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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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skeetermooch posted 8/24/2020 15:55 PM

Superesse, I can't believe your husband is in the 5th wheel. Fitting spot though. Mine's in a depressing cheap apartment down the road. He can rot there.

I think I ended up with two SAs in a row because I love being love bombed. My previous partner to them was cold. He ended up being abusive but not a cheater. After him, being fussed over and told how wonderful I am, getting served coffee in bed etc - was heavenly. I felt like a queen. Now I feel like a queen idiot. I mistook love-bombing for being adored and cherished and thus safe from abuse. I couldn't have been more wrong.

My STBX felt like a best friend before things got hot and heavy. We had so much in common, such easy conversation and shared likes. I thought I was doing it right this time - but apparently my picker is hopelessly broken and at my age I don't feel compelled to keep trying to get it right. I'm going to guard whatever happiness I can gather from this day forward.

Cleaning those closets and making veggie soup today. Keeping it simply. I'm having pangs of pain but it's not constant at least.

crazyblindsided posted 8/24/2020 16:09 PM

I think I ended up with two SAs in a row because I love being love bombed.

I'm realizing this is my issue as well although I cannot stand the lovebombing from him now, more like turns my stomach Good for you skeetermooch for kicking him out. My move out date is in a couple of weeks and I can't wait been packing and purging this whole weekend.

skeetermooch posted 8/24/2020 18:32 PM

Congrats on your pending move out!

BlackRaven posted 8/24/2020 19:49 PM

Have any of the BS here done al-anon or the SA spouse groups. If so, what were your thoughts?

DevastatedDee posted 8/25/2020 07:33 AM

I did, for my XWH's drug addiction. The infidelities occurred first, but I didn't know about them at the time. I went to Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings for a few months pre-DDay and then for a couple months post-DDay after he was sober. I think they're very helpful in detaching and focusing on what you can control (yourself). Just being in a room with people who understand exactly what you're going through is extremely therapeutic.

I didn't go to any SA spouse meetings. I think, for me, I couldn't drop the shame to walk into one even though the shame was not on me. It was triggering and traumatizing to just think of going to one of those and by the time I would have, I realized I was done with the marriage anyway and just wanted away from all things addiction. I presume they're helpful, but I have no experience with them. Enough people in the Nar-Anon meetings were helpful when I had a breakdown in one and told them all about the cheating.

These meetings are a safe space. You can sit quietly and listen, you can speak, you can weep. You can ask questions. You won't get direct advice, but you will get feedback like "in my experience, this is what I felt/did". Most of what I got was the comfort that exists in shared grief.

BlackRaven posted 8/25/2020 15:53 PM

just wanted away from all things addiction.

Thank you DevastatedDee. And boy does this line resonate.

Iíve been thinking about what each of us contributed to the marriage in terms of growth. I introduced him to new activities and hobbies. He introduced me to lies, betrayal and unimaginable pain.

skeetermooch posted 8/25/2020 16:11 PM

Iíve been thinking about what each of us contributed to the marriage in terms of growth. I introduced him to new activities and hobbies. He introduced me to lies, betrayal and unimaginable pain.

Same. I connected him socially and in his career, took him on amazing trips, helped him with his work, brought him into my family, who loved him. He traumatized me with infidelity.

I never went to al anon or SA partner meetings because I couldn't bear to give his addiction anymore time or energy. Maybe that was counter productive because they may have helped with my healing. I imagined they were about learning how to live with the addict, talk to them, manage life better with them in it, not trigger them etc. I wanted away from thinking about all of it.

Superesse posted 8/25/2020 16:47 PM

How's Skeetermooch today?

Funny thing about those SA spouse groups and what you said about learning to live with their sickness. Back in 2002 after D-Day 1, when I realized I'd unwittingly married a grown man/boy with mommy issues and a prostitute habit his whole bachelor life, (he was 36 when we married and claimed he was a virgin!), I looked for and found only 1 Support Group for Sex Addicts and Spouses within commuting distance.

He called the SA group and put on speaker phone a guy who tried to sell him on the benefits of coming to the meeting, including "you can get away from The Wife...." To his credit, my SAWH hung up on that Group Leader...

Next, I called the Spouses' Support Group and talked to a wife whose husband traveled for his job just like mine did. My question to her was: "How do you keep it together when they stay in this kind of job, leaving town for a week at a time, and you KNOW what they have been up to already?" She replied "I just trust him...and pray..." Uh, it was all I could do not to snort into the phone...

Seriously, that woman was the Group Leader for the Spouses of Sex Addicts? With her head buried in the sand of sweeping it all away? I know we can't generalize from that one experience, but I was like you, skeeter. No thanks.

BlackRaven posted 8/25/2020 18:31 PM

Sorry if Iím posting too much. Itís been a really difficult week. Just wondering if anyone had experience with the Meadows rehab. I know itís early days yet, but my first impression is that Iím underwhelmed with their family support. I canít even get them to tell me what theyíre doing instead of a traditional family week because of covid, or when it might be. Some of us do need to plan ahead.

I know itís supposed to be a good program and their Gentle Path for male sex addicts sounds unique, but Iíd rather not flap in the breeze.

skeetermooch posted 8/25/2020 18:37 PM

Exactly what I feared I'd find, Superesse. I had gone to a meeting for SAs to support a girlfriend years before I met my husband and it was a combination of people with genuine sex addiction and people who'd been rejected by a partner looking for help getting over the pain. When my sister died from alcoholism I went to al anon twice and it was also a weird crew and a lot of talk about detaching with compassion by people choose to stay with what sounded like terrible partners.

I'm not interested in spending the next 40 years praying my spouse doesn't cheat on me. I've got better things to pray for - things that actually have a chance of happening.

Today sucks - I want to crawl out of my skin - not as bad as its been but it's still highly uncomfortable. I was trying to talk to my landscaper but it was all I could do not to run back in the house and hide under the covers. It's really something what this ordeal has reduced me to.

I'm giving myself a little time but I've got to get back to focusing on work and living a normal life at some point - maybe a week is a good deadline for this frozen wallowing that's going on.

I've had thoughts of giving him another chance - immediately dismissed. At least I'm not that far gone anymore. Just rationalizing ways to end the pain. NC is good - I'm not going to break it. There's nothing to go back to. He's an irredeemable liar and cheater. There's nothing he could say or do that would make it possible for me to be with him.


Superesse posted 8/25/2020 19:03 PM

Skeeter, the grim spring "lockdown diet" I was reduced to eating (hehehe: my own cooking, with no restaurants open to relieve the monotony!) really ground a lesson into my spoiled head: I needed to be grateful for a freezer full of wonderful, healthy food, even IF I had to turn it into an entree every morning, noon and night! What a shock to the system that was, at first...just like this is for you and me now, being yanked out of our "status quo" or - as you call it - frozen wallowing (oye, can I ever relate!)

But just as they promise us on SI, an amazing thing started to happen once I got to ACCEPTANCE of the new situation, and started to get over being ultra offended/ticked off over losing my preferred food choices (which involved eating out!) and my having to make dinner for HIM (grrrr, how unfair it felt!).

Like, DUH, slowly it hit me, little by little, that somehow, I was SURVIVING and LEARNING how to cope with a difficult transition. No matter how unfair it felt each day. (I also lost 20 lbs...no appetite!)

So, I suggest to stop that awful wallowing you fall into, it will help you to "zoom your focus down" and concentrate hard on the little, tiniest things you can DO every day to love yourself, to care for yourself and your environment, to PROVE to yourself how you WILL NOT BE and ARE NOT swallowed up by all this crap he has kept bringing into your life! Nada mas!

Give it 21 days, see if you don't feel differently. Hope that analogy helped...

skeetermooch posted 8/25/2020 19:41 PM

Thanks Superesse. I'm committed - 21 days. I have ultimate faith I'll feel better. I know NC works. I trust he sucks, at last.

I've done everything I could to avoid facing this particular moment. One last parting gift from the cheater. But here I am, no way but forward or perhaps, frozen and wallowing

HeHadADoubleLife posted 8/25/2020 22:57 PM

BlackRaven, unfortunately my XH would never admit to his addiction so he never sought treatment. I hear you about how frustrating it would be to have lackluster family support and communication.

I will say that this seems to be the norm amongst various institutions. The closest I can relate is when my youngest brother was in the psychiatric ICU for his first manic episode. Getting answers out of them was like pulling teeth.

We very much felt like we had to obnoxiously follow up, and even then the communication was lacking. Sometimes something we were told in the morning would change by the afternoon, but they wouldnít communicate that, and would act shocked that we didnít magically know.

I would say keep following up, even if you feel itís annoying, because you deserve information. Especially considering how much money youíre probably spending for this rehab! The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

DevastatedDee posted 8/26/2020 08:58 AM

I imagined they were about learning how to live with the addict, talk to them, manage life better with them in it, not trigger them etc. I wanted away from thinking about all of it.

I must have found a bunch of people at both Al-Anon and Nar-Anon who'd had it with their addicts, LOL. There was no "not triggering them" talk, as triggers were not our responsibility. There were some who lived with the addict, but they were learning that they didn't have to and how to protect themselves. Most were parents of addicts and their stories sometimes made me cry. People who had had to cut off their own children and go no contact. People who had lost children to overdose and were working on acceptance and not blaming themselves. People who used to be married to addicts were there too. There were absolutely no stories of any successful marriage with an addict, which freaked me and another woman out a bit. We'd talk after the meeting and be "so there's no hope??". There was one very kind elderly man with an alcoholic wife in recovery and he was "one day at a time" and had been for decades. In a way, he influenced me powerfully. I looked at him and thought "what if that's me, 30-40 years from now, needing meetings to accept that I had no control over my spouse relapsing and learning how to be okay with that". It scared me.

skeetermooch posted 8/26/2020 10:20 AM

I still have pangs of guilt that I can't stick by him. I know his addiction is a result of his childhood trauma but I also can't sacrifice my happiness and health to support him when he's so actively harming me.

It would be wonderful if every addict had a loving supportive family but I can't stay in his corner while he's kicking me in the face every few days or weeks.

crazyblindsided posted 8/26/2020 10:24 AM

(((skeetermooch))) I am the same exact way it literally feels like I am pulling myself over broken glass to get out. I think it's the trauma bond and compounded with trauma from childhood.

DevastatedDee posted 8/26/2020 11:47 AM

All right you two, drop that guilt right now. NOTHING keeps an addict being an addict like having supportive family. They don't appreciate support, they USE support. They don't love you, they love to USE you. If a disease made them punch you in the face (preferable to infidelity, IMO), would you still want to support them? What if this disease was an obsession with arson? Should you be expected to lie down and sleep each night with a partner who might for no reason decide to start a fire in the house?

Call me cold-hearted, unempathetic, selfish...I utterly refuse to martyr myself for an adult whose disease forces him to harm me. Nope. Anyone depending on me for that is out of luck.

If instead of cheating(drugs, alcohol) they were suffering from cancer, we would absolutely have been right there, supportive as heck. They didn't run out and lie in order to get as much cancer as they could, though, did they? Nope. They ran out and lied to risk our bodies and minds getting diseased. Not the same and we are not obligated to even feel guilty when we kick them the fuck out.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 11:48 AM, August 26th (Wednesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 8/26/2020 12:00 PM

They don't appreciate support, they USE support. They don't love you, they love to USE you. If a disease made them punch you in the face (preferable to infidelity, IMO), would you still want to support them? What if this disease was an obsession with arson? Should you be expected to lie down and sleep each night with a partner who might for no reason decide to start a fire in the house?

I need this seared in my memory. It is such an awful feeling that we martyr ourselves in this way. I don't understand why my mind does this. I'm such an empath, but he does not deserve my empathy. I feel guilt whenever he sends me a text of the pain HE is in (still about him). I need to cut that shit out.

Superesse posted 8/26/2020 12:12 PM

Here, here, Dee!! I may have to print that one off and give it to Mr. Hardhead, not that it will make a dent....

In truth, there IS this side of the dilemma, our not wanting "to be the cause of another stumbling," a principle that has been taught us, and a cultural-religious maxim that is embedded deeply in kind-hearted souls. So then we have to sort out how to save ourselves, without feeling like we have essentially given them over to their sickness, KWIM? Yes, they don't give a minute's thought to our wellbeing, before they choose their acting out, but we aren't wired that way... So how do we cut the trauma bond and lose that guilty twinge we don't need to own?

Also, your comparison highlights the evil intentions they really DO harbor towards us. This is the part they DENY, but their actions speak much louder than their tears or words. (Like mine, 12 years after he was given a "second chance," getting arrested for soliciting ON MY BIRTHDAY? No coincidence...he had a desire to put ME down - and got a sick kick out of doing it behind my back, oh yeah....too bad he walked into a sting...) He left the house to drive to a motel middle of the day and meet the "prostitute" 2 hours after giving me 2 birthday cards with $100 bills in each...what was the message THERE?

DevastatedDee posted 8/26/2020 12:45 PM

This is why I say that those who try to R with a sex addict are better people than I am. I mean it. My reaction isn't "poor man has a disease and needs my support to overcome it". It is "How DARE you treat me like that?? I don't give a fuck what your reasons are, I am a PERSON TOO."

You are every bit as important as these men are. More important, because you don't go around spreading pain and damage to everyone in your life. I do not want us to lose people like you in the service of enabling people like them.

The way I saw it, he was not more important than I was and his pain was not more important than mine. I refused the label of collateral damage. I am far too significant to be anyone's collateral damage. I reject that notion entirely. It is the job of professionals to deal with why this person is an asshole who hurts others. It is my job to remove that person from my life because I am not expendable. I am not a tool for anyone's recovery. I am ultimately all that I have in this world and I will not allow anyone to use my love to destroy me. The addict was not to be the central character in my life.

I am far far too selfish to be with an addict.

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