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Is there anything like a 12 step recovery program for WS?

Justgetitoverwith posted 6/16/2019 18:58 PM

I've never been involved in any addiction recovery programs of any kind, so any dubious info I have is from media and secondhand info...

It's been a constant uphill struggle to get WS to really see himself and his attitudes and behaviors for what they really were/are, and he has done very little about changing that himself. Lied all the way through from the EA/PA years ago, and other inappropriate interactions, almost up to the present day. He's read How to heal your spouse a couple of times, along with other things, but has not successfully practiced the recommendations. Including to stop lying. He sees an IC, who has asked him to do a few things, but they are only short term, I'm not sure if this was the intention, or just WS being lax. I suspect the latter, based on his overall effort.

One thing that constantly gets my goat is that he has never owned up to anything concrete with his parents, who had a mouthful for me when I first exposed the bare fact of his A. I have since found out a lot of detail, and the fact that he's been lying to me and been a detached and largely uninvolved partner for many years, while giving the impression of a devoted family man is a very bitter pill to swallow. As far as I'm aware, disclosure to family/affected ppl is one of the steps of addiction recovery.

My feelings are that a structured workable program would help more than the random reading hes been doing, with no accountability to anyone apart from me, who he obviously lies to with abandon.

Is there anything like that out there? Something to work through step by step? Anything similar for BS? Like a support group for spouses of unremorseful and constant liars?

Edit: I should clarify that I don't think he's a sex addict, and although he looked at LOADS of porn to the extent of quick check ins through the day (still not sure I know the extent) has (I think) stopped cold turkey when all this started coming out. So that's probably not porn addiction either, just a vast appreciation of it? So the addiction groups I know about don't seem appropriate...

[This message edited by Justgetitoverwith at 7:03 PM, June 16th (Sunday)]

The1stWife posted 6/17/2019 06:38 AM

I don’t know if specific support groups for cheaters specifically but there are support groups that exist in different communities.

Honestly based on your post I am not sure how it will help. He doesn’t seem willing to open himself up and get real and face the challenges or issues he has.

I think your time is better focused on you and your reaction to him and his continued lying (as one example).

Hephaestus2 posted 6/17/2019 06:59 AM

>>>>It's been a constant uphill struggle to get WS to really see himself and his attitudes and behaviors for what they really were/are, and he has done very little about changing that himself.<<<<

For betrayed spouses there is the beyond affairs network (BAN) although I am not sure how active it is these days. I suppose it probably depends on where you live. I don't know of anything comparable to BAN for unfaithful spouses. I don't know of any reason that your husband could not join a 12 step program (the most popular support groups) such as Alanon (even if he does not have a family member with a substance use disorder). Come to think of it, you yourself might consider joining a 12 step group like Alanon. One of the first things you are likely to learn in is that it is impossible to fix someone else and if you insist on trying, it will only make you more miserable. The bottom line? You can only fix yourself.

OwningItNow posted 6/17/2019 13:14 PM

Like a support group for spouses of unremorseful and constant liars?

There's Divorce Care.

Newlease posted 6/17/2019 14:57 PM

The thing is, 12-step programs only work if the addict is completely honest and willing to work the program.

One of the most important things I learned in a 12-step program is this: You cannot change or control someone else. You can only control how you react to them.

I would suggest you try the 180. You can find it in the Healing Library. It will get you to a place of strength. He will either do the work or he won't. You have to decide what you are willing to accept.

Sending strength and peace.


Hephaestus2 posted 6/18/2019 05:29 AM

>>>>12-step programs only work if the addict is completely honest and willing to work the program.<<<<

In theory, that is true. In practice, there are plenty alcoholics who get into AA, who get sober, and who stay sober without completing all of the steps. For example, someone might fudge a little (or a lot) on Step 4 (Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves).

In theory, if you miss a step then you won't be able to stay sober.

In practice, if you miss a step and stay sober anyway, nobody will care. You won't get the boot because you fudge a little (or a lot) on Step 11 (Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.)

The carrot is "follow the program and you will stay sober". The stick is "if you don't follow the program you won't be able to stay sober".

[This message edited by Hephaestus2 at 5:30 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

Thislife posted 6/19/2019 22:50 PM

My WS goes to ACA (adult children of alcoholics). No one in his family is an alcoholic. The people attending ACA seem to have suffered from neglect or abuse of some kind (usually due to alcoholism) during their childhood that has negatively impacted their lives and/or their decision making processes as adults. His FOO is emotional neglect (stems from narc parent not alcoholism ). This program is working for!

When he first started (weeks after DDAY) it was like he was checking off a box to fulfill the requirements of an affair recovery program. He stopped for about a year because I asked him too - his attendance was not genuine - he was unable to work the steps, unable to commit to his sponsor or do the work asked of him. After spending a lot of that time off in IC, MC and learning (he did have to learn this) how to self reflect and hold himself accountable for his own choices and actions (he could barely talk the talk and it took almost two years for him to even begin to walk the walk of accountability) he returned to the program. Now, he seems to have gained more self awareness, inner peace after some inner turmoil and he is slowly learning to forgive himself while seeking forgiveness from attending these meetings. He also seems to empathize with others rather than judge what got them there. My WS had to realize, on his own, that he needed to be there for himself not the marriage and had to be ready to accept the lessons being taught through similar experience there (he needed to connect and relate) ... kinda the same as here. He will be the first to tell you that going today - is a whole different experience than when he attended just to prove he’d do anything to stay in our marriage.

Anyone attending these groups have got to want change in order to change and to be open and ready to accept the support available to them. Although, I guess a good first step is making a meeting to any 12 step program as, from what I understand, they are all similar in the steps - some are just more focused on a particular addiction/issue. It will be easier to attend if the meeting is relatable to the WS and my WS could not relate until he delved into his real issues with his IC.

[This message edited by Thislife at 10:56 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)]

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