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Abuse and Threats

TheFallen posted 7/1/2020 12:05 PM

Hello. I've been on SI for a few years now, but mostly just reading and gathering information. Quick story about my background before I get into the topic.
Met my wife while we were in college and we quickly hit things off. Started dating within a year. Moved in together and then got married. When we first began living together, my wife discovered a lot of pornography. I didn't think it was a big deal, but I saw she didn't like it, so I decided to stop. But a few weeks later I found myself right back at it, only this time, I tried to hide it. As she found out multiple times, it caused more and more stress to her, to the point of her having to be admitted to a hospital. During this time, we put many things in place so that I couldn't look at porn. But then I began seeking out other means for sexual gratification. I became a real life voyeur. I would spy on people, secretly photograph them, or steal their belongings. Needless to say, I eventually got caught and arrested, as I deserved to have been. It took that low to realize I had a serious problem.
Fast-forward to about 5 years in a 12-Step for sex addiction. I have had some ups and down in my recovery, relapsing with porn and masturbation. I was able to stop the voyeurism, mostly due to legality.

I know so much of what I have done is absolutely disgusting and despicable. Of course every photograph, every item stolen, every video saved no longer exists in any form. I never shared it, posted it, or anything. Part of my recovery is going to be making amends to some of these people. And we can get into the "why" and "how" at another point. But right now I'm seriously struggling with some other serious issues.

My wife stood with me, even through all of the pain. Can you imagine finding out your husband was arrested for masturbating outside of a strangers window? She was seriously considering divorce for a very long time. And I didn't blame her. But over these last few years, I was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Looking back at my life, it made an incredible amount of sense.

With NPD, I can be a complete selfish, inconsiderate, and miserable human being to be around. I've tried time and time again to change. They saying being self-aware is a good step. But the only thing I can actually change about it are my behaviors. I must notice the thoughts and change my actions based on them.

However, after a recent fight over one of my friends being a bad influence (he actually is and I've since cut him off) I got so mad at my wife that I threatened to divorce her.
It wasn't really just about the friend thing. I had been wanting to act out so bad and was tired of doing what was required for Reconciliation. So I've undone a lot of the work with R, and have since become a bad candidate. But threatening my wife with divorce actually made her break down in tears and beg me not to leave. I realize that I've been causing her so much mental anguish, but she still can't stop loving me. I do not deserve a woman like this in my life.

So, we both know that I'm emotionally abusive. I have been slowly changing that over time, but obviously the damage I've done can't be so easily repaired. Right now, she's worried that divorce papers are going to randomly show up and I'm going to tell her it's over. I've caused that fear in her and after seeing how desperately she begged, I realized what a monster I was.

She IS in IC (I am as well). She does have an excellent support system. We have tried MC a few times, but have had a lot of trouble in our area finding someone who understands betrayal and PTSD. Some of them have blamed her in various ways and I wasn't going to stand for that crap. This was never her fault. Not even for a second. She is the best person who has ever entered my life. She is the best thing that has ever happened for me. She is a stay-at-home wife, willing to cook and clean. She was willing to satisfy all of my sexual needs whenever I wanted (before all of the betrayals and TT). And we are trying very hard to rebuild trust and intimacy. Obviously, threatening her with divorce was a really REALLY stupid thing to do and has set us back quite a ways.

Some part of me blames my guilt over the way I treat her, for threatening to leave. But I know it's more selfish than that. I know that I haven't been good for her. I know that I haven't treated her like I love her, despite how many times I claim it. I know that I keep talking about me me me me.

I just wanted to post here to just...I don't know, start something different. She has had to prompt me every single step of the way in my recovery. And through the recovery, I KNOW this is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. There's so much good advice here, but I've usually been one to ignore good advice. I know there isn't much anyone can say that I don't know already. But...I guess I need some kind of community.

Thanks for anyone who takes the time to read this.

TheFallen posted 7/2/2020 20:00 PM

Can I have a mod remove the Stop Sign?

foreverlabeled posted 7/14/2020 08:59 AM

Hey Fallen,

I must admit that I didn't quite know how to respond when I first read your post. I'm sorry it's taken 2 weeks for someone to reach out. You are seeking community which you need and is so important because you don't have that system elsewhere. And well, we are your people, we know this shit.

My heart broke when I read how your BW broke down after you threatened divorce, after all that she has put up with (which, whew! is a lot) I could feel just how much you've abused her mentally where the thought losing you was that devastating, forget everything you've done to her. I don't say that to make you feel like crap. I just felt this tug at my heart for her.

I guess that is what a NPD spouse will eventually do to a person. I feel like it is going to take years of recovery for her. Can NPD actually stop abusing? Seems like it will be next to impossible to heal when she is still living with her active abuser, it's hard enough with a once was abuser. You mentioned the only thing you can do is noticed your thoughts and react non NPD . That requires an insane amount of constant consciousness. On average we have, my quick google search,

12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day . Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, AND 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.
I suppose with the above information, it's helpful that 95% of them are repetitive. Makes it a lot easier to recognize and spin the thought if need be. You would do well to spend time with your thoughts, write them down, keep a daily log. It was something that helped me greatly with my self worth and fixing it. And the benefits will help you too for your own personal reasons. Plus getting in this habit was life changing for me. With very little effort now I recognize negative thoughts about myself, especially the ones where I am hard on my worth for no reason. Also, it seems they have dropped in quantity, I'm well below the 80% after 4 years of this practice. The trick is to replace the negative thought with a better one every single time. Until the new thought completely replaces the old.

Also, STOP ignoring the good advice, the advice that can work for you. You already have a challenge, don't make this harder for yourself. I think the key for you will be developing good habits, that way even if you don't necessarily believe in something that is healthy and good, you react as if you do.

How is your 12 step program going? For most with an addiction, they need help. You probably need that help. Don't take it lightly. I feel like it will help you with making those good habits too.

I could quite possibly sound like I have no idea what I'm talking about and its because I really don't know how to help you with the NPD dx. But, you do have friends here and we can help you on your journey.

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 9:02 AM, July 14th (Tuesday)]

JanaGreen posted 7/14/2020 12:21 PM

I might be an asshole for saying this. And if so, I hope the SI community piles on me. But I'm going to say it anyway.

I couldn't give up on my marriage (mostly because of my children, but partially because I was terrified to be alone). I couldn't give up on it until he MOVED OUT. His leaving was the greatest gift to me.

Are you capable of being a healthy partner to your wife? Would your leaving the marriage actually be a gift to her? Do you WANT to stay married? Does she really want to stay married, or is she afraid of being divorced?

My ex isn't diagnosed NPD but he ticks a lot of the boxes. Being married to him caused me TREMENDOUS psychological damage. He would change his behavior for a while and then slip back into his old ways.

I'm now watching the same pattern play out with his current girlfriend, who is a very kind and giving soul. Breaks my heart.

If you can't stop hurting her, give her the gift of leaving.

Notmine posted 7/14/2020 12:32 PM

I am the wife of an SA and recovering drug addict. Me: Recovering alcoholic, 22 years. I am a BS, almost 5 years since DDay. Husband: Recovering addict, 24 years sobriety from drugs/alcohol. 4+ years sobriety in SA.

I provided the above information to give you my credentials so that you know I understand addiction and have a good frame of reference for recovery and sobriety. I have been a member of this site for more than 4 years. I thank God for the kindness and compassion I find here AND for the times that I heard what I needed to hear, NOT what I wanted to hear.

First, I am glad that you are reaching out for help. This shows that your are willing. You will not get sugar coated responses on this site, but if you listen and act accordingly, you might become a better partner and a better person.

Please tell your wife about this site. She needs to understand that she needs to STOP enabling your behavior by begging you to stay (we call that the "pick me" dance and it never works in favor of a BS) and driving your recovery. The latter is YOUR job. Your wife needs to take her power back and give you consequences to your actions. It seems to me that she has accepted this mistreatment of yours because she is fearful. You are right. This is no way for her to live. Please tell her to look into S-anon so that she gets specific support for living with an addict. We are the most selfish beings on the planet. She needs to do what is best for her, NOT you. I would advise that you not give her the name you use to post on this site so that you can continue to benefit from it anonymously. I would also advise that she does not give you the name she uses. She deserves to know that she can post here safely. You must refrain from looking for her posts. If you are truly concerned for her well being, this should be a priority for you.

She has had to prompt me every single step of the way in my recovery.

Your wife should not be the one prompting you. If you have truly surrendered/accepted that you are an addict and that your life is unmanageable, you will be willing to take certain steps. These actions show that you truly want to change. Your words cannot be meaningful because you are a proven liar. ACTIONS will prove your resolve. You should be doing whatever it takes to stay sober. You should be doing everything you can to support your wife and to prove that you deserve her. You need to want to get better and do it for YOURSELF or sobriety/psychological health will not be sustainable for you. Period.

I had been wanting to act out so bad and was tired of doing what was required for Reconciliation.

This statement shows that you have not been beaten up enough by your addiction/bad choices to want to do WHATEVER it takes to get the help you need. It does not show REMORSE, which is what your wife needs and is a catalyst for meaningful change, it shows REGRET that you have to stop your behaviors because you got caught. If you are truly ready for a sober, healthy life, you would be ready and willing to surrender and to get help. The fact that you are ďtiredĒ of taking the actions necessary to get better is a major red flag. If you are remorseful, you would be doing everything in your power to prove that you are worthy of being in your wife's life. These statements, IMHO, mean that you may not be ready to change at the integral level it will require for you to stay sober, to be a person of integrity or for a relationship with ANYONE at this time.

She is a stay-at-home wife, willing to cook and clean. She was willing to satisfy all of my sexual needs whenever I wanted (before all of the betrayals and TT).

This statement shows that you are still objectifying your wife. This behavior is common for SAs who continue to abuse sex. Are you still watching pornography? If you have been working the 12 steps, are working with a sponsor, attend/have attended 12 step meetings on a consistent basis, and are, in fact SOBER, then this thinking is a real issue. You need to identify and respect your triggers (porn, masturbation, etc.) and apply strategies to successfully deal with them. These strategies are what you learn in recovery. If this kind of thinking continues, it will continue to help you relapse.

With NPD, I can be a complete selfish, inconsiderate, and miserable human being to be around.

Although on the surface this sounds like you are taking responsibility, I feel that on some level you are rationalizing these behaviors because you have a diagnosis. Being NPD and a sex addict EXPLAIN your dysfunctional and destructive behaviors but do not EXCUSE them. I feel that t is important for you to consider and address your agenda here. Again, this should not be about YOU, but about how these behaviors impact your wife. Sobriety is a process, and you are early in this process. It is a good sign that you are willing to see this in yourself.

But I know it's more selfish than that.

This shows some insight. It is time to pull on your big boy pants and commit to work a program of recovery and one of psychological health where YOU are driving the bus. There is no sense to doing MC at this time because your thinking is still a giant issue, both in terms of sobriety and in terms of rebuilding your marriage.

My advice: 1. Continue with IC and with addressing your needs as an NPD 2. Get off your ass and commit to recovery on your own and without any prompting from your wife. Attend several 12-step meetings weekly to help you gain the tools necessary to stay sober. Get a sponsor and TAKE SUGGESTIONS. 3. Take the action of saying the first 3 step prayers to yourself every morning to help you with powerlessness, willingness, acceptance, and honesty. 3. Before any action you make, repeat the following to yourself:ĒIt is not all about me. I cannot control people, places and things. I am willing to accept thisĒ, and do some self-reflection to look at your thoughts and actions. 4. Read Patrick Carnes' book Out of the Shadows. 5. Listen with an open mind to other posters. People are put into your life for a reason. Pay attention.

TheFallen posted 7/15/2020 10:24 AM

You are all amazing. So much great advice and truth here. Unpopular opinions are more than welcome...like its mentioned, there are things I NEED to hear, even if they arenít what I WANT to hear.

I just read all of these responses and have a lot to unpack and respond to. A few quick things though:

I had been talking with my wife about keeping this account a secret. To be honest, Iíve had another account on here before and used it as a way to manipulate and lie. She didnít know my username for a while this time, but recently it was accidentally logged in and she saw what it was. For this reason, I also had changed some of my details, so she wouldnít suspect I was me. The purpose of this was so that I could be honest here. This was all with her knowledge. She actually was using this site before me. Sheís also been in S-Anon. My S.A. program was helping me a lot, but I used that to lie and manipulate as well. Unfortunately all that has done is erode some of the avenues I have for building safety with my wife.

Thank you all for being here. Thank you for considering yourself friends. My wife refers to you guys as my ďfriendsĒ so itís nice to say that. Iíve lost all of my friends as a result of my acting out. And I mean that literally. I have 0 friends left in my life. So thank you all.

wantstorepair posted 7/16/2020 06:44 AM


Reiterating some previous advice: get into a 12 step program and stop lying to yourself. I, like you, have very narcissistic qualities, and have spent a lifetime of lying and justifying and minimizing and defending my awful actions and living with entitlement and selfishness. All the while telling myself I didnít have a problem. I was right, I didnít have a problem I have MANY problems, and until we can be honest that they exist and need to be addressed you are doomed to keep hurting her and anyone close to you.

I started AA meetings ( lied to myself for years that I didnít need to and didnít have an alcohol problem among other problems), and bought and read the big book and the 12 steps and immediately realized how broken I really am and that there are so many like me. Being honest about how I treated alcohol and looking back on my life and how I drank and how I acted now I can clearly see that I am an alcoholic. I am now trying to process this same perspective of honesty and introspection on all aspects of my life and my long history of selfish and narcissistic behavior - too include being a cheater and liar. This revelation and honest introspection can be applied to every aspect of your life where you are making bad and destructive decisions and telling yourself it is okay, or justifying away your actions and fighting to avoid the natural consequences of being an abusive and selfish asshole and not putting others first.

I am not a religious man, but the tenants of the program, its message and means, and the striving to be good for goodness sake and live by a better more disciplined and selfless code has deep meaning even if you are not a church going devout believer.

Try it. Go to AA and use that action to dig deep into your lies and start unpacking your whys and to start on a different path away from addictive selfish and hurtful behavior. I only started last month, and have a lifetime left to go, but I believe this is a good and helpful path to walk while trying to be a better person.

Notmine posted 7/16/2020 09:55 AM

My S.A. program was helping me a lot, but I used that to lie and manipulate as well.

This is not unusual for a person in early recovery and underscores the fact that YOU did not initiate recovery, your WIFE prompted you. Nope. This is up to YOU. If YOU want to get better, you will get yourself to online meetings, take suggestions and begin to take the ACTIONS necessary to make a meaningful difference in your life. If you are not taking these actions, you are not serious about addressing your addiction and your wife is not safe. Period. MOST addicts relapse, whether they are SA, AA, NA, etc. It is who we are. The ONLY chance you have, IMHO, is to engage in IC with someone who has experience with sex addiction (CSAT) AND to attend 12 step meetings. You need to willingly participate in the recovery process.

all that has done is erode some of the avenues I have for building safety with my wife

This is addict BS, pure and simple. Let's be clear. Your S.A. program was not the problem. YOU WERE. You were not ready to get sober. As I said before, for your wife, your words have no value,. Actions will determine your resolve.

TheFallen posted 7/16/2020 11:02 AM

Yes. The program is one of the only things that has ever helped me take a step forward in stopping my behavior and ďstinking thinkingĒ. My wife used to be the one who had to initiate everything, but now she has completely checked out. Sheís had to. She canít take the pain anymore. So all that Iím left with is me and my choices. I need a new IC. I need a new sponsor. I need to take my recovery and my wifeís pain seriously. These things, I choose not to do them. And continue to write in a defeatist way. Self-pity. Attention seeking. False sense of awareness.
But Iím still the same man I was 3 years ago. Just with a larger vocabulary.

Notmine posted 7/16/2020 11:36 AM

Are you going to do anything about it? Go to an SA meeting today. They are online. Take the first step or let your wife go.

TheFallen posted 7/16/2020 17:18 PM

Yes. My in person group has S.A. meetings on zoom every day. Iíll be joining a call tonight and tomorrow morning.

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