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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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Superesse posted 9/25/2020 11:23 AM

Dee, I was waiting to see what you thought of my meeting...that lawyer must think I'm a bulldog worrywart. But we have seen how the best laid plans can go sideways with these crazies.

Between (a) the lawyer saying again how the Agreement is binding, and (b) my having seen a very recent credit report he had pulled by his bank - just before he paid off his gigantic credit card balances with his house sale proceeds and (c) my noting on the report only the 3 credit accounts that had been spelled out as "separately held" in our 2014 Agreement (that was one big worry I had, possible other accounts), plus my name wasn't on any of them, what other precautions could I take at this juncture, to stop that little voice in my head?

(I know, I know...bite the bullet and file! Somebody on the D/S forum just advised me to do that, from a simple question I posed about getting a "paper divorce.")

So I think what is worrying me are the mechanics of how any potential debt collectors could drag me into something, regardless of my notarized Marital Agreement.

It's just the fact he lives here, that seems to muddy the waters for financial issues - and could still perhaps cause me headaches, even if we divorced. But perhaps not, which seems worth considering, at my age. But I have to remember that the lawyer told me "It can sometimes be worse than when you are married!"

No wonder diplomacy is so tricky. Just trying to negotiate a way out of the fear and insecurity of being victimized by someone else, without retalitating in kind...can wear you out.

DevastatedDee posted 9/25/2020 12:15 PM

I fall on the side of just divorcing. You never ever ever ever can relax when you're tied to an addict in any way. They aren't predictable and you'd always have worries about what he might do hanging over your head. Just for your peace of mind alone, I'd divorce. Be the only one in control of your financial affairs. Take that black cloud of worry off of you.

Superesse posted 9/25/2020 12:22 PM

Sums it all up, neatly, Dee!

they aren't predictable

Hey Skeeter, checking in on you today. You've been real quiet.

MakeMineReal posted 9/25/2020 15:26 PM

My ex had crossed the line from sex addict to sex offender - he'd literally done things I could have filed charges against him for. I didn't press charges (though I truly regret it now) because first, I was so traumatized by the discovery, and secondly, my adult kids were completely blindsided and so devastated by what they learned about who their father really is (they still don't know the worst of it).

I did speak to a victim's advocate at the DA's office. She told me that while she couldn't give me legal advice, since I knew I wanted out and had already filed for divorce I should try to finalize it as soon as possible. She said he sounds like a loose cannon and it would be best to cut my ties to him before he got into legal trouble by sexually assaulting someone or got caught being a peeping tom (yes, he'd done that too).

Sometimes staying legally tied to someone can result in further damage emotionally, psychologically, physically and/or financially.

skeetermooch posted 9/26/2020 21:49 PM

I fucked up big time ladies. Help.

I broke NC when he threatened to delay the divorce. That turned into friendly exchanges and me somehow rationalizing that we could be friends, that I was over being in love with him and I could handle it, that there were benefits to keeping him around as a friend, etc.

I got an offer to camp this weekend and needed a child and dog sitter - he's truly my only option at this point. He eagerly agreed, I laid down some rules - like could he actually be here most of the time instead of the usually being MIA until 8 or 9 at night. He promised - helped me pack and lent me some gear.

Well, he basically was gone all day - didn't stay at home, got into a conflict with my son during the little interaction they had and then cleared out of here with a triggering story before I even returned home. Then when I called him on not being here except at night - he flipped out and told me he needs space, I sabotaged our relationship and I keep tearing him down - he needs time away to heal!!

I'm back to square one - shaking, panicking. WTF did I do??

BlackRaven posted 9/26/2020 22:44 PM

Skeetermooch - start with some grounding work. I got some exercises from the trauma therapist and it really helps. If we canít bring our nervous system back down to the ventral vagal area/parasympathetic nervous system, then we canít think with a clear head because all our actions/reactions are based on pre-wired responses

Dr Jill Manning has her workbook for sale for $15 on her website, though Google searches turn up articles with some of the techniques. Her booklet is more comprehensive, but you only need a few that work in your toolkit. I think if you can get over the initial reaction, you might find that you arenít really back to square one. Hang in there

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 10:51 PM, September 26th (Saturday)]

skeetermooch posted 9/26/2020 22:50 PM

Thanks, BR.

I'm feeling a bit better. How in the world did I go from where I was to getting sucked back into the insanity? There's no way to have any connection without it making me nuts. Sometimes this feels like a bad dream I can't stop having.

Superesse posted 9/26/2020 22:58 PM

Oh gosh Skeeter, I hope my musings lately weren't somehow responsible for your thinking you could shift your relationship with him enough to get some practical help? If so, I am sooo sorry! I have been posting about this same kind of thinking, and have been getting smacked around by well-meaning folks on my D/S topic today, for it!

Maybe it's all part of the "bargaining stage" of our grief, before we get to acceptance.

Wasn't yesterday some significant date for your D process?

BlackRaven posted 9/26/2020 23:16 PM

How in the world did I go from where I was to getting sucked back into the insanity?

Because itís not linear.
Because emotions arenít predictable.
Because youíre human.
To quote from the 12-step programs ďProgress, not perfection.Ē

skeetermooch posted 9/26/2020 23:18 PM

Superesse - Yes, must be the bargaining phase. I'm trying to find a way to keep a connection, rationalizing that we could be friends. That was never possible. If I give him half a chance to spin his promises and lies, the next thing you know, he fucks it up and I end up hurt.

It's not your fault Superesse. Maybe knowing it's working for some people informed me but I don't think I needed much encouragement. It's hard to amputate a husband. I wish I didn't have to but I know for certain I do. He's not safe at any speed. And why on earth would I want someone who abused and traumatized me as a friend or a babysitter or a dog sitter?? Why would I want anything to do with this monster who nearly destroyed me?? What is wrong with me that I would consider him friend material????

You have a great memory, Superesse. My D went into default yesterday! Monday, I file some other form to move into phase two - which I think is just waiting for it to become official. The sooner the better.

Superesse posted 9/26/2020 23:32 PM

Instead of beating yourself up so hard about turning to him of all people when you need a little help, just see it as a sign you need to lay new tracks, make new friends, and generally find other ways to get that sort of assistance, so you have OPTIONS! I know, I know, easy to say, not always so easy to make happen. But that's what it sounds like motivated you to invite him back at all. That, and force of habit. Except you don't have that many years invested, so what is the hook?

And then, let's face it, maybe we also try to "nice" our way out of our contentious situations...This is what people are telling me, too. So just tune out his bullying, carping, whining BULLSHIT, from here on out, and you will feel better and better, I bet! He sounds like a miserable fuck, by the way.

skeetermooch posted 9/27/2020 05:04 AM

Superesse, you're right - I needed help and I thought, wouldn't it be the easiest and best option if we could be friendly exes and help each other out? I'm trapped right now between my son and the dog. My son, I actually have more options with because he's fairly independent. He just needs a person here. My dog doesn't do well with anyone besides me or my idiot STBX. I'm having a really hard time being chained to my house for this long. I normally travel a lot and now, more than ever, I crave the diversion and perspective-changing powers of travel. The idea that maybe, just maybe, my ex could make it possible for me to have some normalcy was too tempting. I figured he owed me as much and if he was as eager to do it as he said he was, it could be a good situation.

I felt detached emotionally, so I'm surprised how much it hurt me that he didn't keep his word when pet and kid sitting. I suppose it's another disappointment and broken promise after too many others. It triggers those feelings of anger and betrayal all over again. After all the horrible shit he's done to me, he can't even keep his word for a few days on some minor tasks. He can't even be a safe friend. He was begging for a chance to prove his commitment to me and my little family. I wasn't asking him to do it. I never would've broken NC of my own initiative. He was miserable, couldn't stay away - vowing the sun, moon and stars and I gave him a chance to prove he was trustworthy enough to be a part of our lives and this is what he did?

It's true I don't have that many years invested and yet feel hugely invested. I lost all of my family a few years prior to he and I getting together and I parted ways with a few close friends this last year. I live thousands of miles away from the couple of people I'm closest to. I didn't even realize the huge void he filled until more recently. I need to figure out how to grow a support system so that I don't ever again succumb to re-connecting with him. I'm not sure how one does this at all at my age or if it's even possible.

skeetermooch posted 9/27/2020 05:16 AM

Because itís not linear.
Because emotions arenít predictable.
Because youíre human.
To quote from the 12-step programs ďProgress, not perfection.Ē

Thanks BR. This helps.

Superesse posted 9/27/2020 10:27 AM

Skeeter, there it is: the particulars of your situation totally explain your recent attempt to solve your social isolation issues by allowing this defective individual to "sell" you. Because you needed the help, and especially when it comes to our baby dogs, it's really hard to slot in just anybody. If you have to ask yourself why you even went there, maybe blame the dog!!

No kidding. I know my dear old boy has influenced my staying in this situation! Cause I know how much he loves his farm and his truck rides with his "Dad!" He is the reason why I got the RV, in fact! Good dog - didn't foresee that I'd need it like a man kennel, to board the SAWH!

The RV seemed like a good alternative to kennel boarding after our experience 2 years ago, when I had to go out of state to a major hospital for an advanced procedure, and we booked the 2 dogs into a dog resort so they could share a cottage with every amenity. It even had a large privacy-fenced play yard; we happily paid $70.00 a night. Nothing was too good for my old dog!

Trouble is, he was somehow badly injured at that place during the 3 nights and 2 days he and the girl dog were there. Either he slipped in the deep snow that fell after we left, which they love to play in, or the owner abused him. And I suspect the latter, because she tried everything not to have us board with her, 6 months later, when I needed a follow-up exam. Friends think she was guilty, guilty, guilty. It took a neurologist and 4 acupuncture sessions using electric stimulation to return him the use of his limbs; he clearly had suffered a spinal compression from some trauma!

Several vets tried to tell us it was a degenerative old age spinal disease that is always terminal. I refused to believe that, because it had come on too quickly. He was greatly helped by the acupuncture, after a veterinary neurological surgeon offered us no hope, and I vowed right then never to board him like that, again. The whole experience was one I shared with SAWH. Bonding moments...

So how well I know that having a special old dog can work to tie you down! We make many important decisions with them in mind. But we owe our first loyalty to ourself, never forget. Like the airplane oxygen masks: momma first!

And you identified a REAL big one, the loss of family. Me, too. After my father passed in 2013 and the brother who "cared" for him alienated the remaining family and stole my father's entire estate, I felt like the only love left in my life was looking up at me from those beautiful almond-shaped wolf eyes. Sigh.

The next year was when my SAWH got himself arrested for soliciting. More friends in the community started politely shunning us after it made the news, and his mug shot was plastered all over local news and television! Loss on loss.

Try this exercise: draw a circle for yourself. Then a larger concentric circle around it, for the influence of your close family and pets. Then another larger circle around those 2, for influential working associates, church affiliations, etc. and finally, draw the largest circle around those 3, representing influences from your community/state. Write the names of your social contacts in the circles they best fit within. Write the names of close family members who are deceased, and put a line through their name. If you are like me, you will see you're missing a LOT of the innermost social supports people rely upon.

This is known as Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory. It is a fascinating illustration of our dilemma. We humans all need those inner circle supporters to thrive. Sounds like you and I have lost a lot of them. I figured out it's a factor in why I haven't been eager to cut ties with this man...everybody else had already abandoned me, one way or the other, and he did too, yet one difference with him, is that I can't get him to leave!! I didn't seem to have that issue with anyone else! Heck, they all died or just quit communicating. So that makes us notice when someone tries so hard to "sell" us on keeping them in our circle. First, find other resources.

Hope today you can find a new friend. It's Sunday, are you allowed to have church where you live?

skeetermooch posted 9/27/2020 11:18 AM

A

man kennel!
! You should market that.

I've also had bad experiences kenneling my dog and there's absolutely no way I'd put him in one now. He's 13 years old. In June when I went away with my STBX, I had two caregivers for my son and dog, who are also old family friends. I know they are loving and well-intentioned but they also have jobs and lives and aren't that bonded with my dog. We came home to the dog appearing to have had a stroke. He was disoriented, didn't seem to recognize me for awhile, couldn't walk at all, etc. I thought I was going to lose him. He came back from it thankfully. The vet could only hazard a guess about a stroke.

I figured out it's a factor in why I haven't been eager to cut ties with this man...everybody else had already abandoned me, one way or the other, and he did too, yet one difference with him, is that I can't get him to leave!! I didn't seem to have that issue with anyone else! Heck, they all died or just quit communicating. So that makes us notice when someone tries so hard to "sell" us on keeping them in our circle.

Yes, this is exactly true for me. Everyone has left my life either through death or some other means and here's this man, my husband, telling me he'd lay on train tracks for me, can't live without me, going to win back our marriage no matter what - willing to give rides to the airport or lift heavy stuff or watch my dog and kid. He'd even come around on accepting I was divorcing him and was still willing to to house sit. So, it's very compelling.

I don't think people were meant to live without family but I don't have a choice. I've always envied people who's friends function as family. I don't have that level of closeness with friends, other than a couple of childhood friends from back east. I'm not sure I know how that happens if you didn't grow up together. My daughter is 7000 miles away and my son has special needs - neither will have children so I won't even have grandchildren.

My grandmother lived till 96 and she had two doting children, scores of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but she was still lonely in her last years, mostly when the last of her siblings died. My family members all died very young. This state of being without an inner circle wasn't meant to happen for another 30 years. I thought my STBX douche bag was my family. I wasn't looking for a partner. I don't think it had really hit me that I was without an inner circle at that point - but man, when he showed up I was so relieved - it hit me then how wonderful it felt to not feel so alone in the world.

Of course, I was alone and made so much more vulnerable by his lying abusive presence. Yet there was a warm body to curl up with, a date for the office Christmas party, someone to hike and visit the farmer's market with. Physically and logistically, I had a partner, emotionally I had an a shape shift-shifter - one day a loving husband, the next a sociopathic liar and cheater. I have fought kicking and screaming to not give up the former because I'm terrified at being alone. I'm that much older and this pandemic as made a lot of things I could count on no longer reliable. Facing all of this alone, while mourning my marriage is daunting. I'll do it because I have no choice. He's simply not an option.

I've thought of trying out church but never seem to get around to it. Being raised catholic I have such a fear of religion.

BlackRaven posted 9/27/2020 12:19 PM

I live thousands of miles away from the couple of people I'm closest to. I didn't even realize the huge void he filled until more recently. I need to figure out how to grow a support system so that I don't ever again succumb to re-connecting with him. I'm not sure how one does this at all at my age or if it's even possible.

I'm in exactly the same boat, approx the same age (I think I'm a little older) with 26 year of marriage. With WH in rehab, I spent a months thousands of miles from our house visiting family, and returned to an empty house and needy dog. That first week was hell. I'm flying blind, but I'll share with you what I've done so far:

At 10:30pm one night, as I contemplated whether I should go to the hospital because I was losing it, I texted an acquaintance who knew a bit about my story because I'd asked her for a recommendation for a lawyer. She replied that she was still awake so I called and I just bawled and unloaded. Turns out her father was a WH. And, she walks for exercise, so I've done that with her. (She was actually the second person I reached out to. The first was someone in a different time zone who said she was too tired to talk. I felt so humiliated, but as I continued to decompensate I knew I had to do something. )

After that I started reaching out where I could. I reached out to my old cleaning lady, who has a heart of gold, had divorced her WH after two affairs, and is now happily remarried. I just asked if she wanted to go for a walk. About midway through, I filled her in. Turns out she was just laid off and has lots of time to walk or do other things. She even offered to bring me a meal! I reached out to the rabbi, even though I'm ambivalent about religion.

My therapist calls it a web of support - we string these connections underneath us so that we can be sure we don't fall too far. (She actually asked to exchange phone numbers with one of the people in case I do wind up in the hospital) I doubt that these will be my new best friends, but it's given me some security knowing that there are people I can call on if I need. I'm trying to have social contact on a regular basis with them to build the connections and get me out of myself.

The SAL Lifeline meetings encourage an exchange of contact information and reaching out. I don't know where you live, but you might find that someone lives near you.

I too envy people with friends-as-family. I think a commune would be a great place to grow old. But in the absence of that, I wonder if the plus-55 communities and apartment buildings might be a good fit, since presumably, they are filled with other people looking for some sort of connection. I keep wondering if those of us who end up married to SAs by definition have some sort of attachment issues - and that's why we ended up with partners who have the ultimate attachment issue (by definition, SA is an intimacy disorder) - and that's why we seem to have so few friends and connections. I'm still being introspective, but I think it might fit, and I hope to do the work I need to do so that I can have better connections with people moving forwards.

My dog has a ton of health issues, and I found someone through my vet who was willing to take him at her house while I was away. The woman is a former vet tech and the dog was in better shape when I picked him up than he is when he's with me. She charged me $25/night. With Covid, I would imagine a lot of people are looking for extra cash. I know some people do it on a barter system.

Hang in there.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 12:26 PM, September 27th (Sunday)]

skeetermooch posted 9/27/2020 12:31 PM

Thank you for the ideas BL.
I have done a bit of reaching out to acquaintances and gotten some support here and there that way. I think it's more the day to day support - the sharing the ups and downs, goings on of the day, how a project is progressing, things with my kids. I go days and days with no conversation with a soul. My ex and I share a lot of common social and community ties/projects - it was wonderful to have someone I could vent to about social circle drama or whatever in private.

I'm a loner, don't like crowds, don't like to go out a lot. I find it exhausting, so having my best friend right here at home was perfect. I will learn to live without that. I lived without that before so I know it's possible to be happy without a best friend. It just feels really crappy and lonely to live without a confidant at the moment.

I too envy people with friends-as-family. I think a commune would be a great place to grow old. But in the absence of that, I wonder if the plus-55 communities and apartment buildings might be a good fit, since presumably, they are filled with other people looking for some sort of connection. I keep wondering if those of us who end up married to SAs by definition have some sort of attachment issues - and that's why we ended up with partners who have the ultimate attachment issue (by definition, SA is an intimacy disorder) - and that's why we seem to have so few friends and connections. I'm still being introspective, but I think it might fit, and I hope to do the work I need to do so that I can have better connections with people moving forwards
.
I'm 57. I think I've given up on having better connections with people. I'm sure I have my own attachment issues. My FOO wasn't a complete nightmare but wasn't great either. I did have stability and my parents stayed together for 17 years. I am able to commit and feel secure when I'm with a partner who's reliable and honest. I've chosen disordered people in my last few relationships because the love-bombing and exuberant adoration does help me feel more secure - even if it turns out to be a lot of hot air later.

I'd love a 55+ community. I've got a lot to sort out because my son is special needs and won't leave my current city. He's not so disabled that I could force it. He has a support system here, a job, knows how to navigate his little world. I couldn't move him and I'm beginning to think maybe it would be wrong to move myself out of town as he relies on me more than anyone. He lives with me full-time, even though he has other options - he wouldn't be happy there.

What is SAL?

The church down the street (not my denomination but I guess that's okay) has a divorce recovery group - maybe I should see if it's in person and if there's a class starting soon. I hate this starting over again - I was feeling so good - just less than a week ago I felt like I'd gotten over a huge hump and now I feel so terrible again. I get that it's because I had contact with him. It always results in these feelings.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 12:39 PM, September 27th (Sunday)]

Superesse posted 9/27/2020 12:40 PM

Black Raven, you get it! I am proud of you for taking the initiative to get some new social connections, pronto! It's part of our survivng this.

Skeeter, it's almost uncanny how similar are stories are. Of all the people on SI I have followed and chatted with over the years, you seem to express so exquisitely all the losses that have kept me dithering back and forth in this unfulfilling limbo for so long that I actually annoy people on the other SI forums! (Did you read my D/S post? Simple question I had after my attorney and tax prep appointments! Also one in G that quickly sunk to page 2 about if having an unrewarding job prior to infidelity influences people to stay, and not many got my reasoning.)

Anyway, think we have a real discovery: we need people to call!

(And how weird about your dog having the same kind of issues as mine!)


skeetermooch posted 9/27/2020 13:36 PM

It's a shitty boat to be in but I guess we're both in it

I read and responded to your D/S post. Sometimes folks can be a little strident in asserting their opinions. It's not that they are necessarily wrong, but they don't account for the fact that some of us are older, have more moving parts financially, health-wise and logistically to consider and/or prefer to take the bandaid off slowly. Not everyone has to utterly change their life to D a cheater. For some it's a lateral change - different, but comparable house/neighborhood. For others it's going from a dream home to a depressing apartment. Some don't have to move. When I was younger, I could start over - I might be sad but there was time and energy to rebuild. I'm realistic now about my set of options - they're smaller. I can't do everything I did at 35 - I feel vulnerable being so alone in the world. Of course, many women make it work and I will too - it's just that much more frightening.

Work is a huge issue - my job is suffering with the pandemic. If it stays here I'll hopefully survive if I cut corners. It could be worse. The plan was aways that my husband would assume more financial burden eventually. I bought and pay for the house. By the time I retire it will be paid off and then I'd live off of investments/social security while he paid for anything over and above. I had previously planned to simply retire on my modest income, knowing I would have to scale back, travel less and limit what I give to my kids, but with a somewhat younger husband, retirement was looking a lot brighter. Meanwhile, pre-retirement, he was supposed to be saving all of his excess income to buy an investment property - instead he bought hookers.

My job isn't terribly rewarding aside from the money. It pays very well when the economy is normal, but I've always hoped to quit and focus on more fulfilling, less lucrative pursuits eventually. Of course, even though STBX always paid lip service to that goal, he was busy blowing his money behind my back and racking up debt, thus making it impossible.

Superesse posted 9/27/2020 14:00 PM

Skeeter, I am back from church (Spanish Mass, very nice if you know some Spanish.) Very different than what you likely remember, and much more community-oriented. Heck, if we don't quite fit into the happy family paradigm, at least we fit into the same faith, I figure, and what I found was that for some reason, I felt much more okay being solo there than if I'd just started showing up alone at the English Mass....lots of nosey folks who knew us back when...UGH.

I appreciate your reply on my D forum question, you actually answered the question I had! Your story confirms what I was told, which I hadn't ever heard happens in real life. Sounds like exactly what these people were telling me. The one part of your pals' relationship that would seem to be awkward potentially, is where they both are dating others. Maybe they were parents together, so that would make more sense. I just know how folks on SI tend to feel about EXs being too chummy!

And thanks too for saying that sometimes people just want to opine on our situations, and since I don't feel comfortable going into all the particular details of my life on another forum (this one is "home" so y'all remember more of my story!) I see how I may have confused someone who saw my question as a cry for "help." However, I felt a few of the responses came just shy of insulting me for simply asking the kind of question I did.

Hey, a census worker just knocked on the door, gotta go!

Update: Skeeter, try that Divorce support group, they may be using the DivorceCare workbook and videos and if so, it's something I tried and recommend highly. (Too bad I wasn't allowed back for the following semester, since I was still IHS and hadn't filed! See what I mean about my Limbo status annoying people! I know the moderators were uncomfortable with my participating when, by the end of the semester, I hadn't "moved on" quickly enough to suit them. They were also a couple of BSs who were each on 2nd marriages.)

[This message edited by Superesse at 2:58 PM, September 27th (Sunday)]

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