

For us though, I think it is important to accept that this insanity has now become part of our history, and sadly, we cannot easily eradicate it from our life record, but we do have life left to live. So we must make our life the healthiest it can be, going forward under the circumstances, because we each have to choose at some point how our life story will look to us, in the rear view mirror, when we are old....like me.

Whoah, lady, this is wisdom. Sadly we cannot eradicate from our lives what they chose to do and in so doing so badly ruined our relationship but we do have life to live and must make it the healthiest it can be . . . Surely, this needs be our mantra.

Lifeexploded I think it was Shirley Glass who came up with the 2-5 year healing time prognosis but she was talking about healing from affairs and it wasn't a time about the marriage healing but about individual healing whether the betrayed chose or not to stay in the relationship.

There's actually very little dependable statistics on betrayal in general but what there is indicates that about half of marriages damaged by betrayal do not continue; so of course, that means half do. The statistics on that seemed to indicate that many of the marriages that ended did not end right away but often around three years after the betrayal. But again, the statistics are not solid and some of those marriages may end after 15 or 20 years. And who is doing the statistical work anyway? The sample is very slim.

But Life statistics about other people really do not matter. What matters is our H and our relationship; what matters is us and how we feel, how we are being treated, how we have been treated. We are the only statistic that is important, the only statistic that matters and we are but a statistic of one.

Your H sounds very much like mine in terms of general reactions. The details differ from one person to another; hey, the details differ even with the same person. What can make my H act horribly is almost never the same. To keep him from getting ugly would mean my doing a constant egg shell walk and I don't want to live that way.

Today he was blaming me for his having been the victim of a scam; he hollered at me saying I should have not given the money; I didn't give the money he did; I told him not to but he wouldn't listen. Then he said I was criticizing him.

I was actually beyond criticizing but directly showing he had been scammed; I was reading the exact same scam from a posting on internet; the details were all the same. Instead of turning to me and saying, "honey, you were right, I should have listened to you, what a dope I was and can't believe I was scammed twice in two weeks". (yes, it's true), instead he raised his voice, and made out that I was at fault for "not paying more attention." It was ridiculous. And twice in two weeks!!

I suspect he reacted as he did because he was very embarrassed by his foolishness; once is bad enough but twice in two weeks is absurd. He must have felt like an utter jerk. And he should have. Not just for having been taken, but not having discussed anything with me. Like a fool, he had done just what this total stranger had told him to do. Seduced again--just as he had been by the ads in the paper for happy massages.

So can they change? I think some can but they'd have to work very hard at it and I think the kind of qualities they had, the kind of personalities they had that made it possible for them to cheat in the first place, the kind of flaws they have as human beings, may stand in the way of their ability to change. They are very undeveloped humans. Humans in adult bodies but without adult minds.

I have to remind myself that if my H was a really normal, healthy, mature, individual, he would not have done what he did for ten years and then continue to act like a jerk after. And I have to access each day if Im doing the wise thing in continuing to live with such a person.

But lord, you've been at this mess for nearly as long as have I. Three years is a long time; so is four. Some keep at it for 10 years or more. And yes, sometimes things do get better. There are hopeful stories here and I know of very good outcomes for some of the couples in my SANON group though they have been working their programs seriously for a decade or more and their H's take their task in recovery very seriously. Maybe our H's will decide to do that too.

ashestophoenix posted 6/4/2019 18:32 PM

Such wisdom here that I deeply appreciate.

What I can say is that at five years out my husband has made some dramatic improvements not only in sobriety, but in health and maturity. That said, he has so far to go to become truly adult. I honestly could not have predicted how much progress he would start making. But he isn't mature enough yet to be in an intimate partnership. As I've said numerous times before, he may not have enough time left on the planet to truly grow up.

What is really different after five years is me. I have really changed. My tolerance for my husband's immaturity, even with the improvements he is making, is about at zero. My personal growth has made me dislike him even more now than in the past, even though he treats me so much better. I could not have predicted that.

At some point, to survive emotionally, I began to detach from my husband. I felt so much better. His progress was too slow while my detachment became deeper. We are at a "too little, too late" point. I as well am in an IHS, even though I didn't plan that. It just happened for me as I continued to detach.

While I think my husband can possibly become a friend, I can't conceive of him developing a mature, healthy sexuality. He hasn't even begun to work on that issue except to work on sobriety. I just think he is too broken sexually to ever hope for anything more than sobriety. And, at this point, I have zero desire for him. That does not make a happy marriage.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 6:38 PM, June 4th (Tuesday)]

Perchy posted 6/4/2019 21:51 PM

Shocked123 and sami1234,
Many pages ago you gave me advice on whether or not to tell my SAWH that I was going to a support group. I wanted to come back and say thank you. I started doing SAnon meetings online and for a while I did hide them, anticipating he would fly off the handle if he found out (won’t admit he is SA, offended by the suggestion, he doesn’t want to be “labeled”).
I did tell him today, that I’ve been attending meetings for a month, with a modified version of Shocked’s speech (which was perfect BTW). And he was left with no reaction but being resigned to accept it. No fight or drama. He wasn’t thrilled but too damn bad. He made his choice and he does not get to choose my reaction or the ramifications!
Thanks for helping me be prepared with the words I needed...it does not always come easily to me.

sunwillshine posted 6/5/2019 02:55 AM

Lifeexploded - just wanted to chime in. My SAFWH has been sober in SA for 4 years and 4 months. He wants recovery for himself and has changed for the better in many ways. I did a ton of therapy and am still very involved in 12 step programs. Yes, I'm very glad I stayed with him. I am very grateful for recovery. However, I do know that my situation is rare. It makes me sad for those who don't have a SA who takes recovery to heart. And sad for the partners of those who relapse.
I do know that I have chosen to stay in a relationship with an addict and there is always the possibility of relapse. I am doing the work I need to do and if relapse happens, I have a plan for me. For now I'm enjoying my marriage.

demolishedinside posted 6/5/2019 03:36 AM

April was four years from me, though no one uttered the words “sex addict” to me until January. He was in denial in the beginning but he did go to meetings and IC and group, so he was gone three nights a week and then he often would leave to work in his workbook. I have probably a good 50 letters from him with information and revelations and spewing love and how grateful he was for a second ( honestly, third) chance. Going through it, I felt so lucky. He did seem to really care. However, what I think now, is that he was very good at gaming the system and me. He has become more mature in some ways, but even as recent as last week, he still blamed me. He never says it around me but always to those he’s telling about our IHS. I believe he sent something like, “yeah. We are getting divorced but it takes two to tank a marriage.” My blood is still boiling, as I cannot get past the interview stage to get a job and his career is thriving and he’s getting raises (I left my job to move for a fresh start before finding out he’d cheated again two days before the move).

So I guess I share all that to say that around 2 1/2-3 years, I truly was beginning to heal and believe him again. I felt safe enough to move and you see how that panned out. If I ever land a job that isn’t simply retail (and I have multiple degrees, but obviously in areas no one wants), I will file. IHS is sovery painful for me and my kids. I think it’s hard for anyone, but it’s particularly hard with an SA who knows you aren’t giving them another chance. The immaturity and lack of holding back on anything now makes me want to scream. My kids suffer for it.

LifeExploded, I’m not sure this helps you. I really loved him. I still do in some ways, though I hate what he’s done to me and my kids and I have no way out presently. He was so very good at making me believe the change. Even his therapist, my therapist and his group members were stunned by his relapse.

Smjsome1 posted 6/5/2019 11:53 AM

My SAWH and I just had this discussion - about how recovery can (him) work, or cannot (me) I was saying I only know of one really successful sort of recovery, and she is more his mother, makes all decisions, and they recently started MC again.

He said to me “well why are there guys in group who talk about how their wives trust them now, but it’s been hard hard work”
Me “do you remember a few months ago how D brought in a cake to celebrate his wife and he reaching an anniversary, celebrating how well they were doing?”
Him “yes, he was so happy”
Me “I had lunch with his wife that day, she was so sad, told me she had mad an appt with her IC for the next day because she wasn’t sure she could take it anymore”

He just stared at me, sooo surprised.

I said “you know how R takes guys out for coffee when they reach a sobriety milestone?”
He was yes, they are so happy
Me “R’s wife told me she told R, do not tell me anymore - I don’t want to know, because I know the wives, and every time you tell me how happy some guy is, I know his wife and how devastated and hopeless they feel”

My WH is really clueless, he thinks that it’s all great, he’s SO much better. I’m sad, and I see how far he is from better

Somber posted 6/6/2019 05:55 AM

the ongoing revelations that people you know are capable of such ugly behavior, it must be a very lonely feeling

Superesse,
Yes this has been additional pain that I was not expecting. I remember my husband telling me during all these discoveries that he does love me. I then remember saying there is no way you love me, if you did then at the very least you would keep your SA behaviour away from my family (cousin) and our neighbourhood friends. It is so disheartening and yes very lonely.

Ashes, I am trying to learn that I can’t cause, cure or change his behaviour. Alanon is helping with that. I am so used to subconsciously trying to change things around me as to not rock the boat that I am also realizing how desperately that is me trying to control. Here i was thinking he was the controlling one.
I am just beginning to realize how sick I am too. I am reading the book ‘ women who love to much’ and for me this has always been me. I have always unknowingly chosen emotionally unavailable men and the reasons for me stem from my childhood and relationship with my father. It is shockingly insightful to view myself in a different light but has been helpful.

Demolished, I also received suicidal threats and once I viewed them as emotional manipulation I was better able to stop them. The last time, I said it is unfair to hurt me further with your emotional manipulations of suicidal thoughts. If you are truly suicidal then I will be forced to call the police to get you help because I am not trained to help you. It’s a painful and lonely place to be.
As Ashes quoted:

It's manipulative and coercive, and frankly, it's abuse.

[This message edited by Somber at 5:59 AM, June 6th (Thursday)]

ashestophoenix posted 6/6/2019 07:28 AM

Somber, I don't think of either you or me as controlling, but trying to seek safety, seek a reduction in drama and pain, and trying to ensure things go as well as possible. We didn't lie or cheat or manipulate. And, frankly, it kind of worked. I think my husband loved all the work and focus I did to try to prevent him from melting down. He loves to be the victim. He loves to be seen, but not known. I just wanted to get through the day without another scene.

I don't think you are sick, I think you are wounded. I was wounded. Deeply. I do think my early trauma made me not able to see how badly my husband was treating me. That doesn't make me sick, it makes me wounded. I also see that all the ways I tried to make things better were not good for me. They were great for my husband though they allowed him to stay in his little wounded boy mode.

Letting go of my husband, his addiction, his recovery, his meltdowns....all of that, to me isn't about control, it's about giving up on hopium. Giving up on my weird servitude to working so hard on having a marriage. That makes me sad. But, gosh, aren't we trained to do that and isn't that what the culture tells us to do?

I don't want any of us to beat ourselves up. Gosh knows I've done way too much of that. Living with an SA has been so utterly destructive to my self esteem. I don't want any more of that.

I wish we could all feel the beauty, love and wonder in us in a pure and complete way.

ashestophoenix

[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 7:29 AM, June 6th (Thursday)]

Somber posted 6/6/2019 10:34 AM

Thanks for that Ashes. It feels like a lonely and confusing journey. I don’t know who to point the finger at anymore and wonder what my role in it has been. Why have I allowed such behaviour to continue for so long. I guess I am still trying to take the blame for some of it and wonder what I could have done differently.

trying to seek safety, seek a reduction in drama and pain, and trying to ensure things go as well as possible. We didn't lie or cheat or manipulate
.
So true!! All I was trying to do was manage our life and make the best of it for myself and children. But I do see a huge degree in denial with this and the inability to face my reality. Instead I focused on hope and the dream of what it could be. Hopium for sure!!!
Letting go of hopium is almost as difficult as our WH’s letting go of their addictions. I feel I have become addicted to hopium itself!
You are right though, we are wounded. I am wounded and feel shattered into a million pieces and have no idea how to put those pieces back together. Sometimes I’m angry, then sad, then resentful at both my SAWH and then myself.

[This message edited by Somber at 10:37 AM, June 6th (Thursday)]

HeHadADoubleLife posted 6/9/2019 16:16 PM

I guess I am still trying to take the blame for some of it and wonder what I could have done differently.

Oh man Somber, ditto. My therapist calls this "magical thinking." We go over and over the scenarios in our mind trying to "fix" them, thinking "if only I had been nicer, or sexier, or hadn't yelled at him when he was acting like a child, then he wouldn't have done those things."

The problem with magical thinking is it doesn't work. We can't go back in time and change our behavior, and even if we could, there is no amount of tip toeing or walking on eggshells that can magically make a dysfunctional person functional. They won't change if they don't want to.

I tried to always be up front with him about how his behaviors made me feel. I really did my best to avoid the typical passive aggressive/codependent pit falls of just letting him continue to do whatever he wanted without having to hear my opinion on it, or discuss why I was upset. But guess what, that didn't work either!

He wasn't truly in recovery, because you know what he did when he found me voicing my opinion to be "controlling" and "not listening to him?" Instead of having the difficult discussions of "When you do ____, I feel _____. What can we do to change this dynamic?" he went out and found a girlfriend!

Don't get me wrong, I'm still the queen of magical thinking... it comes up constantly. But I've gotten better at recognizing it when I'm doing it and then talking myself down. I used to remind myself of his dysfunction by replaying a few of the greatest hits of his addictive dysfunction - all of those perverted things that none of us like to think about. But now I've realized that I can use other, less jarring reminders to get me through the day.

We've all talked about how our spouses are just giant children. One such way that this manifested itself with my XH is that he was constantly spilling things, and somehow never seemed to notice. He would be drinking a glass of wine, and while gesticulating during a conversation it would slosh over the side of the glass and start running down his hand, dripping onto his clothes and the carpet.

He would be painting and he would get it on his face and hands, and then somehow have no concept of how that paint would then transfer to other things as he touched them, so seemingly every surface in our house had paint stains on it.

Or my personal favorite. My brother was visiting us at our apartment, and my XH decided to make salmon teriyaki for dinner. He had put it on tin foil to grill it, and in walking from the kitchen to the grill he left a trail of salmon teriyaki juice on the kitchen floor and carpet. Just kept continuing his conversation with my brother as if he had not just dripped stinky fish juice all over our apartment. I had kind of come to accept this as an endearing quirk of his that wasn't going to change, so I went to grab a towel to clean it up. He got embarrassed that I didn't just leave it, and yelled at me that he would handle it. I said no, you won't, it's fine, I've got it. And it turned into this whole thing where now I'm feeling bad for cleaning something up, but if I didn't clean it up then our carpet would be stained and our whole house would smell like fish.

There have been a few times where I've called my brother to get a reality check. I'll get into that shame spiral of blaming myself for everything - most recently when I was away for work and ruminating alone in my hotel room, I called and said "I just can't get it out of my head. He left me because I am too controlling and stubborn!" My brother said "Look, there's no denying that you're stubborn. You're stubborn as f$ck. But he didn't leave you because of that. He left you because he is an addict who didn't want to be called an addict and who wanted to keep acting like an addict." Then he said "Remember, whenever you're feeling like you're the crazy one who screwed everything up, just remind yourself - salmon teriyaki juice!"

It's become my mantra of sorts. Find something about your SA spouse that you know is just absolutely ridiculous, even a small thing. And when you're feeling down, like it's all your fault, just remind yourself of that. It really helps to be able to laugh at the situation. As devastating as this all may be, I find if I laugh at it, I'm not letting it have as much control over me. I'm kind of laughing in the face of it, I guess, letting it know I won't be controlled by it any longer.

I think my husband loved all the work and focus I did to try to prevent him from melting down. He loves to be the victim. He loves to be seen, but not known. I just wanted to get through the day without another scene.
I spoke with my IC about this a couple of weeks ago. I believe that my XH knew that he needed me to play that role, but he also didn't want it and hated me for it. He needed a mother to mother him, but then also expected that mother to turn around and want to fuck him after a whole day of having to mother him. All of the work we had to put in to attempt to prevent their ridiculous behavior and childish disregard for consequences makes them the center of attention. They claim to hate it, all of the "controlling," and yet they are bringing it on themselves. It is such a vicious cycle.

Giving up on my weird servitude to working so hard on having a marriage. That makes me sad. But, gosh, aren't we trained to do that and isn't that what the culture tells us to do?

^^^ This!! Ashes, I couldn't have said it better. Yes, relationships are work, but they shouldn't have to be THIS much work. I am angry with myself that I did not cut my losses years ago. Instead, I refused to admit that I had made a mistake in choosing this person, and decided to play the martyr to all of his sexual perversions and childlike lack of coping mechanisms. As if somehow putting up with all of his shit made me a better person. Not anymore, not ever.

trying to seek safety, seek a reduction in drama and pain, and trying to ensure things go as well as possible.
I know a huge part of the reason I stayed was my step daughters. I felt a responsibility to make it work for them, as they had already been abandoned by their own mother, they didn't need another maternal figure to leave them behind, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with them. I also felt responsible for modeling boundary setting for them, and would often get into the middle of his arguments with them to point out to him that they had every right to not want to do things just because he wanted to, or to expect that they be given a time to leave the house rather than be expected to be ready at the drop of a hat when he just decides "Ok, let's go!" I watched them grow into young women, and it made me so proud to see them stand up for themselves, even in the face of his anger. I really wish they didn't have to do that though, life would be much easier if they had a father who would step up and act like one.

Now I know that if your spouse isn't doing the work, the only real way to ensure our safety and avoidance of pain is to get out. The pain is still there, sure, but it's all old residual pain. It's like a bruise that is healing - it's yellowing, and it still hurts when it gets bumped, but it's getting less and less sensitive to the touch, and it's starting to disappear. Though I imagine this bruise will never fully go away. My entire attitude towards relationship is forever altered. Maybe that's for the best, but I do resent him for making me rethink my idea of love.

veryhurt2018 posted 6/10/2019 20:40 PM

Just curious what you guys thing; Do sex addict have free will or do they not? My SAWH have gone back and forth on this and I think he did have free will but he says he didn't. I did some research on it and apparently its a very controversial topic.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 6/10/2019 20:56 PM

They absolutely have free will, everybody does.

They might be predisposed to making terrible choices because of FOO, traumatic life experiences etc. But there are plenty of people with FOO drama and past trauma who do not become sex addicts.

When someone claims that they don't have free will, that they just can't help it, what they're really telling you is that they don't want to change. Because they absolutely could change, if they wanted to.

Even when I think about the times I got angry at my SAXH, my gut reaction was to yell, but I absolutely did have a choice in how I reacted. I could have remained more calm, talked things out more rationally etc. I eventually did learn to do that, or at least got better at turning the switch off quicker once it flipped.

Was I justified in being angry? Of course. But I had a choice in how I expressed that anger.

Are our SA spouses justified in their feelings of pain and shame when it comes to their FOO issues, trauma, etc.? Of course they are. But they are still responsible for every single choice they make. Period.

DevastatedDee posted 6/10/2019 21:39 PM

Tell you how I look at it...if they DON'T have free will, then they have just told you to kick them out and move on without them because he just promised that he will do it again and again because he can't help it. So he can have that stance if he wants to, but that's not going to help keep you in his life with any sense of security or peace.

marji posted 6/10/2019 22:51 PM

Are you asking if someone can resist constant urges, thoughts and feelings? Seems that some can and some can't.

SA is not recognized by the DSM and there is only one institution that give certificates to counselors and other licensed therapists who take their course and training.

So not only is the choice matter controversial, but so is SA. But the literature and therapists that deal with those they deem to be SAs work to help those people who talk of constant urges to change their lives; the idea is that with enough work, enough support, those who have those type of feelings and thoughts will make healthy choices; the step programs, the literature, the therapists speak of "disease" that can be rooted out if the person is willing. Those who work with those they see as SAs (even if the DSM does not) think such people can learn to make different and better choices. But that's an abstraction--it's just a view that says some people can get well; some can live a healthy life; make healthy choices.

But isn't it really just our H's that concern us? It's scary to think my H felt he had no choice. It's also scary to think he did. Your H said he thought he had no choice. What does he fell now? What is he doing to make sure he never feels that "no choice" way again?Do you think he is doing all that he should to make himself healthier?

I think DevastedDee's response is a very smart one. If your H feels he can't help doing things that are wrong then may he is not the right partner for you.

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