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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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demolishedinside posted 5/21/2020 05:37 AM

ChoosingHope, thank you. Iím learning quite a lot each day about running a house on my own. As I figure something out, I feel stronger. My kids miss their dad but they seemhappy and relatively good.

Crazyblindsided, yeah. Damn roller coaster. I will say, the valleys go much more quickly now and I canít be sure how much is due to the damn pandemic. Still, I have pangs. But remember when we would pray for any peace? When we would hope to go days with little drama or worry about things he was doing? Iím there. It IS good. You will get there, too. Are you still saving to file?

DevastatedDee posted 5/21/2020 08:24 AM

Thanks for this, Dee. Very true. So much of the discourse on SA seems to treat it as a discreet problem separate from the person's supposed other wonderfulness. It's not really separate - the addiction is as much who they are as any other part of them. No, more really - it requires more risk and deception and energy than probably any other aspect of their lives. It requires violating the hugest commitment they've made - to their partners and marriages.

Absolutely. It's a huge turning point when you see this. The sense of entitlement, the selfishness, the difficulty with empathy...all of that is in their core personalities. Watching my XWH do recovery work scared me to death. I was blown away with "but you need to LEARN this? This isn't just in you??". I have never felt so profoundly unsafe as when I realized how little empathy he had. He was good at faking it for years, but once he got honest about what he needed to change, I was horrified.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 8:27 AM, May 21st (Thursday)]

skeetermooch posted 5/22/2020 13:49 PM

Watching my XWH do recovery work scared me to death. I was blown away with "but you need to LEARN this? This isn't just in you??". I have never felt so profoundly unsafe as when I realized how little empathy he had. He was good at faking it for years, but once he got honest about what he needed to change, I was horrified.

Yes. It's as if the most basic foundations of being a moderately decent human aren't foundational for them. They are things you pretend in public but aren't really expected to do. That has blown me away - there's no internal morality only the appearance of it.

Somber posted 5/22/2020 22:57 PM

I'm not saying that people can't change, not at all. Imagine the difficulty in that, though, changing who you are. What he needs to change takes years, if it's even possible.

I am realIzing how hard it is to change myself. To change my thinking, my lack of self love, my codependency, my trauma triggered brain, etc. It is hard. It is so hard that I chose denial and rug sweeping to cope with the pain and challenge to change. When I use this insight onto myself, I recognize the difficulty, the therapy, the struggles, the insight and years it takes to change me! When I use this insight onto my spouse who is not doing therapy, lacks true remorse or empathy, still uses victim ideology as an excuse, still active in alcoholism, etc....I recognize the large possibility that he will never change. I think I know that. I think I wouldnít trust in his perceived change even if he did. My focus is on me now; however, itís a lot of work to change old habits and patterns of thinking.
How have you girls done it? Therapy? Leaving? Any books or podcasts? Iím struggling greatly but at the same time staying on course to a healthier me best I can.

Somber posted 5/22/2020 23:04 PM

Aside from that...how many of you have had communications with your partners affair partner (s) or their affair partners spouses?
A couple years ago, the spouse of the OW contacted me which led me here. Yesterday, the spouse of another OW contacted me. Itís a tremendous painful trigger and push into the reality of the sex addiction and itís consequences.
The first couple moved away from our neighbourhood, the affair being one reason (if not the only reason). This other couple are separated and he was asking me details of what I know. How much do I share? I told him all that I knew but I have pictures of some of their communications...should I forward them? He did ask; however, I remember being in the JFO stage and it is overwhelming all in its own.
I wonder, who will contact me next down the road???
Should I contact my cousins spouse and inform him of their denied affair? Consequence of that so far is that our family gatherings have been cancelled but with covid that is not overly noticeable.
I hate that any of this is on my shoulders. I have enough to deal with on my own with my marriage, family; past traumas creeping in, juggling frontline shift work work with homeschooling the kids....itís too much some days!

skeetermooch posted 5/23/2020 00:26 AM

I just need to vent. Hopefully someone here will have some wisdom.

So a few weeks, maybe a month ago, my STBX had an epiphany or something and he just completely stopped with the victim crap, the rage, the blaming. He began talking intelligently and empathetically about what he'd done to me. Basically he said and did every single thing I'd ever wanted. I wasn't jumping right back in - it was an abrupt shift and not trustworthy but we spent a bunch of time together, had sex and it was normal and good. Everything felt like it was right, like there was a road back. He seemed to truly have had his mind changed. He's been in therapy since dday and on new meds.

Then I made one snarky comment about something he posted on social media. It bothered me because it was once again seeking external gratification and responded to entirely by women. Of course. Same old same old as when we were living together - constantly posting narcissistic stuff and then basking in the female swooning that followed. I made a tiny snarky comment and he went nuclear. Called me abusive for my comment. I immediately tried to explain why it triggered me - he couldn't give a crap - just went crazy and then pulled the abandonment punishment by not spending time with me for the last three days.

I'm so freaking angry right now. I want to call him every name in the book and scream and yell. I won't. I end up looking like the crazy person should I show any emotion, while he can yell at me for hours.

I don't know what I'm doing. How could I have entertained that he'd changed?

I just wish I was stronger. I wish I could end this.

Somber posted 5/23/2020 02:55 AM

Oh Skeeter, be kind to yourself!!! We have all been there. We have all got hooked on hopium and hung onto any change wishing it would last. Perhaps he did want to change but as recently discussed on here, change is difficult if not impossible sometimes. It takes a tremendous amount of work, insight and empathy. The fact that it didnít last is the red flag for us to pay attention too. It indicates a pattern. He is projecting onto you calling you abusive. Youíre not, we know that and so do you.

Hang in there! Your stronger than you think. Our hearts take a lot longer to accept what our minds already know!

skeetermooch posted 5/23/2020 11:42 AM

Hang in there! Your stronger than you think. Our hearts take a lot longer to accept what our minds already know!

Thank you, Somber.

Man my heart and head are in a long distance marathon. My heart gets close to catching up and then falls behind again and again. It's maddening to get so close to being done only to get on the hopium again.

In my defense, he was so convincing this last time - omg. He actually gave me money for a few bills, helped around the house, was cheerful with my son and everything he said was so exactly right. Then bam, the asshole shows back up. Wtf

Last night sucked. I was in total meltdown mode. Feeling a tiny bit more normal this morning. Thanks for helping me feel like less of a loser.

Onwards and upwards.

DevastatedDee posted 5/24/2020 20:50 PM

How have you girls done it? Therapy? Leaving? Any books or podcasts? Iím struggling greatly but at the same time staying on course to a healthier me best I can.

I wish I had a good answer, but we struggle with different things, I think. I'm not codependent. I didn't have that to struggle with. I think my core drive, the part of me that I embraced in this situation, is anger. Close second is self-protectiveness. Those two things are what I pull from when I want peace in my life because they send me in that direction. These two aspects of me will push me to move fucking mountains if I need to to get to the other side of whatever has gone wrong in my life. Now, these things have their own downsides. They make me less compassionate and understanding when I feel wronged. They are the things that wouldn't allow me to stay, though, and I am grateful for that. My life would be hell if I had.

Someone like me isn't the best choice of partner for an addict, to put it mildly. He really didn't think that through.

You being more codependent probably means that you are a kinder and more compassionate person than I am. It probably also means that you need more self-love. There are books and meetings and therapy, of course, but I don't know how to suggest you put the knowledge you have into action. I would guess that a large part of the battle would be not allowing yourself to feel guilty for putting yourself above others in your life. We are all that we have, ultimately. You are the most important person in your life. And honestly, you would be AMAZED at the changes you could bring about for yourself if you put your mind to it. If I could lend you some of my rage and circumstantially-appropriate self-centeredness, I'd do it in a hot minute.

DevastatedDee posted 5/24/2020 20:55 PM

Skeetermooch, first off, you are NOT a loser!

Second, I get why you want the good things he can give when he isn't in abusive asshole mode. My question is why do you want those things from him? He is one of billions of men on this earth. If he were actually so special, you wouldn't have been hurt so badly by him. He has been inconsistent enough that you've lowered the bar to where when he acts like a decent human being, it's a huge deal. Most men are just decent human beings without the abusive asshole side. He's getting credit for not being a jerk. That's a problem.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 8:56 PM, May 24th (Sunday)]

skeetermooch posted 5/26/2020 00:49 AM

You're absolutely right Dee. I don't think he's so special anymore. I did for awhile. I thought I'd be losing this prize. I don't see a prize anymore.

I'm resistant to change I suppose. I've started over so many times in my life. I'm nearly sixty and I'm tired. And, I know the way divorce goes - this will be my third - it eats up time, energy, emotions - it's like throwing away a year to go on the divorce coaster. I'm not ready for that.

ChoosingHope posted 5/26/2020 01:44 AM

(((DemolishedInside))) Good for you!! Glad to hear it! I'm still learning about running a house, and guess what? I can do it! Imperfectly of course like when I snap at my kids from stress, or I flooded the basement because I forgot the have the gutters done and one overflowed. BUT, my house is generally calm and peaceful and safe. And I own it and nobody can take it away from me.

(((Skeeter))) Maybe you are walking on eggshells a bit, with one snarky (but true) comment receiving that reaction from your H. But you know this, and so you are away ahead of where I was when I had to leave. I just took those attacks and shoved them down way inside me and tried really hard to forget them.

(((Somber))) I left because my ex's action were so crazy and dangerous that they were off the charts for me. But I have many divorced friends now who had more normal divorce experiences. They go to therapy, they talk to trusted family and friends or even clergy members, they read Anne Lamott and Brene Brown and Glennon Doyle, they go to yoga and meditation, they get a new job that empowers them - everyone is different.

I wish I had the perfect answer for you. I hope others here do. I feel like anything you can read will probably give you hope - anything you can do to widen your horizon can be life changing. Because if you're anything like me, it's so easy just to go along and along and along, and suddenly it's been another decade and you're still there. When I read an essay by John Gottman, I knew my marriage was a joke. But it was early Brene Brown that really empowered me.

-Hope

crazyblindsided posted 5/27/2020 17:27 PM

Are you still saving to file?

Yes getting those ducks ready. Waiting for this pandemic to be OVER

(((skeetermooch))) don't be hard on yourself. I fell into a tiny bit of hopium during this isolation but that has since been smashed. My STBX is so cold and uncaring. Yesterday he was on the phone with a woman with an accent. She sounded young. He appeared unnerved when I passed by him. On my way back into the house I slightly flipped him off but I guess he was watching my every move because he came in screaming at me. I gave him a taste of gaslighting and told him I have no idea what he is talking about and I wasn't going to get into an argument.

skeetermooch posted 5/29/2020 12:16 PM

CrazyBS, good for you giving him a taste of his own medicine!!

I have a general question for everyone. So, my STBX has seemed to have turned a corner (to the extent he can with the wide load of baggage he's carting around). I believe he's stopped with the porn and escorts for the last month or two. I believe he's getting that he can't partake in even a little porn lest he slide back into his addictive behavior. I even believe he truly, deeply loves me. However, he's still him - which is to say a not-fully-formed adult with a lot of crap ideas in his head, little to no emotional intelligence, etc.

Can you ever feel safe in a marriage with someone like this? He's earnest but he's done incredible harm - not just in cheating but in the 9-10 months of blaming, gas-lighting and raging afterwards. Even if it's done - how do you continue on and feel truly safe? Is that even possible?

All of this time hoping he'd "get it" and now that he does I'm beginning to wonder if that even matters, if it's enough - if anything could ever be enough after the trauma he's caused.

secondtime posted 5/30/2020 00:15 AM

The issue of safety is a concept I think about a lot, actually.

I don't believe my husband will ever be a safe partner for me. He's still dealing with too much shame and too much selfishness.

But, that doesn't prevent me from being authentic with him. Actually, we just had our quarterly interaction that reminds me my husband is no where near where I'd like him to be in his recovery.

I explained how he hurt me in a pretty factual way.

And then I walk away, going about my day. Or I walk away and fall apart. It's not done out of manipulation, but rather acceptance that my husband is not capable of being safe. There's no sense in trying to engage him beyond me doing drive-by authenticity. Because my husband is not capable of returning the act of being emotionally intimate.

Somber posted 5/30/2020 05:35 AM

You being more codependent probably means that you are a kinder and more compassionate person than I am. It probably also means that you need more self-love.

Dee, I see your kindness and compassion all the time on here but it comes with honest opinions and advice. I admire that. I often am too afraid to hurt someoneís feelings, etc; that I overthink and often donít respond at all. I see this as much leas healthy for me. The lack of self love has become more evident over time. I recently listened to a pod cast describing codependency as a self love deficiency. Itís heavy learning to realize this about yourself.
it's so easy just to go along and along and along, and suddenly it's been another decade and you're still there.
I am like this as well. This time if another decade goes by, I want to be stronger and healthier for me. I am reading whatever I can and listening to podcasts, etc. Iíve added the names you mentioned to my list. Thanks.


Skeeter, my heart aches for you because I can empathize with the teeter totter of thoughts and emotions you are experiencing. The back and forth, the sadness and anger followed by the love and hope. Itís very painful and confusing.
I think you need to take that power back and make yourself feel safe right now. You can do this by setting boundaries, self care and therapy. When you feel safer and stronger within yourself and your boundaries are not broken, perhaps then you can revisit if you will feel safe with him.
For me, itís a nope, not a chance, doesnít matter what he does at this point, too much damage has been done, I donít feel safe, effort on his part always expires, my pain has rarely been validated, the empathy is lacking, the remorse feels false, I feel so utterly alone...aside from that there are addictions still present so I can only assume SA behaviour is next. Although he has changed in some aspects he has not developed healthier ways to deal with his pain and anxiety...therefore, addictions are not managed. With that: there is no safety.
I struggled a long time with Ďin sickness and healthí that alone confused me for a long time...I still get thrown off by this but how do I stay based on this when I feel how I feel? Not sure I can...sickness or not.

[This message edited by Somber at 5:41 AM, May 30th (Saturday)]

DevastatedDee posted 5/30/2020 09:38 AM

have a general question for everyone. So, my STBX has seemed to have turned a corner (to the extent he can with the wide load of baggage he's carting around). I believe he's stopped with the porn and escorts for the last month or two. I believe he's getting that he can't partake in even a little porn lest he slide back into his addictive behavior. I even believe he truly, deeply loves me. However, he's still him - which is to say a not-fully-formed adult with a lot of crap ideas in his head, little to no emotional intelligence, etc.

Can you ever feel safe in a marriage with someone like this? He's earnest but he's done incredible harm - not just in cheating but in the 9-10 months of blaming, gas-lighting and raging afterwards. Even if it's done - how do you continue on and feel truly safe? Is that even possible?

All of this time hoping he'd "get it" and now that he does I'm beginning to wonder if that even matters, if it's enough - if anything could ever be enough after the trauma he's caused.

I feel like you're giving him credit for maybe acting like a decent human for a minute. You think he's stopped purchasing women for sex for a month or two. And you give him credit for this?

This is what I mean when I say that the bar has been lowered to below the basement for these guys. Any other man would not impress you with this behavior. What is so special about this particular man that you would entertain the idea of staying married because he might have stopped doing something awful a minute ago? And he hasn't stopped being emotionally abusive, right?

This is like trying to feel safe in a home with alligators running free. You can convince yourself that if you step just right and keep them fed that it's a beautiful happy home, or you can realize that you're living with predators who shit all over the house and there's no safety there.

DevastatedDee posted 5/30/2020 11:01 AM

I struggled a long time with Ďin sickness and healthí that alone confused me for a long time...I still get thrown off by this but how do I stay based on this when I feel how I feel? Not sure I can...sickness or not.

I think when "forsaking all others" has been broken, you aren't obligated to "in sickness and in health". I don't think it means sickness that causes declines in your health either. I think the idea is more "don't leave because your spouse was diagnosed with cancer or lost a limb" not "take any and all abuse that could be attributed to mental issues".

That also begs the question...who do you need to justify a divorce to? If it's God, that's covered with his adultery. If it's him, he should know better than anyone why you'd leave. If it's justifying it to yourself, that makes sense and that's an issue you can work through.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 11:04 AM, May 30th (Saturday)]

skeetermooch posted 5/30/2020 13:54 PM

What is so special about this particular man that you would entertain the idea of staying married because he might have stopped doing something awful a minute ago? And he hasn't stopped being emotionally abusive, right?

I don't know what's so special about him. I guess I have my little list which will sound really dumb - we have a lot in common, he gets me, I get him, he was my best friend and still is despite all the crap. I know, with best friends like him, who needs enemies?

All of his emotional abuse has been around getting caught and dealing with the consequences - he wasn't emotionally abusive before dday. Argh - here I am making excuses. But, for whatever reason it's a distinction I feel matters a bit. Of course, it could be argued cheating and lying was abusive even if I had no idea it was going on. Something felt off - I was on edge from that for awhile.

Yeah, I laugh when I see myself making much of his 1-2 months of sobriety - it's ridiculous after years of infidelity.

I think you need to take that power back and make yourself feel safe right now. You can do this by setting boundaries, self care and therapy. When you feel safer and stronger within yourself and your boundaries are not broken, perhaps then you can revisit if you will feel safe with him.

My anxiety is so bad these days. I'm meditating again, getting back to my spiritual practice and reading self-help, hoping to gain strength and clarity. The problem is spending time with him. It's very challenging to stay strong and on course when I spend any amount of time with him. I guess that in itself is telling.

I've also struggled with the concept of leaving a sick person. It's confusing. Yes, if he had cancer I'd stick around and yes, it would take away from my well-being just like this does. Cancer isn't typically a choice unless you're dealing with a smoker perhaps or maybe an alcoholic with liver cancer or failure. It's the codependent in us that struggles with this question. Non co-dependents value their well-being more than I value mine. I get too much worth from being a caretaker and being needed. And I'm also just too exhausted and overwhelmed to contemplate dealing with a divorce right now.

Sharon123 posted 6/10/2020 17:16 PM

Newbie here.
Found out a month ago that husband has had 20-30 hook ups with men. I had no idea. Weíve been married over 35 years.
He says heís a sex addict. Does that excuse his cheating?
Iím lost. Iím taking Valium to make it through some days. The grown up kids wonít speak to him, I moved into another bedroom and took wedding ring off... our ďmarriage vowsĒ were a joke, I guess.
Iím in counseling, he is with another counselor.
I canít see trusting him again.

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